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Purgatory (Jack Taylor #10)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  509 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway, signing mysterious notes with the monike ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published November 4th 2013 by Mysterious Press (first published August 1st 2013)
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Aug 13, 2013 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ken Bruen, being a personal favourite of mine, would mean that I could wax lyrical for hours about Purgatory, the tenth outing for Jack Taylor, a man destined for melancholy punctuated by acts of random violence. I could draw attention to the pitch perfect characterisation of Jack, with his regular mounting and dismounting of the wagon of physical pleasures, the booze and the fags, and his less than harmonious forays into the pleasures of the flesh. Always the wrong woman Jack. I could highlight ...more
Anthony Vacca
Jun 19, 2015 Anthony Vacca rated it liked it
Faithful readers of this series know that a new entry into the life and times of Galwegian PI Jack Taylor can be a dubious affair, especially as later entries settled into a predictable - albiet offbeat - formula. Some kind of crazy starts offing the good people of Galway but Jack's not interested. Jack's two allies - a lesbian police officer and a former drug dealer turned Zen master - feel compelled to stop the killer but Jack's not interested. What Jack is interested in is drinking and drugs, ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Ed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Taylor, an alcoholic ex-Guarda who does favors for his assorted friends and acquaintances drifts along here, while this 10th book in an otherwise excellent series, fades away like Galway sunshine. I have no problem with author Ken Bruen's style of using one word paragraphs or sub referencing everything from TV's "Breaking Bad" to quoting Oscar Wilde and every other source he could find, but not at the expense of the plot structure in this sluggish, bleak slice of Irish noir. I get it, Ken B ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
I’ve been a fan of this series for years, although sometimes I have to ask myself why that is. It’s been over a year since the last Jack Taylor book I read and I should have remembered to go into it guarding myself from the one-two punch. I was truly pummeled more than once this go around.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more tortured, self-destructive protagonist, ever. This guy is bitter, angry, ferociously violent, and he has no compunctions about killing or maiming, just as long as one is righ
Diane S ☔
Oct 15, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Taylor is one of the most original characters in fiction. He is an ex-guard, a crusty and dark and cynical individual, a good friend to a few, bad news to those who cross him or the ones he loves, he loves to read and a friend keeps his apartment stocked with novels. Though he once had every bad habit known to man, in this novel he has quit drinking his beloved Jameson's, in fact he has quit drinking period, he has quit smoking and other bad habits that threatened to shorten his life. He ha ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing
Ah…Ken Bruen...what the hell are you doing with my beloved Jack Taylor! Seriously. Bruen writes poetry. Simple truth. The words he writes just flow across and down the pages so smoothly. Vicious, harsh words...blended with the nuances of what it’s like to be Jack with a thousand demons in his soul. I couldn’t read fast enough, couldn’t be shocked often enough. Ah...Ken Bruen...never stop!
Dec 27, 2013 Yasheve rated it did not like it
Hate reading books where the writer spends more energy on style than storytelling... Then read reviews of how clever he was
Nov 25, 2013 Frank rated it did not like it
This is the first novel by Ken Bruen that I have ever read and he has written many. He is an extremely well educated Irish writer who has received numerous awards for his writing. However, I personally do not care for Bruen's cryptic, abrupt prose. To say it is sparse is being polite, that is for certain and I don't think it would be every ones cup of tea; certainly not mine. I do enjoy a good Noir novel and Bruen's character Jack Taylor does have the potential for becoming a standout in this ge ...more
Robert Intriago
Dec 05, 2013 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir, 2013

The satire is dark, the irreverence is outstanding, the violence over the edge, the dialogue short and to the point and the humor is edgy. Another Taylor story that for us devotees of Bruen delivers a fix for us that long for his books. On the other hand, it does not reach the levels of "Head Hunter" or the " The Devil". The story is typical Bruen. An individual acting as a vigilante is killing bad actors that somehow have beaten the justice system. Taylor is trying to reform, for the 40th time,
Gloria Feit
Jun 04, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
To read a Jack Taylor novel is to relive James Joyce’s stream of consciousness in modern inebriated lingo. And that is a good thing because Ken Bruen is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) writer. In this entry Jack is recovering from events in preceding volumes, in which he lost fingers on one hand and his hearing, partially.

