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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Headstone - a review

What is a former cop to do when he gets a medical discharge off the force? Become a private investigator, of course. Jack Taylor is one of the best, always was, but his gimpy leg and hearing aid have left him with a thirst for adventure and a bottle of Jameson.
Taylor seems to have annoyed everyone he ever came in contact with, from the clergy and the nuns to his former employers, to the criminals he helped put behind bars, all who seem to go out of their way to great him as maliciously as possible. It’s enough to drive one to drink. This being Galway, Ireland drinking is as much the national sport as curling is.
One of the malfeasant characters that he arrested as a teenager has rousted a small group of hoodlums and preached to them his twisted version of Darwin’s evolutionary theories, one that includes ridding the world, or at least Galway of misfits, retards, gays and parasites. Christening his band of warriors “Headstone,” he leads them on a killing spree. Taylor is not only on the case he is also on the list for extermination and so the plot builds as one by one those in his community are attacked, molested, and killed all in the name of saving the purity of the human species.
Bruen has written a plethora of novels and his style slips easily across the eyes and the tongue. I found myself repeating his dialogue out loud to hear the brogue in which it needs to be read. The technique instantly reminded me of the master of dialogue, Charlie Huston in the form of the paragraphing and I too was drawn to the prose, simple two and three word sentences that just pop on the page.
I was totally entranced with the originality of the plot, the humor, and the grit in this novel of the dark side.

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