“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Hell In A Handcart: Ken Bruen’s Purgatory

I read last weekend in the Sunday Times that something like 75% of Irish people believe in heaven, but only 50% believe in hell. Which sounds to me like the kind of hedge-your-bets math that got us all into this financial mess in the first place, but then I don’t know much about economics. Or heaven and / or hell, for that matter.
  Anyway, that’s by way of a preamble to the news that Ken Bruen’s (right) latest offering will be called PURGATORY (Mysterious Press) when it’s published next November. Quoth the blurb elves:
Someone is scraping the scum off the streets of Galway, and they want Jack Taylor to get involved. A drug pusher, a rapist, a loan shark, all targeted in what look like vigilante attacks. And the killer is writing to Jack, signing their name: C-33.
  Jack has had enough. He doesn’t need the money, and doesn’t want to get involved. But when his friend Stewart gets drawn in, it seems he isn’t been given a choice. In the meantime, Jack is being courted by Reardon, a charismatic billionaire intent on buying up much of Galway, and begins a tentative relationship with Reardon’s PR director, Kelly.
  Caught between heaven and hell, there’s only one path for Jack Taylor to take: Purgatory.
  There’s been a distinctly religious theme to Ken’s Jack Taylor books in recent years, with the last five called PRIEST, CROSS, SANCTUARY, THE DEVIL and HEADSTONE. And now, of course, PURGATORY. Where’s he going with this? Knowing Jack, you can only presume it’s to hell in a handcart with the brakes shot to, well. Stay tuned …

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