Saturday, January 31, 2015

Review: THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS (Jack Taylor #2) by Ken Bruen

The Killing Of The Tinkers (Jack Taylor, #2)From the back of the book
In the opening pages of "The Killing of the Tinkers," Jack's back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings. 

Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack's clarity and changes all that with a simple request. Jack knows the look in this man's eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve topped off with a quietly simmering rage; he's seen it in the mirror. Recognizing a kindred soul, Jack agrees to help him, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good. But in Jack Taylor's world bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause, and besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense. 

My Review
Continuing on from THE GUARDS, my rereading of Ken Bruen's penultimate series continues to bare fruit with THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS being another top read. 

Jack progresses from mere alcoholic with a good natured if somewhat destructive personality to a full blown drug addict - coke the poison which pumps it's devilishly smooth disguised death in his very veins. It adds another affliction to the already well afflicted - and that's part of the charm isn't it? Jack's not meant to be a nice man, he's not meant to be the copper you run to. No. He's the bloke at the bar you go to when the bottom of the barrel has turned you down. Yet, he gets results - and in THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS he does just that. 

Of course, this wouldn't be a Bruen novel if some claret didn't get spilled along the way. Enter a serial killer hell bent on murdering tinkers (oh there's a nice wee twist to this one) and a deranged maniac taking heads off swans and Jack's got a bit on his plate - plus the drinking and drugging, as well as the odd relationship with a lass and befriending a cop from London. Despite Jack being pulled in so many directions, Ken Bruen keeps it all on point, allowing each thread to overlap and merge with no another to form a greater narrative. 

THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS is a fantastic sophomore outing for Jack Taylor. 

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