CROSS (Private Investigator-Jack Taylor-Ireland-Cont) – Ex
Bruen, Ken – 6th in series
Bantam Press, 2007, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780593057278

First Sentence: It took them a time to crucify the kid.

There is a lot going on in Jack Taylor’s life. He is off the drink; thinking of selling his apartment and moving to the US. The young man, who became his protégée, and who Jack came to love as a son, is in a coma having taken a gunshot meant for Jack. Now another ex-Guarda, fired for drunkenness, comes asking for work so Jack sets him off on a case of dog-napping. And current Guarda friend, Ridge, asks Jack’s help on a case where a young man has been crucified.

Bruen’s writing is incomparable. Jack reminds me of a car stuck on the rail tracks with the train coming; you don’t want to watch but can’t turn away in desperate hope he get off before the train hits. You feel his desperate attempts to improve his situation but life constantly challenges his resolve. No matter what, Jack is one of the most compelling characters I read. Bruen also gives the reader a real sense of being Irish, including the religious, cultural and historic influences on their lives. On the flyleaf of Cross it says “Do not expect to put it down unscathed.” As opposed to be usual marketing hype, I’d say that’s a true statement for reading any of the Jack Taylor books. They may not be for everyone because of the profanity and violence, but I find them exceptional.

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