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A Galway Epiphany

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Member Reviews

An excellent noir that kept me hooked. It's heartbreaking at times but the humour and the style of writing avoids the melodrama effect.
Excellent character development and storytelling, a plot that kept me hooked.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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A Galway Epiphany

Ken Bruen

Grove Atlantic.

Jamieson sodden, hard bitten and bitter, sartorially reliant on a weathered Garda issue greatcoat, trouble magnetised, Jack Taylor is back. For the sixteenth time. It’s miraculous that one man can take so much punishment, physical, mental, and libatious, and come back fifteen times for more. This time he’s hit by a truck, amongst other violent episodes, tortured by the ever-present memory of his daughter’s murder and the continual liturgical reproval from his nemesis, Father Malachy.

Bruen lives his character and has redeemed Jack through his love of literature but I pondered his claim that “Real Irish Writers”…..didn’t work, didn’t write and adored footnotes; itself, ensconced in a footnote. Some irony. I must admit to adding to my reading list as Jack did during his sabbatical with newly found friend Keefer on his farm away from the maladacious Galway Town.

Taylor needed the literal salvation after a previous “certifiably insane”, Nazi-like, beach burning of his most prized books. Needless to say most of his reading selections are dark; titles like “Shovel Ready” and “Kill” or “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, promise a read Noir.

Surviving the truck episode may or may not have been a miracle for Jack.  Soon after he faces the prospect of a knife wielding teenage girl who manufactures pseudo miracles, murders his best friend, mutilates his falcon and proves elusive to the Garda and the Catholic Church’s dark ops team.

But not Jack. 

The only question in my mind now is how long he can go on for. Despite the literal liberties of the artist in his labyrinth, even fictional characters must age. Secretly I hope Jack never does though.

That’s the “power of positive drinking”.
Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for the opportunity to review.
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As a continuous fan of Ken Bruen's writing, and the tragic hero Jack Taylor, I really feel like Bruen has outdone himself with this newest in the series. We are introduced to a very quirky new character, and say a very sad farewell to a prior favorite. I've found myself thinking about this novel at various times in the week since I've finished it; to me, the sign of a great novel. I cannot imagine where Taylor will go next, but I look forward to finding out.
Thank you to NetGalley and Mysterious Press for the digital ARC.
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Ken  Bruen’s prose is sparse; his subject matter, brutal; his characters, beyond redemption. Innocents can not survive if they travel within the sphere of Jack Taylor, the protagonist. Jack’s life is steeped in human degradation and misery. Women suffer from abusive husbands; children are bullied into suicide; migrant children are neglected and unloved and one in particular has a blood-thirsty penchant for throat-slitting.  Despite experiencing a miracle, he has little faith and seeks an epiphany to explain the life he witnesses. Ken Bruen enriches his works with literary and musical allusions, along with political and historical events. I enjoy their fast pace and always look forward to his next.
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This series has run its course.  Every book is the same. I will not be wasting any more time of this series.
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This is my 4th installment in Ken Bruen’s contemporary noir suspense series.  For me reading about the travails of his hero Jack Taylor reminds me of passing a fatal accident while on the interstate:  I want to speed up and pass by without a glance but find myself slowing down (ever so slightly) and glancing towards the tragedy on the side of the road.  And so it goes with Taylor in “A Galway Epiphany: A Jack Taylor Novel.”  Taylor toggles between week-long drunken benders, reading high-brow poetry, and sudden acts of violence while commenting on current affairs (for no apparent reason.). I can’t wait to get to the final few chapters when the detours are eliminated and the plot drives to a dramatic finish. I continue to be captivated by Bruen’s writing prowess but question whether the derision he holds for we conservative political folks is worth the effort.  Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Bruen’s latest Jack Taylor story.
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I am not sure there is a more tragic or conflicted fictional detective than Jack Taylor. Always fascinating and sad at the same time. 15 books into the series and I still can't get enough of him. This time it appears that Jack has escaped Galway and retired to a quiet life in the countryside. But it wouldn't be a Jack Taylor story without that all going haywire and he is quickly drawn back into the violence and despair of a life he thought he had left behind. Complex and complicated, this story is another amazing story told by one of the most talented writers in this genre. I look forward to the 16th. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.
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Jack Taylor has to be the most haunted character I've ever seen. Death and loss follow his every footstep. Which makes him one of the most interesting characters as well. He always has good intentions even though he is so cynical at this point ,he's almost comical, in his worldview. As a reader you are drawn to him and can't look away. Ken Bruen has created one of fictions most iconic characters, and I'm addicted to Jack as much as Jack is addicted to drink.
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Since I was introduced to the Jack Taylor series with The Guards and The Killing of the Tinkers back in 2007, Ken Bruen has became one of those authors for me that I'll drop whatever I'm reading to pick up his latest work.  

