Review: The Devil by Ken Bruen

Ken Bruen (born 1951) is an Irish writer of hard-boiled and noir crime fiction. He is an ex-cop, ex-alcoholic and a recovering catholic. With this background it’s not surprising that the hero of his Jack Taylor series shares the interest in alcohol and drugs. The

The Devil , his 8th Jack Taylor story starts when Jack is denied passage to America at the airport in Ireland, and he decides Xanax isn’t enough and hits the bar for a Jameson, where he meets the mysterious Kurt, who tells him that “evil hones in on those closest to redemption.”

After meeting Kurt, strange accidents befall certain people who try to warn Jack about Kurt. Whoever this person is, no matter what Jack does, he’s two steps ahead of him. There’s a reason Kurt targets Jack and if you’ve read at least the last three books in this series, it all culminates to this final showdown. Soon murder and suicide point to the involvement of a “Mr. K” and force Jack to revisit previous cases, including a session with a tinker fortune teller and the story goes on.

As you might have guessed, this is a fast-paced thriller. The reader is not really certain throughout the story if Kurt is really “The Devil”. The story is very similar in terms of the atmosphere to Bruen’s previous work and some familiar characters, like Jack’s ex-dope dealer are back as well. Bruen has the ability to paint a complete picture in front of reader’s eyes using the fewest words possible and this makes the book a rich and smooth piece of work. I give this book 3 stars out of 5 and recommend it to the fans of hard boiled detectives. (The Devil: Amazon Link)