Ken Bruen, Cross
Bruen is a highly-rated writer of hardboiled private eye books. This is a Jack Taylor PI story, being one of only 77 numbered and signed copies in a special binding with an appreciation by Denise Mina and Michael Johnson.
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Ken Bruen was born in Galway, Eire and has a growing following in noir crime circles with followers of British writers such as Derek Raymond and David Peace or Americans such as Lawrence Block and the heirs to pulp fiction. Yet although we have the structure of the private eye story Bruen is inclined to a diverse range of literary influences from the Beats to some of the Parisian modernists. His books were for years published only in paperback by an Irish publisher and it was through word of mouth that he began to gain recognition. He has produced a London noir series and the Jack Taylor series beginning with The Guards set in Galway. This series has regularly been nominated for awards in the USA and London Boulevard was released as a film starring Anna Friel. The Taylor books also use the form of the detective novel to say something about life in Eire about its direction, where it messed up and importantly that it needs to get back on track.
In Cross (2007) the dark is layered on the light – for instance, a contact tells PI Jack Taylor that a boy has been found crucified; then in another strand of Jack’s caseload he pays attention to the dog that has gone missing. These is stark stuff and sinks in deep. Jack is always on the move asking questions – meeting all kinds of people. And all the while he has his own trouble, not least because Galway is being forced to confront the modern world.
This book was issued in 2007 and is one of 77 numbered and signed copies win a special binding, with an appreciation by Scottish writer Denise Mina and Scorpion Press publisher Michael Johnson.