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I cannot get enough of Jack Taylor This series by Ken Bruen is so darned good Jack is vulnerable, a reforming alcoholic, a haunted man So many events in his life since being kicked out of the Guards have left him in a bad place Cannot say too much so many threads run through this series and I don t want to spoil it for any reader who is thinking about embarking on it In Cross a boy has been crucified in Galway City People are shocked the Irish Church is scandalised and no further acti I cannot get enough of Jack Taylor This series by Ken Bruen is so darned good Jack is vulnerable, a reforming alcoholic, a haunted man So many events in his life since being kicked out of the Guards have left him in a bad place Cannot say too much so many threads run through this series and I don t want to spoil it for any reader who is thinking about embarking on it In Cross a boy has been crucified in Galway City People are shocked the Irish Church is scandalised and no further action is taken Then the sister of the murdered boy is burned alive and Jack decides to take matters into his own hands This is a dark, compelling portrait of a man who continues to seek redemption, who has few friends if any The dialogue crackles with authenticity, dark, powerful, often humorous We see Jack deciding on a move to America, selling up in Galway and moving on And then Bruen gives the reader another kick in the gonads, right there on the last page, that leaves Jack devastated And you just know you have to move onto book 7 Description Jack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves His only hope of redemption his surrogate son, Cody is lying in hospital in a coma At least he still has Ridge, his old friend from the Guards, though theirs is an unorthodox relationship When she tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city, he agrees to help her search for the killer.Jack s investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, dead and living Everyone wants something f Description Jack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves His only hope of redemption his surrogate son, Cody is lying in hospital in a coma At least he still has Ridge, his old friend from the Guards, though theirs is an unorthodox relationship When she tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city, he agrees to help her search for the killer.Jack s investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, dead and living Everyone wants something from him, but Jack is not sure he has anything left to give Maybe he should sell up, pocket his Euros and get the hell out of Galway like everyone else seems to be doing.Then the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, and Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of rough justice Ken Bruen s Cross the sixth outing in a series featuring Jack Taylor, an ex Garda who moonlights as a maladroit private eye finds our hero in the usual Galway gutter, and by book s end, as is the pattern with this mystery series, Taylor manages to nearly claw his way out before the certain cruelty of existence kicks his teeth down his throat and sends him tumbling back into the mud and the blood and the beer Yes, this is my idea of pitching a book Never have I ever been to Ireland, but there Ken Bruen s Cross the sixth outing in a series featuring Jack Taylor, an ex Garda who moonlights as a maladroit private eye finds our hero in the usual Galway gutter, and by book s end, as is the pattern with this mystery series, Taylor manages to nearly claw his way out before the certain cruelty of existence kicks his teeth down his throat and sends him tumbling back into the mud and the blood and the beer Yes, this is my idea of pitching a book Never have I ever been to Ireland, but there are certain aspects of this series that ring true to me, and is the reason I stick around despite Bruen s sometimes spotty writing style I don t want to make too much out of the horrors of my Roman Catholic upbringing because I lived a nice, pleasant suburban life with parents who were decent human beings that did any and everything they could for me, but at the same time I completely understand the deep sense of guilt that plagues Taylor Not that I have killed people the innocent and the guilty , betrayed friends, watched loved one after loved one die terribly right before my eyes, pushed away any sign of meaningful relationships, or wasted years of my life on drugs and booze but I am still young so give me some time.In any case, the Roman Catholic guilt is a weird animal it sucks feeling like you should be apologizing for most of your actions, no matter what it is they are, or for the mistakes of others , and without talking too much out of my own ass, I propose that the Roman Catholic guilt became compounded into a shared national Irish guilt Or at least, that s the Ireland in Bruen s novels a land of self loathing misanthropes who wallow in their own bitterness and prejudices but then again isn t that like most places If you are wondering what the actual plot of this book is about then know it involves a family of killers who crucify a young man and then burn another woman alive along the way, Taylor finds a very thin excuse to pretend like he s investigating the murders Mostly, Taylor thinks about drinking, fights to stay sober, struggles with the abattoir of rage and resentment inside his skull, hates himself, tries not to hate everyone around him, and thinks about God and dying and drinking.It s that