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Sanctuary Mass Market Paperback – International Edition, May 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Ireland (May 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848270186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848270183
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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 passionate interest. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Soul-sick former Garda detective Jack Taylor is ready to move to America. Nearly everyone he ever cared about is dead. Former friends despise him. Even a letter from an apparent psycho threatening the lives of cops, a nun, a judge, and a child can’t change his plans. But when Ridge, his former partner, is diagnosed with cancer, he stays to support her: “It’s God’s own vicious joke, the only woman I managed to keep in my life was gay.” Eventually, Taylor rouses himself to find the killer, but only after another 150-page howl of anguish at his own failings, the “new Ireland,” priests, the smoking ban in pubs, et al. Along the way, he is brutally beaten on the order of his former friend, the Garda superintendent, and he falls off the wagon. (After two lost weeks, his recovery regimen is 10 drinks a day and a Xanax.) Taylor’s howl is corrosively funny and filled with insights into modern Ireland, but the resolution is perfunctory, just as it was in Cross (2008). Fans of the Taylor series may wonder if they’ve already read this one. --Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Can't wait to start reading the next book!
Adrian Redd
There is also a revelation regarding an major event from one of the previous books.
Elizabeth Ray
When Ken Bruen writes a Jack Taylor story, it's a must read for me.
PI Guy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Dear Mr. Taylor, Please forgive the formality.

Jack Taylor has sold his apartment and is ready to head to the US when his friend, Ridge, announces she has malignant breast cancer, so he stays to help her. He then receives the letter stating two guards, one nun, one judge and a child will die and he is to be witness.

His once friend, now enemy, Guarda Superintendent Clancy, doesn't give it any credence, but Jack does follows up, with the help of now-recovered Ridge and other friends.

I begin each new Bruen book afraid the quality won't be has high as the last. I had nothing to fear.

Bruen is not for everyone: Jack is a character you don't necessarily like, but about whom you do care. The story is hard-edged, violent and emotional. The alternating voices of conversational first person and chilling third person is extremely effective.

Bruen's descriptions of the city, observations on the changes prosperity have wrought on Galway, as well as dark humor and sensitivity make him a remarkable writer. The story and writing are spare, brutal, physically and emotionally harsh, tragic and brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Ray VINE VOICE on March 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After his move to America is derailed by Ridge's illness, a sober Jack Taylor is pulled back into the investigation game when a religious psycho gives him (and only him) the clues necessary to prevent her murder of a child.

This may be my favorite Jack Taylor book yet. The plot is compelling and the pacing is almost thriller-like. There is also a revelation regarding an major event from one of the previous books. As usual, Bruen's sparse prose is full of humor so dry you'd miss it if you weren't paying attention. My only complaint is that despite a visit to his bookseller, this installment offered no new reading recommendations for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on August 2, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Sanctuary. Like most of the Jack Taylor series, it flies by. The prose is sparse, well constructed, and frequently ironic or sarcastic in the extreme. Bruen's very fond of delivering trenchant observations about what is happening to his beloved Galway. He gets off some of his very best observations of the series in Sanctuary.

Another reader has commented that he did not do anything quite so new here in this book as he has in a few others. I'd agree, but he also interjects an element into the series's storyline that is pretty important for future books in the series.

Bruen's quite the fan of the "...nasty, brutish, and short" school of thought on human life. However, the central motif of the whole series is his nearly inchoate rage at how badly humans can treat other humans (and themselves.) Bruen's humanity is in fine shape and this is quite a worthwhile addition to the Jack Taylor canon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although former Irish Garda Siochana guard Jack Taylor drinks in America when he falls off the wagon, he is back in Galway because his police partner Cathleen Ridge has breast cancer. She is about the only person he gives a sh*t about.

Someone calling himself Benedictus sends Jack a note with a hit list of planned victims that includes two guards, a judge, a nun and one child. He has no idea who this person is and why he or she is sending him the list. Jack discusses the note with his former friend and current enemy Superintendent Clancy, who says though one person included on the list is dead in a hit and run, he writes off Taylor's serial killer theory as nonsense. Jack still wonders why the killer thought he would understand as he comprehends nothing.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, Jack knows it is easy to stop drinking; he has done it a thousand times. The story line is fast-paced though the ending feels rushed and the hero is a bit "Xanaxed" down than his normal level of belligerency. Still fans of the series will appreciate this tale because we know Jack.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on June 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With each new book --- and he is clipping along with at least two a year at this point --- Ken Bruen doesn't so much redefine the crime novel landscape, or alter it, so much as make it his own.

I present as Exhibit "A" SANCTUARY, Bruen's seventh Jack Taylor novel. Taylor is an ex-Irish guard turned de facto Galway private investigator. He is not a rumpled knight with a taste for rock and rye; he is a full-blown alcoholic who falls on and off the wagon just a little less often than you or I might partake of a change of clothes. Either way, the transition is not pretty, but Bruen never lets Taylor's eyes blink once as he drags us, sometimes kicking and screaming, through the wreckage of what occurs. There is a passage in which Taylor describes what will kick a recovering drunk off of a successful rehab, one that so perfectly paints the picture of the razor wire that all addicts walk that it brought tears to my eyes. Bruen gives us descriptions of similar quality at a frequency of about one per page in this story of pursuit, deception, regret and, ultimately, redemption.

SANCTUARY begins with Taylor's receipt of a cryptic letter signed by "Benedictus." It presents a shopping list of murder --- two guards, a nun, a priest and a child --- informing Taylor that only he will truly comprehend. The murders begin, apparently unrelated, with only Taylor aware of their common significance. He already has much on his plate, given the illness of his former Garda partner and a revelation that sends him, as well as faithful readers of this series, reeling in horror.
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