'Christ, that was good.'"
Jack Taylor returns in Ken Bruen's ninth book of the series about the former guard turned Irish PI. Jack's damaged emotionally and physically, tainting his view of the world. But in HEADSTONE, he's daring to let hope weasel its way into his heart. That light is violently extinguished when a gang of sociopaths begin their march of terror through Galway and set their collective sights on Jack himself.
Ken Bruen fans will not be disappointed in his newest installment, labeled a "Jack Taylor novel of terror." Bruen's signature style glows as strong as ever: a pitch-black tone, with ever-so-tiny fissures of light and hope daring to invade the space. Damaged characters who simultaneously scare the bejesus out of you while making you want to take them home and protect them from all life's evils - give them the chance the world has deprived them of. John Lee, the HEADSTONE audiobook narrator, captures that dichotomy superbly. Lee allows the reader to hear and FEEL Taylor's rage and hopelessness, to experience the disbelief and horror.
I kept the print version of HEADSTONE close during my audio experience. It is a unique combination, probably enhanced by my American-ness. Bruen writes in a distinct style that is essential to the story. His placement of words on a page are just as much a part of his art as Jack Taylor. One shouldn't experience this series without experiencing the way Bruen has painted his pages. Lee gives sound to Taylor, a sound that a naive American with little experience of the variety in Irish dialect would completely botch without help. Experiencing the two together was an explosion of the senses - an experience I would recommend to any true crime fiction fan.
HEADSTONE is available in the United States in print (ISBN: 978-0-8021-2600-9) from The Mysterious Press and on audio from High Bridge Audio (ISBN: 978-1-61174-598-6). The audio runs 5 1/2 hours.