last sentence along with my hmming about guilt which keeps me coming back to this flawed, yet all too human series of tragedies masquerading as mystery novels I m becomingandtorn about how to rate the Jack Taylor books I just keep going for four stars for each one I am enjoying them, some probablythan others but I m not sure if I can say which ones are better than other ones Maybe this is going to be a bit of a spoiler, but there are certain things that keep happening in the books that are making them slightly predictable in ways that should be unpredictable I ll give this one credit, it doesn t go for the same sort of ending tha I m becomingandtorn about how to rate the Jack Taylor books I just keep going for four stars for each one I am enjoying them, some probablythan others but I m not sure if I can say which ones are better than other ones Maybe this is going to be a bit of a spoiler, but there are certain things that keep happening in the books that are making them slightly predictable in ways that should be unpredictable I ll give this one credit, it doesn t go for the same sort of ending that the last couple of books do I m not exactly sure why these books have been up for any mystery type awards As one of my goodreads friends says, they are masquerading as mystery novels It s true They are There are mysteries in them, but Jack Taylor doesn t really ever solve them Usually they kind of solve themselves as Jack Taylor goes about his life wrecking intentional and unintentional havoc on himself and everyone he comes in contact with The books sort of follow the pattern Jack Taylor has given up this whole business of trying to help people and solve anything and instead deal with the added guilt and destruction his last case has left him with but then something happens and agrees to look into something His life gets worse and by some roundabout way usually someone doing research for him the case is solved In between he struggles with being a Bukowski level alcoholic, tells a chain smoking priest to fuck off, possibly gets the shit kicked out of him, maybe gets all of his books destroyed, attends a funeral for his dwindling number of friends, listens to a lot of depressing music and muses about books to himself In other words, it s kind of awesome to read but not if you are expecting a mystery novel In this chapter of the Jack Taylor chronicles he tries to solve a mystery of why the dogs in a neighborhood are going missing and who crucified some poor 18 year old kid And since it s a Jack Taylor book you can expect that neither is going to go well Season 3 opens with a young man found crucified, and Kate asks Jack to meet with the victim s mother, who is not satisfied with the direction of the police inquiry Jack reluctantly allows Kate s cousin Darragh to assist him in the investigation, getting them all involved too deep. I normally love Ken Bruen s Jack Taylor novels They are noir with an Irish brogue and feature a great protagonist in Jack Taylor Alcoholic and self destructive, Taylor struggles to keep it together while doing the odd detective job for friends and acquaintances on the mean streets of Galway, Ireland Be forewarned, these are not mysteries and, truth be told, there s not much detecting going on either You read a Jack Taylor book for the one liners, cultural observations, and to savor the dialo I normally love Ken Bruen s Jack Taylor novels They are noir with an Irish brogue and feature a great protagonist in Jack Taylor Alcoholic and self destructive, Taylor struggles to keep it together while doing the odd detective job for friends and acquaintances on the mean streets of Galway, Ireland Be forewarned, these are not mysteries and, truth be told, there s not much detecting going on either You read a Jack Taylor book for the one liners, cultural observations, and to savor the dialogue They tend to be violent, morally ambiguous, and dark This one is darker than most and Taylor s trials and tribulations reach such biblical proportions during the book that you wonder just what he s done to piss God off so much A little too depressing to give itthan 3 stars and the solution to who the killers are is handled lazily by even Bruen s lax standards I could only do so much anguish before I went searching for a ropeDamn, I love this series.No review here, just a bunch of spots I highlighted I ve seen many men, women too, wrecked by booze, their faces a testament to all that hell has to offer, but this guy, he was like those photos of Bukowski in his last days Not good Beneath the ruin, I d hazard he was only thirty or so, but the red eyes had seen things that a century of hurt might accomplish Paddy is one of the strongest whiskeys and the I could only do so much anguish before I went searching for a ropeDamn, I love this series.No review here, just a bunch of spots I highlighted I ve seen many men, women too, wrecked by booze, their faces a testament to all that hell has to offer, but this guy, he was like those photos of Bukowski in his last days Not good Beneath the ruin, I d hazard he was only thirty or so, but the red eyes had seen things that a century of hurt might accomplish Paddy is one of the strongest whiskeys and the scent was overpowering I held the cup to his lips and he managed to get half of it down, then did the dead man s dance of choke, gulp, gargle, grimace He finally managed to utter, I think.think it might stay down It did, barely.Then the sea change, within minutes.Like a demonic miracle, all darkness, it did not come from any place of light