VJ Books Blog

At the start of Edgar-finalist Bruen’s lean seventh Jack Taylor novel, the aging, alcoholic Irish ex-cop, who moved to the U.S. in 2008’s The Cross, knows he really ought to be in America, but he’s staying in Galway because his old police partner, Ridge, has developed breast cancer. Meanwhile, he’s received a “shopping list” of intended victims—two guards, one nun, one judge and one child—from the mysterious “Benedictus.” One is already dead, killed in an “unfortunate hit and run,” according to Superintendent Clancy, Taylor’s best friend from years earlier on the force, who dismisses Taylor’s fear that a serial killer is on the loose. Bruen’s trademark terse style is more perfunctory than not, and parts of the narrative read like an outline, as shown by previous cases synopsized in quick asides. Taylor confronts the unlikely killer in what is a less than convincing showdown. Still, series fans should follow Taylor’s current fall off the wagon, suffused by the mellow glow of Xanax, with the usual passion

Order your signed copy of Santuary by Ken Bruen at www.vjbooks.com

(Publisher’s Weekly, Mar. 23)