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Galway Confidential: A Jack Taylor Mystery


Galway Confidential: A Jack Taylor Mystery

There are few writers who can lay claim to truly having their ear to the streets of modern Ireland in the same way that Ken Bruen has. His complex, partially broken protagonist, Jack Taylor, is the ideal tour guide to take you through the dark side of Galway, and this is fully on display in GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL.

Someone is attacking nuns in the Galway area, and the police do not have the first clue. Taylor is the one person who might have been able to make a difference, but he is just waking up from an 18-month-long coma after suffering his own brutal beating. He has missed much during his year-and-a-half away from the world, including the COVID-19 pandemic and all the shutdowns that came in its wake. He attempts to get himself back up to speed with a man named Raftery, who is at his bedside when he emerges from his long slumber.

"GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL is one of the best installments of this series and has so much real-world credibility by playing everything against a backdrop of modern-day Galway and a few years of the most startling news events to shock humanity."

Unfortunately, Taylor does not remember even knowing Raftery but takes his word for it when he is told that Raftery was the one who saved him after being attacked and stabbed on a bridge. Raftery says he beat up the assailant and dumped him over the side into the water before the guards claimed him.

Taylor, who these days works as a sort of private investigator, gets his first job when Sheila Winston, a former nun, hires him to look into the recent attacks. She can only think that it must have something to do with the long-past controversy about nuns from the Magdalene Sisters era when hundreds of orphans were being mistreated --- and worse --- under their watchful care.

Taylor teams up with his new pal, Raftery, who supposedly is Irish-American and a former Marine who now hosts a popular true-crime podcast called “Galway Confidential.” Raftery is quite interested in assisting with the investigation into the nun attacks. He also tells Taylor that he is using his podcast to broadcast about the case as a way of flushing out the assailant.

Meanwhile, Taylor --- a man of the people on the streets --- gets called into a private hunt for two sadistic teens who have been setting homeless people on fire. Two have died so far, including a man who Taylor knew well and was quite fond of. He sets up a tent and poses as a homeless person in an attempt to lure the perpetrators to him. His plan works, and as the two individuals approach him with a bottle of petrol, he takes one of their legs out with a club. The parents of the teen whose knee is bashed in threatens legal action, and a pro bono attorney contacts Taylor to represent him. The attorney gets Taylor off once evidence of what the youths were doing comes to light, but lets Taylor know that he now owes him a favor.

Shortly thereafter, Taylor wakes up yet again in the same hospital and is told that he had a relapse due to a lesion on his brain. This time he lost two months in a coma, missing out on major world events like Russia invading Ukraine and the Brexit affair. Raftery is once again there at his bedside waiting for him to wake up.

A third nun is attacked, and no one is any closer to finding the culprit. That’s when Taylor’s former attorney calls in his favor. He wants Taylor to forcefully speak with a young lady who is threatening a fellow married attorney with whom she recently had an affair. It just so happens that the woman is Sheila, who does not take the news from Taylor well. Regrettably, he won’t have to worry about hurt feelings for long as Sheila becomes the fourth victim. The only difference is that she loses her life, having been strangled with her own set of rosary beads.

Taylor promises Mother Superior at the Galway convent that he is intent on finding justice for Sheila and the other injured nuns. As he starts to take the case up a notch, he is given information from a local bartender that rocks his world.

Ken Bruen writes in such an easy fashion that anyone will find themselves swept up in his storytelling. GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL is one of the best installments of this series and has so much real-world credibility by playing everything against a backdrop of modern-day Galway and a few years of the most startling news events to shock humanity.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on March 22, 2024

Galway Confidential: A Jack Taylor Mystery
by Ken Bruen

  • Publication Date: March 5, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press
  • ISBN-10: 1613164793
  • ISBN-13: 9781613164792