His eyes stopped watering, a rosy colour spread across his face and his hands ceased their jig He changed physically, his posture became erect and a note of defiance hit his mouth But I knew Jesus, did I ever how short lived it would be.I got to join the most exclusive club in the world the family of victims No one wants to belong, we share the pain that never goes away and we can recognize each other, even without words To outlive your child, this is the greatest torment the world can sendProving for me that you throw enough grief at a person, wreak enough physical damage on a basic decent human being, you can create a monster It was raining Graveyards, I think they have a statute that rain is mandatory As I walked among the crosses of the dead, I tried real hard not to read the inscriptions I was carrying enough of the departed to keep a convent in perpetual prayer Marvelled again that we re still the only burial ground with a Protestant and a Catholic side Up North, they wondered why the Peace Process was in shreds yet again and here, even the dead were divided.Just can t get enough I keep dragging my feet with these books to stretch out the series as long as I can Jack Taylor is changing Shattered by the shooting of Cody, the young man who came to him for a chance, Jack feels for Cody like a man would for his natural son Cody is comatose in hospital and even though he didn t pull the trigger, Jack feels responsible for Cody s fate This has given him a real reason and he s given up drinking, smoking and drugs Jack s not pretending it s hard, and he s not found an exactly normal way of resisting a drink, but he s serious and he s really trying As u Jack Taylor is changing Shattered by the shooting of Cody, the young man who came to him for a chance, Jack feels for Cody like a man would for his natural son Cody is comatose in hospital and even though he didn t pull the trigger, Jack feels responsible for Cody s fate This has given him a real reason and he s given up drinking, smoking and drugs Jack s not pretending it s hard, and he s not found an exactly normal way of resisting a drink, but he s serious and he s really trying As usual with Jack he s pulled into strange events and strange places A young boy was crucified in Galway City and despite everyone s shock and horror, despite the Church being scandalised and vocal, no action is ever taken by the Guards His old friend Ridge comes to him to ask him to investigate she can t live with the idea that nothing is being done about this boy, and when his sister is burned alive, Jack s not able to leave well enough alone as well There s something about Jack that makes stuff happen around him, and the main theme, the murder of this young brother and sister, is only part of what is going on in Jack s life As he roams Galway on the case, he finds himself in his old haunts, rubbing up against old combatants and associates, glimpses of his old life and the starkness of a sober future in less than sober circumstances The ghosts of Jack s past are never adverse to giving a good scaring or an even bigger beating Finding the answer to who kills so horribly isn t so hard Deciding what to do about it isn t so easy Choosing his own future is even harder CROSS continues many of the storylines that started out in PRIEST Reading PRIEST first will give you a little context to what is happening with Jack Taylor, but if you haven t read it, then don t use that as a reason not to pick up CROSS Ken Bruen s books are not the easiest reading in the world they are confrontational, Jack has a self destructive streak which can be frustrating and the world that he comes from is bleak and violent, inhabited by some damaged and brutal people But there is also kindness, friendship, care and concern for others There s brutal reality Ken Bruen s books are, however, fantastic reading and CROSS raises that tradition just that little bit higher I cannot recommend this series highly enough if you like stark reality, if you can handle one man making his own decisions about his own life, contrary to what everybody else thinks he should do including the reader , then do yourself a favour and read CROSS Cross by Ken Bruen is the 6th book in The Jack Taylor seriesJack Taylor is a character with an abundance of flaws, whom is fighting ongoing additions This again is a totally enthralling and engaging book, which to me is all about the dialogueSuch lines as My father would have turned in his grave to know the day had come when we paid for water on an island surrounded by the bloody stuff and lashed by rain most days of the year You can easily get caught up with this series ^READ BOOK ↡ Cross ⇘ crosskros n v adjan ancient instrument of torture in a very bad humour a punch thrown across an opponent s punchJack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves His only hope of redemption his surrogate son, Cody is lying in hospital in a coma At least he still has Ridge, his old friend from the Guards, though theirs is an unorthodox relationship When she tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city, he agrees to help her search for the killerJack s investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, dead and living Everyone wants something from him, but Jack is not sure he has anything left to give Maybe he should sell up, pocket his Euros and get the hell out of Galway like everyone else seems to be doingThen the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, and Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of rough justice