Oh, wow, what do you say about Ken Bruen? Well, my Wild Things, you know the Book Dragon will find something! Priest is the first novel I’ve read by Bruen, and I must say I was hooked on his Irish pop-poetry grab-you-by-the-eyeballs-and-don’t-let-go writing style from page one. Priest is fifth in the Jack Taylor series, but it stands alone beautifully dark as the devil’s soul. (A quick side note: although I did read the sequel to Priest, Cross, I have not had an opportunity to read The Guards or any of the other titles in this series.)
Jack Taylor is a man beset by demons and an internal wrath that few can truly appreciate when we are first introduced to him in the madhouse. Slowly he comes back to himself and is released into the world where he is thrown into the confrontational arms of his guardian angel, a Ban Garda by the name of Ridge, with whom Taylor shares a love/hate relationship. Ridge informs him of the decapitation of a priest in a Galway confessional and this noir mystery is off and running with Jack nurturing his rage while hunting both a stalker and a priest killer.
Bruen makes you feel the need to feed the alcoholic beast and the horror of a fury buried deep with no physical outlet. He takes you deep inside Taylor’s mind and doesn’t let you go until the end when you finally feel you can breathe again. What a ride! I finished it in one sitting.