I once called Ken Bruen "the dark poet of contemporary noir" (yes, I'm quoting myself -- sue me) and his latest novel, Headstone, confirms that his status is unchallenged. This is a fascinating, powerful and, yes, dark crime novel that only enhances Bruen's already amazing reputation.
Irish private eye Jack Taylor is back for his ninth go-round with demons both natural and otherwise. A gang of young thugs is preying on some of Galway's innocents, and Taylor takes it on himself to stop them.
Headstone is typical of the series. The plot is straightforward, but elegantly wrought. It's violent, but not bloody. The prose is beautiful, idiosyncratic and evocative. As always, Bruen's style is uniquely his own. Nobody else can write like this and they'd be crazy to try.
Venerable editor and bookseller Otto Penzler could not have chosen a better novel with which to relaunch the Mysterious Press, his publishing imprint now located at Grove/Atlantic. Headstone is one of the year's best reading pleasures.