Like his previous 15 Jack Taylor novels, A Galway Epiphany did not disappoint.  Jack Taylor is brought into more of his usual predicaments with complex relationships and even more complex crimes.  The noir style is authentic and original, and full of eye-opening anecdotes.  The bonus for me is always all the new discoveries of authors, books, songs, etc. that Bruen weaves into his stories through Jack Taylor's tastes for books and music.  5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic / Mysterious Press for the ARC.
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And yet again ....   another riveting Bruen gem featuring ex Gard officer and present day private eye, Jack Taylor. Since his daughter was killed in his presence, Taylor has teetered on the abyss ...  attempting to drown himself in Jameson and Xanax.  Jack is an extremely flawed protagonist ..  a violent lush, who cannot control his sarcastic ballsy behavior ...  and a virtual pain in the ass to all who know him.  He's attempting to bring solace to his life by living a country life on his friend Keefer's farm along with the falcon named Maeve.  Keefer is quite the character ...  a life-long roadie of the Rolling Stones ...  who acts and dresses like a biker and dances to his own drum beat.
Jack returns to Galway, hopefully for a brief visit to sort out personal affairs.  While there he is hit by the proverbial Mack truck and awakens in a hospital bed weeks later ...  apparently rather unscathed.  Ireland finds itself in a religious frenzy over the "Miracle of Galway". ...   during his ordeal , two children were observed tending to his unconscious body ...  they have been deemed "saintly". (actually they were robing him).  The Catholic Church wants Jack to investigate and verify the miracle or fraud.  He eventually learns the children are Sara and Salazar ...  Sara has always appeared to be younger than she actually is ..   a virtual chameleon and able to blend into her surrounding unnoticed ....  her true nature is miscalculated by Jack ...  until he reaches his many epiphanies. Jack finds his investigation to be three prong.  Explore the ongoing arsons committed probably by Benjamin ....  obtain proof of the heinous acts of a wife beater/ killer and lastly find the "Miracle" children.  One of Jack's many mottos: the law was for courts, justice was in the alley.
       Ken Bruen with his magical skills as a storyteller unleashes a complex and twisted narrative that escalates into an unexpected and explosive denouement.  Along the way he astounds with his gritty dark Irish humor and almost poetic prose.  Violence abounds but is not gratuitous ...  but rather sets the stage for what is imminent.  As usual in any Bruen incursion ...  many quirky characters keep popping up with strange motivations and weird requests for Jack which propels the narrative in unexpected directions.
      Although this certainly can be enjoyed as a stand alone ...  readers will want to explore the entire Jack Taylor series.  I was late to the party in discovering the enjoyable pathos of Jack Taylor.  I not only went back to read the previous tales but also binge watched the Netflix television series. No one can read these tales without visualizing the amazing Scottish actor, Iain Glen as Jack Taylor. (even before his stint as Ser Jorah Mormont on Game of Thrones)
     Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review.  ( at )
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A really good read. Noir at its best. And a ending that no one will see coming! Ken Bruen at the top of his game.
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Jack Taylor has finally escaped the despair of his violent life in Galway in favor of a quiet retirement in the country with his friend Keefer, a former Rolling Stones roadie, and a falcon named Maeve. But on a day trip back into the city to sort out his affairs, Jack is hit by a truck in front of Galway's Famine Memorial, left in a coma but mysteriously without a scratch on him.
When he awakens weeks later, he finds Ireland in a frenzy over the so-called "Miracle of Galway." People have become convinced that the two children spotted tending to him are saintly, and the site of the accident sacred. The Catholic Church isn't so sure, and Jack is commissioned to help find the children to verify the miracle or expose the stunt.
I have read all 16 books by Ken  Bruen in the Jack Taylor Series over the last roughly 20 years. Hey, whats not to like in a series about private investigator  who is  disgraced former police officer in Galway, Ireland who  is also an alcoholic and a drug abuser.
Like most books in the series the mood is dark and involves numerous crimes and people of questionable character. I have to admit that Bruen is an acquired taste as an author as ther really is no middle ground. You love him or you don’t.  His writing style is very unique, there is no one that writes quite like him.
I enjoy his style, he addresses political ans social issues that are in vogue at the point in time that each book takes place. Over 20 years there has been a lot of targets for his political/social commentary  He also refers to musical acts, books of the times and tv’s and movies. Thanks for some great material leads over the years.
I’m getting the feeling that this may be the last we see that Mr. Bruen is getting a little tired  of  carrying the weight of Jack Taylor as a lot of his friends and enemies have been killed off over the last  few books. Maybe he feels it’s time to start with a newer lead. Jack Taylor will be missed if that is the case and I’ll certainly have a shot and a beer to commemorate his passing. And certainly read what ever next comes from Ken Bruen.
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I’m not sure what to say about this book. I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, so maybe I’m missing too much of the backstory.

