Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An odd one from Bruen

Ken Bruen's Killing of the Tinkers is the follow up to his the Guards and feature the drunken ex-cop, Irish hepcat Jack Taylor. It's an odd book, billed as a crime novel but it is really more of Irish Bukowski set against a crime back-drop. Taylor isn't so much an anti-hero as he is a non-hero. He is a side character used for color elevated to protagonist. Taylor is asked to investigate crimes, but in this book even more than the last, the story is about his sorry life and the sorry decisions he makes.

It's an altogether strange book. Bruen has always been about dialogue and character, but that is all there is to these books. Even the turns and surprises of the crime case is really just a backdrop for the reactions of Our Jack. His American Skin will be more interesting to crime readers.

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