KEN BRUEN – The Dramatist. Nominated for Best Private Eye Hardcover Novel of the Year, 2007.

St. Martin’s, hardcover, March 2006. Trade paperback: March 2007.

   Book Description:

The Dramatist

Seems impossible, but Jack Taylor is sober – off booze, pills, powder, and nearly off cigarettes, too. One reason he’s been able to keep clean: his dealer’s in jail, which leaves Jack without a source. When that dealer calls him to Dublin and asks a favor in the soiled, sordid visiting room of Mountjoy Prison, Jack wants to tell him to take a flying leap. But he doesn’t, can’t, because the man’s sister is dead and the guards have called it “death by misadventure.” But he says that can’t be true and begs Jack to have a look, check around, see what he can find. “Finding” is exactly what Jack does, with varying levels of success, to make a living. But he’s reluctant, maybe because of who’s asking or maybe because of the bad feeling growing in his gut. Never one to give in to bad feelings, or to common sense, Jack agrees to the favor, though he can’t possibly know the shocking, deadly consequences to which this simple request will lead. There’s no question that Jack will understand soon, sooner than he knows, in this dark, lethal, fast and furious novel from the new master of crime fiction.

   About the Author:

Ken Bruen spent 25 years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America. He has been a finalist for the Edgar, Anthony, and Barry Awards, and has won a Shamus and a Macavity. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

   Review Excerpts:

Publishers Weekly: “By now, readers know the Bruen formula of the downward spiral, but there’s no denying the effectiveness of the tough dialogue, the crisp scenes and Taylor’s weary, crumpled-jacket appeal. Nor can many writers in any genre evoke a seedy urban Ireland as well as Bruen. Few, too, can continue to deliver interesting stories and even more interesting character studies. With a riveting mystery and a deftly rendered protagonist, Bruen recaptures the immediacy and the impact of the first two novels in the series.”

AudioFile: “… while the story is fascinating and perfectly delivered, it sometimes seems like a story told by a long-winded guy at an Irish pub with a pint of Guinness and a love of his own voice.”

Booklist: “Readers who worry that Taylor’s tenuous sobriety will water down either his cranky personality or the generally offbeat appeal of Bruen’s books needn’t be concerned. This one sports the same great mix of curmudgeonly observations and unpredictable cultural references that has won Bruen a devoted cadre of fans. But while no one reads him for the detection, the plot here exceeds his own standards for casualness, and the double-noir ending feels tacked on. The prolific Bruen, still good, needs to catch a gear if he wants to avoid spinning his wheels.”

   Previous Jack Taylor novels:

The Guards. St. Martin’s, hardcover, January 2003. Trade paperback: January 2004.

The Killing of the Tinkers. St. Martin’s, hardcover, January 2004. Trade paperback: February 2005.

The Magdalene Martyrs. St. Martin’s, hardcover, February 2005. Trade paperback: February 2006.