He’s given up drinking, smoking and other assorted vices, and is moderately content. That is, until he receives mysterious notes signed “C33,” a presumed vigilante murderer of pe
Ozzie Cheek
Aug 07, 2014 Ozzie Cheek rated it really liked it
Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor novels are not for the faint of heart or for people that drive cars sporting bumper stickers with smiley faces (or Zen-like quotes for that matter). Bruen's anti-hero, Jack Taylor, is darker than a cloudy night in the Maine woods. Smiley faces are what you wipe your shoes on. Bruen may be the life of the party for all I know, but Jack Taylor is not. Most people pray that life never darkens the doorway that Jack Taylor walks through daily. Drunk or sober, Taylor is brillia ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Susu rated it it was amazing
Thank you. May I have another???? No, seriously when is the next book coming out? Anyone know? Please let it be soon. I know the author has probably had his hands full with movies and TV movies of his series but I'm sitting here cliffhangin. :(

Oddly enough I thought I would only mildly enjoy this series, I thought it wouldn't be noir enough, intense enough, or supernatural enough, or just lacking somehow. I WAS WRONG! That may be something my husband will never hear from me but I am willing to s
Minty McBunny
Sep 15, 2014 Minty McBunny rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, september-2014
Sad to see a series that started strong and reached such dizzying heights of excellence lose its freshness and its bite. The last two books have felt very forced, unrealistic and dispassionate. Am I disappointed?

Am I $&*.
Oct 30, 2013 Col rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, b

Someone is scraping the scum off the streets of Galway, and they want Jack Taylor to get involved. A drug pusher, a rapist, a loan shark, all targeted in what look like vigilante attacks. And the killer is writing to Jack, signing their name: C-33.

Jack has had enough. He doesn't need the money, and doesn't want to get involved. But when his friend Stewart gets drawn in, it seems he isn't been given a choice. In the meantime, Jack is being courted by Reardon, a charismatic bil
Nov 08, 2013 Tony rated it liked it
PURGATORY. (2013). Ken Bruen. ***.
This is another in the continuing adventures of Jack Taylor, a former member of Ireland’s Garda who was kicked off the force years ago, but continues to seek out evil in its many forms. Bruen is a good writer and a master of the noir form, but his Taylor books seem to be cut out of the same cloth. He doesn’t take the time to develop a significant story line. Instead, he spends most of his time focusing on Taylor’s tough-guy repartee and retorts. I guess that’s O
Jan 06, 2014 Richard rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Richard by: I read a favorable review.
The title is the best part of the book.
Mr. Bruen has a strange way of making lists, rather than sentences, in a rather willy-nilly fashion. The style of the writing construction is strange, but then the man has a PhD in metaphysics, but earned his living teaching English in foreign countries. Some of his other books were nominated for awards but did not win, apparently.

His hero is another drunk, former cop who is showing serious physical problems from his lifestyle.

He depicts the worse part of I
Nov 14, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all 10 books in the Jack Taylor series over the past couple of weeks and thoroughly enjoyed each one. Jack is a compelling character who despite battling his demons still manages to endear himself to the reader. I love the references to what is going on around him whether it be the books he's reading or lines from his favourite TV shows such as Breaking Bad. Having read all 10 books in their proper sequence in such a short space of time has also shown how the Celtic Tiger has risen a ...more
John Kues
Dec 29, 2013 John Kues rated it it was ok
The only book I've read by Ken Bruen, and I don't get all the high ratings. Too Irish, I even looked up Irish slang to try to understand what he was talking about. The ending was not an ending, won't spoil it by telling more. Abrupt scenes, no continuity, no real story as far as I was concerned.... I just looked at my books list and discovered I read the first Jack Taylor book, which I rated as 4 stars, and I read Tower, which I rated as a 2, so my first statement was incorrect.
John McKenna
May 22, 2016 John McKenna rated it it was amazing
Mysterious Book Report No. 244
by John Dwaine McKenna

Once the envy of the entire world soon after the millennium, the Celtic Tiger has died in Ken Bruen’s 2013 novel Purgatory, (Mysterious Press, $24.00, 278 pages, ISBN 978-0-8021-2607-8) and been replaced with an Ireland that can only be described as circling the economic drain. With jobs non-existent, crime is rampant, the young professionals are emmigrating and real estate has sunk to such low prices that vulture investors are busy bu
Jan 05, 2014 Pat rated it did not like it
Ken Bruen is a talented author but this is a descent into self parody. His previous books were meandering but in a good way while it leaves this reader wondering what was the point?
Possibly I am being harder on this than I should but I have high expectations about this authors work.
Tim Niland
Dec 04, 2013 Tim Niland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
Jack Taylor, the "bedraggled" survivor and sometimes private eye is back on the streets of Galway sober and keeping uneasy peace with the world around him. This peace comes to an end when an enigmatic person signing off as c33 begins killing people while hoping to goad Jack into a chase. Taylor initially ignores these missives, but the threats start coming true, he is forced to take action.
Dec 02, 2013 Julie rated it it was ok
Just wasn't much that I liked about this book. I have read many of Bruen's novels, and, while I am not a fan of his profane language, have appreciated his stories. This one, however, seemed very disjointed and almost just a stream of thoughts strung together. Anyway, this is probably my last Jack Taylor novel.
Kathleen Hagen
Purgatory, by Ken Bruen, b-plus, narrated by Gerard Doyle, Produced by Highbridge Company, downloaded from

