Acclaimed Irish crime writer Ken Bruen has won numerous awards for his hard-charging, dark thrillers, which have been translated into ten languages. In Headstone,
an elderly priest is nearly beaten to death and a special-needs boy is brutally attacked. Evil has many guises and Jack Taylor has encountered most of them, and has the scars to prove it. But nothing before has ever truly terrified him until he confronts an evil coterie named Headstone, who have committed a series of random, insane, violent crimes in Galway, Ireland, which has left even the national police shaken. And Jack is especially vulnerable now because he has finally found love and happiness.
Most would see a headstone as a marker of the dead, but this organization seems like it will act as a death knell to every aspect of Jack’s life. Thinking that happiness is some kind of talisman, he will find that it is a dark blessing of impending ferocity.
Jack’s usual allies, Ridge and Stewart, are also in the line of terror. One act of appalling violence alerts them to the sleeping horror enveloping them. But this realization is too late to save what they hold dear. The evil they encounter is disguised as the very mask of young innocence.
Jack, slowly accepting the sheer power of Headstone, comes to realize that in order to fight back he must relinquish the remaining shreds of what has made him human.
Headstone barrels along its deadly path right to the center of his life and the heart of Galway
. In a moment of awful clarity, Jack knows that not only might he be powerless to stop it but that he may not have the utter grit needed to even face it. A terrific read from a writer called “a Celtic Dashiell Hammett,” Headstone
is an excellent addition to the Jack Taylor series.