Book: The Dramatist

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The Dramatist: A Jack Taylor Novel

Author: Ken Bruen
Publisher: Brandon

Seems impossible, but Jack Taylor is sober. One reason hes been able to keep clean: his dealers in jail, which leaves Jack without a source. That dealer calls him to Dublin and asks a favorthe mans sister is dead and the guards have called it death by misadventure. But he says that cant be true and begs Jack to have a look, check around, see what he can find. Jack agrees, though he cant possibly know the shocking, deadly consequences that granting this simple request will bring. Jack will understand soon, in the dark, lethal fourth entry in Ken Bruens award-winning Jack Taylor series.


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In Irish crime writer Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor novel (The Guards, The Killing of the Tinkers, et al.), the irascible ex-Galway policeman has been—amazingly—clean and sober for six months. But when his former cocaine dealer, now serving out a six-year sentence in Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison, contacts him to ask a favor, Taylor reluctantly agrees—and soon finds himself matching wits with a serial killer who has a thing for 19th-century Irish dramatist John Millington Synge.

Two weeks before Stewart (Taylor’s coke dealer) was busted, his 20-year old sister was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. The police ruled it a “misadventure,” but Stewart thinks differently and asks Taylor to look into it. Upon further investigation, Taylor learns that a book of Synge’s collected works was found under the body. When another young woman—also possessing a Synge collection—is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, Taylor knows he’s onto something. But as he closes in on the killer, reality intervenes: An old love interest resurfaces and the health of his ailing mother deteriorates…

Genre fans who enjoy pull-no-punches noir thrillers that are as darkly comic as they are brutally realistic—such as Charlie Huston’s Six Bad Things, Robert Ferrigno’s The Wake-Up, or Will Staeger’s Painkiller—should definitely check out Bruen’s Jack Taylor novels, especially this one, a scathing blast of righteous, no-holds-barred Irish crime fiction. Pint of Guinness Extra Stout not included. Paul Goat Allen

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