St. Martin’s, Mar 2008, $23.95
In Galway detective Jack Taylor feels his past has caught up with him as the years of boozing has wracked his body. A loner due to his alcoholism, he is emotionally shattered when his apprentice Cody was shot when Jack was the intended victim. Jack decides it is time to cross the pond and start anew in America.
While Cody remains in the hospital, Jack’s solo friend lesbian Gardai Ridge persuades him to help her on a monstrous series of murders. The first victim was crucified alive followed by the burning at the stake of his sister. Jack’s investigation leads him to a grieving twenty year old woman screaming for fire and brimstone against those involved in a hit and run that killed her bible thumping mother.
The Jack Taylor Irish thrillers are some of the most exciting tales on the market, but CROSS may be the best yet as Ken Bruen plays brilliant word games with connotations, denotations, and implications of the title word. The story line is filled with action yet enables the reader to know Jack who personally understands crippling grief as he believes suffering is as Irish as stew.