PRIEST (Private Investigator-Ireland-Cont) – Ex Bruen, Ken – 5th in series
Scorpion Press, 2006- UK Hardcover

Jack Taylor is out of the madhouse, sober and trying to give up smoking. A young man wants to be Jack’s partner as private investigators and the son Jack never had. Jack is also the guilt over the death of his friends’ daughter and its result on them. Jack’s one friend from the Guarda is being stalked, and a priest, with a history of pedophilia, has been found decapitated in his confessional.

Bruen is a brilliant writer. Priest is dark, profane, disturbing, haunting and yet I don’t consider it noir as it is somehow hopeful. Perhaps it’s just that somehow, through it all, Jack survives both physically and emotionally. Present day Ireland, both good and bad, comes to life with an awareness of the past, the hold of the Church and it’s striding into the future. The description of the impact of pedophilia on its victims is powerful. Bruen’s style is spare and sharp; it resonates and stays with you long after you’ve finished the book. The story is compelling and the ending, as with each of the books in the series, is like a punch in the stomach, but immediately makes me want the next book. “Priest” and Ken Bruen are not for everyone, but I found this to be excellent.

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