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Purgatory (Jack Taylor) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Series: Jack Taylor
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press; First Edition edition (November 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802126073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802126078
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Edgar-finalist Bruen's excellent 10th Jack Taylor novel (after 2011's Headstone) finds the Irish PI looking upon the sights of Galway with now-sober if ever-wistful eyes—but a serial killer wants him to come out and play. Signing invitations to Jack as C33, the mysterious figure inflicts vigilante justice on other murderers and scumbags. A Dexter with an Irish lilt... C33 had honed the art of reprisal in the States, an equal killer land of opportunity. For once, with a possible new woman in his life, Jack isn't interested, and stays aloof from the crimes, much like a soul lost in purgatory. But when his former drug-dealer friend, Stewart, picks up the challenge, all hell breaks loose. Bruen maintains his trademark hip references and highly poetic style, but fans expecting the usual are in for some shock therapy, as he busts out one series-changing surprise after another. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Nov.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Unusually flush, sober, and settled into a new apartment stocked to the gills with books, Jack Taylor is no longer entertaining requests to hunt Galway’s disappeared, identify the tormenters of its marginalized, or root out authoritarian abusers. But Jack’s reputation as the man who’ll deliver some manner of truth and justice stands, and he’ll not walk away from Galway’s darkness easily. C33, a vigilante killing criminals who have escaped legal justice through technicalities, seems to think Jack is a suitable playmate. Dropping Jack a note about the latest killing, C33 identifies the next mark and signs off with, “Your turn.” Despite the challenge, Jack hopes to avoid jumping back into the mix and sets his ally Stewart on C33’s heels. In the meantime, Jack becomes entangled with Reardon, a crazy surfer mogul snatching up parts of Galway. Throughout, Jack’s brutal inner voice shouts dire predictions as his attempts to avoid past mistakes lead to disasters for his friends and a hunt for the killer he’s foolishly dismissed. Bruen’s storytelling style, a stream-of-consciousness mix of prose and verse, strips away Galway’s tourist-board facade and offers a darkly comic social commentary. Jack Taylor tales don’t end well; that’s just not the life our Jack’s living. But Bruen always respects his characters, and they end right. Noir fans will find exactly what they love here. Note to RA librarians looking for links: The BBC series Jack, based on the Jack Taylor series, is now available in the U.S., and it’s almost as good as the books. --Christine Tran

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Customer Reviews

Read in one sitting - could not put it down.
Ron Batty
Purgatory by Ken Bruen is #10 in the Jack Taylor gritty adventure series, and, perhaps, the best novel of the series.
Khamneithang Vaiphei
This one, however, seemed very disjointed and almost just a stream of thoughts strung together.
C. R. Imes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Khamneithang Vaiphei TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Purgatory by Ken Bruen is #10 in the Jack Taylor gritty adventure series, and, perhaps, the best novel of the series. The protagonist is an ex-cop from the Galway Guard struggling with a horde of addictions, and has finally managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life. But he has a few friends, only Stewart, a drug dealer turned Zen master, and Ridge, a tough and an unlikely gay sergeant of the Guard comes to mind.

Purgatory is not your ordinary novel. It is also the story of a serial vigilante killer, on the prowl, watching and waiting, to rid Galway of its filths and impurities. Using the signature “C33” he sends a note to Jack Taylor “now your turn” in a gamble to nudge him to join his mission against criminals freed by the court with the help of shady lawyers.

Jack entrust his friend Stewart to unravel the C33 mystery while he pursue the case of an employee of Reardon, an expat dot-com American billionaire, who is suspected of passing on information to others. Reardon is on buying spree, buying off all the depression-hit property in the city. Jack is mixing work with pleasure in the form of Reardon’s attractive assistant, Kelly. But can Jack enjoy himself while his friend ridge is beaten nearly to death? Things are not what they seem to be as Jack soon finds out. It is more complex than he earlier imagined it to be.

Purgatory by Ken Bruen is fast-paced, exhilarating and immensely enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By d70sfan on January 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Purgatory" is the latest in Ken Bruen's long-running "Galway noir" series featuring ex-Garda turned sometime private investigator Jack Taylor. Fans of the series know Bruen's (anti) hero is deeply flawed, a chain-smoking, drug-abusing drunk who sees himself and the world around him with clarity, black humor, and more than a little self-loathing.

The Taylor series is strong stuff: violent and sometimes downright vicious, sparsely written in a voice bordering on poetry, and that's part of the problem with "Purgatory" -- the lyrical prose that is a hallmark of Bruen's remarkable style is muted here, undermined by a patched-together plot by a writer who seems tired of the series and its characters. Perhaps part of the problem is that for much of the book, Taylor is sober, off drugs, and not smoking and not particularly liking how he feels. Regardless, the book feels like the first half of a two-parter aiming to bring the series to a close. If that's right, let's hope the second half finishes stronger.

If you have not read Bruen before, I urge you not to start with "Purgatory," which isn't Bruen or Taylor at their best. That said, even less than top-notch work by Ken Bruen is far better than most.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. L. Sawan on January 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another excellent entry in a consistently entertaining series. Bruen is the real deal in noire fiction: interesting, complex plots, twists, horrible and redeeming characters, nothing soft. I love Bruens books and it's always a relief to finish one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By col2910 on November 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Purgatory is Bruen's 10th and latest Jack Taylor novel and unusually for the completist in me I skipped forward to this one, after having only read the first two or three.

An interesting enough read, but a little less enjoyable than I had been hoping for. Perhaps skipping the seven in-between left me feeling more as a fairly impartial observer to events concerning Taylor and his friends Stewart and Ridge, as opposed to having an emotional connection to them and caring - assuming the friendships have developed over the course of the series.

Bad things happen during the course of the book. A vigilante seems to be cleaning up Galway and the Gardai aren't joining up the dots and acknowledging the connection. Jack ignores notes from the killer, until the murderer makes things personal. Taylor oscillates between manic action with a mad urge to locate someone one minute, to calmly having a drink the next day; said person still unfound. Maybe that's how damaged alcoholic investigators function?

The usual cultural references and hat-tips towards other novelists and books abound throughout, though they seemed a bit forced and stale to me this time. Perhaps, I'm turning into an old grouch?

Best bit of the book - the slow motion analysis of Ibrahimovic's spectacular goal for Sweden against England......go figure.

3 from 5

At some point I will read the Taylor books that I have skipped. For now at least Brant rules.

Another book courtesy of Net Galle
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By Melanie White on March 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the Jack Taylor series!! I can't wait for the next book to come out. They seem to get better with each one!
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By wingwitt on March 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very funny at times but a little difficult to follow. Too clever at being a little over the top in his approach to writing a mystery.
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By R Clarke on February 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best of Bruen's efforts since The Guards, and crime noir at its blackest. Yes, the humor is there as usual, but don't expect it to relieve you of the constant shades of black. Highly recommended for those who do not need antidepressants.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
and he makes me want to drink Jameson. (I've mastered doing it with just a splash of water. That's not OK for purists, but the guy at the liquor store said it was OK because water actually opens up the flavors.) It seems to me that Bruen got a little lazy on this one: not a lot of plot unwinding, the usual Taylor angst, and way too much of that quick-quick-quick inner dialogue that fills up the page but doesn't say a lot. But did I still like it? Did I, f---.
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