The latest Jack Taylor mystery. Again, we have Jack trying to stay sober. Again, he does not succeed. And again, some of his best friends die during the escapade. Considering how often this has all happened to Jack, it’s a wonder he hasn’t gone completely round the bend, although maybe he actually has. In this one, he is trying to solve murders perpetrated by someone who gets of
Feb 12, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it
Yikes. It's Bruen's assault weapon prose, hammering away at the reader, giving no quarter. It's a serial killer murdering Galway bad guys who have gotten away with murder.

It's what's left of Jack Taylor (a bit deaf, missing a couple of fingers)off drink, drugs and tobacco, at least at the beginning, temporarily. It's the killer leaving notes to Jack to try to get him to enter the game.

It's an American dot com billionaire and his minions buying up what's left of Galway after the crash at bargai
Feb 08, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
I have not read many books by this author, mainly because I do not like books in which people are getting drunk a lot and this protagonist has done that. However, I was impressed with this story, the protagonist keeping the substances to a minimum and the story interesting.

It all starts when Jack is sent a message from a mysterious source, inviting him to play a game, the rules of which are unclear, including a clipping about a death and signed "C-33". Jack's pals Stewart and Ridge get drawn in
Jan 17, 2014 judy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Yes, there's a plot and it's rather surprising but that doesn't earn 5 stars. Of the 900+ books I've read since I joined Goodreads this is the only one I've wanted to re-read (Harry Potter and Hunger Games excepted because I wanted refreshers before the movies.) I read Bruen a few times before but this time his writing blew me away. I know I didn't get everything--I'm not great with Irish pub--and I certainly didn't start checking to see if I got all the literary allusions and had read the books ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Natalie rated it did not like it
who writes like this? I could not get past five pages. while this author has been given many awards for his work, his style leaves me uninterested.
Jan 04, 2014 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it
#10 Jack Taylor - mystery series

In this hardboiled series, ex-cop Jack Taylor has finally managed to kick the liquor & drug addictions that have ruled his life for so many years. His fragile recovery becomes even more difficult when a mysterious vigilante begins murdering citizens, signing notes as "C33", addressing the letters to Jack, and trying to enlist the violent PI in helping rid Galway of criminals.

Author Ken Bruen is a big favorite. He writes his dark, gritty novels sparingly, with
Kathy Davie
May 15, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Tenth in the Jack Taylor mystery series about an ex-Garda private investigator who lives in Galway, Ireland.

My Take
This is a stroll down memory lane, looking back over past cases and events, and per usual, Bruen includes an increasing selection of book titles…and I’m adding to my TBR as well as my TBV---to be viewed.

I felt a detachment in reading this, as if everyone were simply going through the motions. A few loose threads in this including what Reardon is up to in this. What happened with Wes
Dec 08, 2013 Stacia rated it really liked it
Jack Taylor is back. A former cop living in Galway, he’s been through a lot lately and has somehow managed to come out of it clearheaded, off the booze, the drugs, and the cigarettes. But as always with Jack, the quiet times never last.

A vigilante killer is targeting criminals in Galway. When the courts let them go, C33 steps in, making sure to send a cryptic message to Jack to inform him of these plans—and almost certainly to invite him to join in. But Jack’s done with all that; he’s more focus
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Ken Bruen, born in Galway in 1951, is the author of The Guards (2001), the highly acclaimed first Jack Taylor novel. He spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America. His novel Her Last Call to Louis Mac Niece (1997) is in production for Pilgrim Pictures, his "White Trilogy" has been bought by Channel 4, and The Guards is to be filmed in Ireland by De ...more
More about Ken Bruen...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Taylor (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1)
  • The Killing Of The Tinkers (Jack Taylor, #2)
  • The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor, #3)
  • The Dramatist (Jack Taylor, #4)
  • Priest (Jack Taylor, #5)
  • Cross (Jack Taylor, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Jack Taylor, #7)
  • The Devil (Jack Taylor, #8)
  • Headstone (Jack Taylor, #9)
  • Green Hell (Jack Taylor, #11)

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