Purgatory: Book summary and reviews of Purgatory by Ken Bruen

Purgatory

By Ken Bruen

Purgatory
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2013,
    272 pages.

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Book Summary

Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, former cop Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life, however tenuously. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway, signing mysterious notes with the moniker 'C 33'. The killer addresses these cryptic letters to Jack, trying to goad him into joining the murderous spree.

While Jack tries to unravel the mystery and motives of this demented killer, he is also brought into the fold of an enigmatic tech billionaire who has been buying up massive amounts of property in Galway, seemingly in the hopes of offering this downtrodden city a better future. Yet if Jack has learned one thing living in Ireland, it's that people who outwardly claim to be on the side of righteousness are likely harboring far more nefarious motives beneath the surface.

With the help of his friends, former drug dealer-turned-zen master Stewart and dogged police sergeant Ridge, Jack is determined to track down C 33, even if it jeopardizes his livelihood, his friends, and the remaining shreds of his sanity. C 33 is Bruen at his best: lyrical, brutal, and ceaselessly suspenseful.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. 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." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Noir fans will find exactly what they love here." - Booklist

"Nine previous titles, a Shamus Award, two feature films, and now this: even as he struggles to maintain his hard-won stability, former cop Jack Taylor must face a vigilante killer wiping out the bad guys of Galway and leaving missives to Jack signed C.33. Bruen's doctorate in metaphysics adds depth." - Library Journal

"The Taylor books are the pinnacle of Bruen's offhand but bleakly poetic style... Bruen and Taylor are very much of this moment, in terms of popular culture, crime fiction, Irish history, and global politics." - International Noir Fiction

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Diane S.
Purgatory
Jack Taylor is one of the most original characters in fiction. He is an ex-guard, a crusty and dark and cynical individual, a good friend to a few, bad news to those who cross him or the ones he loves, he loves to read and a friend keeps his apartment stocked with novels. Though he once had every bad habit known to man, in this novel he has quit drinking his beloved Jameson's, in fact he has quit drinking period, he has quit smoking and other bad habits that threatened to shorten his life. He has quit taking cases, but of course, someone close to him gets him involved. Fate has other plans for him.

Not everyone will like Bruen's staccato style of writing, his witty observations and one-liners, his irreverence but those of us who do hope this author keeps writing these novels for a long time. In fact I liked one of his lines so much I just have to repeat it, Jack Taylor is a recovering Catholic. She laughed, Jesus wept.

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Author Information

Ken Bruen Author Biography

Ken Bruen was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and the Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

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