Someone is scraping the scum off the streets of Galway, and they want Jack Taylor to get involved. A drug pusher, a rapist, a loan shark, all targeted in what look like vigilante attacks. And the killer is writing to Jack, signing their name: C-33.
Jack has had enough. He doesn’t need the money, and doesn’t want to get involved. But when his friend Stewart gets drawn in, it seems he isn’t been given a choice. In the meantime, Jack is being courted by Reardon, a charismatic billionaire intent on buying up much of Galway, and begins a tentative relationship with Reardon’s PR director, Kelly.
Caught between heaven and hell, there’s only one path for Jack Taylor to take: Purgatory.
Some people help the less fortunate. Others kill them.
Evil has many guises. Jack Taylor has encountered most of them but nothing before has ever truly terrified him until a group called Headstone rears its ugly head. An elderly priest is viciously beaten until nearly dead. A special needs boy is brutally attacked. A series of seemingly random, insane, violent events even has the Guards shaken.
Most would see a headstone as a marker of the dead, but this coterie of evil intends to act as a death knell to every aspect of Jack's life as an act of appalling violence alerts him to the horror enveloping Galway.
Accepting the power of Headstone, Jack realizes that in order to fight back he must relinquish the remaining shreds of what has made him human - knowledge that may have come too late to prevent an act of such ferocious evil that the whole country would be changed forever - and in the worst way.
With awful clarity, Jack knows that not only might he be powerless to stop it but that he may not have the grit needed to even face it.
America - the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: - but not for PI Jack Taylor, who's just been refused entry.
Jack resumes his old life in Galway. But when he's called to investigate the frenzied murder of a student, he remembers an encounter with an over-friendly stranger in the airport bar. A stranger who seemed to know rather more than he should about Jack.
After several more murders and too many encounters to be coincidental, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis.
But why has he been chosen? And could he really be dealing with the Devil himself?
Detective Sergeant Brant is tough and uncompromising, as sleazy and ruthless as the villains he's out to get. While his violent methods may be questionable, Brant always gets results.
A psychopath has started a killing spree across London. Calling himself 'The Blitz', his weapon of choice is a workman's hammer. And his victims are all cops.
The police squad are desperate to catch the killer before he catches up with them. And Brant is top of his list...
When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn't remember, he reluctantly finds himself caught up with Robert Gant, a ruthless lowlife with violent plans.
Attempting to stay out of Gant's way, Mitchell finds work as a handyman at the mansion of a faded movie actress. When she eagerly plies him with cash, cars and sex, Mitch starts to wonder if even this job comes with a catch.
But it isn't long before Mitchell's violent past catches up with him. When people close to him start getting hurt, Mitchell is forced to act, and take brutal on revenge on those who've stolen his life...
Ireland, awash in cash and greed, no longer turns to the Church for solace or comfort. But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway church horrifies even the most jaded citizen.
Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership makes him hope that his one desperate vision - of family - might yet be fulfilled. An eerie mix of exorcism, a predatory stalker, and an unlikely attraction conspires to lure him into a murderous web of dark conspiracies. The spectre of a child haunts every waking moment.
Bleak, unsettling and totally original, Ken Bruen's writing captures the brooding landscape of Irish society at a time of social and economic upheaval. Here is evidence of an unmistakeable literary talent.
A boy has been crucified in Galway city.
People are shocked; the broadsheets debate how the brutal death reflects the state of the nation; the Irish Church is scandalized. No further action is taken.
Then the sister of the murdered boy is burned alive and PI Jack Taylor decides to take matters into his own hands.
Taylor's investigations take him to old city haunts where he encounters ghosts - living and dead. But what he eventually finds surpasses even his darkest imaginings
Two guards; one nun; one judge.
When a letter containing a list of victims arrives in the post, PI Jack Taylor is sickened, but tells himself the list has nothing to do with him. He has enough to do just staying sane. His close friend Ridge is recovering from surgery, and alcohol's siren song is calling to him ever more insistently.
A guard and then a judge die in mysterious circumstances. But it is not until a child is added to the list that Taylor determines to find the identity of the killer, and stop them at any cost.
What he doesn't know is that his relationship with the killer is far closer than he thinks. And that it's about to become deeply personal.
Spiked with dark humour, seasoned with acute insights about the perils of urbanisation, and fuelled by rage at man's inhumanity to man, this is crime-writing at its darkest and most original.
Ken Bruen was born in Galway, Ireland. After turning down a place at RADA, and completing a doctorate in Metaphysics, he spent 25 years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, South East Asia and South America. An unscheduled stint in a Brazilian prison where he suffered physical and mental abuse spurred him to write and, after a brief spell teaching in London, he returned to Galway, where he now lives with his daughter.