I had high hopes as it’s a mystery (?) set in Galway, one of my favorite places in the world. However, it was confusing to read. The ARC copy seems to be very early. There are no chapters. There are some random quotes strewn throughout that don’t alway make sense to the story. The language switches between typical Irish slang and sayings to more American ones (social security instead of dole, etc.) that I had to stop and wonder if I misread the last few pages. The flow was choppy, changing frequently with no delineation between different POVs. Major antagonists that features prominently in the beginning were hastily discarded with little more than a paragraph or two. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t good.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I had previously watched the televised series about Jack Taylor and really enjoyed them. However, reading the Galway Epiphany was an altogether more all encompassing experience. Raw, gritty, full of dark Irish humour and charm, this book draws us into the murky underbelly of Irish crime. Jack is such a flawed character, scarred by grief and loss and a man without the anchor of being a gárda . He has found some sort of peace in the countryside, in the company of one of his few friend's(an ex Rolling Stones roadie, and a man worthy of a book all to himself!) and a falcon, called Maeve. This book takes us from "miracles" to murder with a few sharply drawn sentences . The style is very reminiscent of James Joyce and equally riveting. .fiercely intelligent , multi faceted, it demands the reader's full commitment-not a book to read at bedtime !
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Nope, not my cup of tea. Two pages in and there is offensive language and political statements. Tells me all I need to know. Did not read. 
I thought this was a story about children. Wasn’t worth it to pursue further. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor series should probably have finished years ago. Since the Galway titles the books have become parody.  It’s as if he’s taken the 2 preceding books and cut them up Burroughs style, mixed in a section of the Irish Times and a list of Crime fiction reviews. The result is a sparse storyline thin as Irish mist laced with humorous anecdotes, improbable characters, gratuitous violence a sprinkling of pathos and much nonsense. It’s a simple formula - Jack drinks, shit happens.  A Galway Epiphany is one of the better ones. While not exactly a return to form it’s highly enjoyable if you’re a fan and totally puzzling if you’re not.  This is one of Bruen’s better efforts which I doubt will win over many new readers but it has a certain charm which no doubt will keep him in enough Jameson’s to get him through the next book. 3.5/5
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Wow this was odd. In the beginning I had a difficult time figuring out what was going on and where a new piece began. It took a bit for me to 'get it's having never read this author before. Then my epiphany!  I watched the Taylor tv series and finally out 2+2 together. From there in it came together for me. BUT this novel is much grittier and violent than the series  everything is to th nth degree.  I couldn't stop r--then had bad dreams  the ending was shocking
Thank you netgalley and the publisher for this arc
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Love Jack Taylor watched his series on TV. He finally leaves his mundane job. Love how he gets involved in the missing children intense funny and very good. couldnt put it down
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