Title: The Devil
Author: Ken Bruen
Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: My library system rarely gets Ken Bruen books so when one turned up I immediately snatched it up.
Where I Obtained the Book: My local library.
Synopsis: America-the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: but not for PI Jack Taylor, who's just been refused entry. Disappointed and bitter, he thinks that an encounter with an overly friendly stranger in an airport bar is the least of his problems. Except that this stranger seems to know much more than he should about Jack. Jack thinks no more of their meeting and resumes his old life in Galway. But when he's called to investigate a student murder-connected to an elusive Mr. K-he remembers the man from the airport. Is the stranger really who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all. After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself? Suspenseful, haunting, and totally unique, The Devil is Bruen at his very best.
Review: Typically I try to avoid reading a book from a series out of order, especially if the series is new to me. I made an exception in this case because Ken Bruen is an exceptional author rarely seen in my library. The reason I will read Ken Bruen every chance I get is simple; he is simply one of the best dialogue writers I have ever read. The conversational tome of his books are phenomenal, the pages just fly by. I feel pretentious praising his writing style, but the whole plot is driven completely by the spoken word. I am always amazed at his skill.
The down side unfortunately is my complete unfamiliarity with the character(s). That meant I was quite lost with the motivations of the protagonist because the plot was a but different. Private Investigator battles the devil is a bit of a stretch when I was expecting a straight up mystery. I feel that would have been more acceptable if I had the opportunity to read the first books in the series. Read it for the writing, but start in the beginning to understand the characters.
Author Biography: Ken Bruen was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and the Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. He lives in Galway, Ireland.