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The Killing Of The Tinkers (Jack Taylor #2)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  1,382 ratings  ·  122 reviews
When Jack Taylor blew town at the end of The Guards his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes. In the opening pages of The Killing of the Tinkers, Jack's back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness o ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Minotaur (first published 2002)
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Caught Stealing by Charlie HustonGalveston by Nic PizzolattoL.A. Confidential by James EllroyAlready Dead by Charlie HustonThe Guards by Ken Bruen
New School of Noir
26th out of 150 books — 132 voters
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourtIn the Woods by Tana FrenchThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar WildeUlysses by James JoyceDubliners by James Joyce
Best Irish Books
154th out of 464 books — 345 voters

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Community Reviews

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Continuing on from THE GUARDS, my rereading of Ken Bruen's penultimate series continues to bare fruit with THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS being another top read.

Jack progresses from mere alcoholic with a good natured if somewhat destructive personality to a full blown drug addict - coke the poison which pumps it's devilishly smooth disguised death in his very veins. It adds another affliction to the already well afflicted - and that's part of the charm isn't it? Jack's not meant to be a nice man, h
So he's now addicted to coke (just finshed the first chapter). I'm so happy I'm not Jack Taylor.

So he has now lost most of his teeth and his balls are black and blue - I refer you to my previous sentence.

Finished it now. Not sure about these. Its great that the investigations aren’t solved with the precision of a CSI investigation. But that said I’d like a little more detecting from Jack. And it always good to have a hero that is flawed but there are limits to the level of Jack bashing I can enj
The second book in Bruen's "Jack Taylor" series (following the Shamus-winner THE GUARDS) picks up with ex-Garda Taylor returning from London in even worse shape than when we last saw him (hard to believe) and asked to help find out who's been murdering Galway's gypsies. THE KILLING OF THE TINKERS is literate, darkly poetic, melancholy, and absolutely brutal. You can almost wring Irish Whiskey out of its pages.
K.A. Laity
The latest Bruen I’ve read is actually the second Jack Taylor book, after The Guards. For those keeping score at home, this is when Taylor loses his teeth (mark that on your Jack Taylor Injury Scorecard, a big 50 points). I can’t really explain why I haven’t tried to read them in order; I suppose it’s because if I made a deliberate effort to put them all in order I would read them through in one great orgy of words until they were all done and then where would I be? Probably standing on the stre ...more
Felix Zilich
В первой книге Джек Тейлор бухал по-черному, во второй - он еще и на кокс подсел. Вернулся из Лондона домой в Голуэй абсолютным изгоем, конченым джанком и еще… женатым человеком. Новая жена Джека – немка с научной степенью по метафизике – по ходу сюжета приезжает в Голуэй, но уже на следующий день (и двадцать страниц спустя) сбегает в неизвестном направлении. Если кто не в курсе, степень по метафизике у самого Кена Бруэна, поэтому не сразу и проссышь кто кого в книге выебал: писатель своего люби ...more
Finally. The book where I finally get what the big fuss is about. The two other books by Ken Bruen that I've read, I either didn't like (AMERICAN SKIN) or was a little underwhelmed (THE GUARDS: good but not great).

This novel finds a balance between character and setting. The tone, details, and humanity shine from the gutter. The unapologetic approach to the hero is exactly what hardboiled writing is all about.

And to top it off, Bruen has thankfully limited the amount of pop culture and music ref
Heidi Gonzalez
What do you know another drunk detective...but unlike Harry Hole, from Redbreast by Jo Nesbo Jack doesn't go on the wagon. In fact he is so deeply under the wagon I'm surprised he functions. Every time he wakes up without a hangover he is stumped. Fast paced, hard hitting and dark this Irish mystery can leave you scratching your head if you don't know or can't pick up some of the slang. I'm really trying to like Jack but its difficult, he is almost beyond redemption in his spiral downward. Even ...more
The term 'procedural' has, for some, a taint to it. Routine, churner, etc. Not so the Jack Taylor stories written by Ken Bruen. Jack is a former (read dismissed) Garda, often submissive to the demons drink and drugs. Jack has a keen eye for trouble, his own and that of others. Unlike so many fictional 'tecs, Jack is well-read. Every Jack Taylor story interweaves books and music that inform his life.

Some authors are 'name droppers', slipping the names of authors, poets, singers etc as 'evidence'
Ronnie Justice
I've read three of these now and each one has a plot, but that'll be ignored. Each one has a hero, but he'll be hopelessly flawed. And there will be gritty violence, but it's as necessary as trim on a muscle car.

Jack Taylor is a well read drunk who makes for a good read. With as many literary allusions as T.S. Elliot and some of the poetry, Bruen crafts a story of alcoholic suffering into rambling journey as pleasant as a bicycle ride on a sunny day
For those of you with little experience of good hard-boiled mystery fiction, this is the book for you! Jack Taylor is recovering from being a recovering alcoholic, drug user, woman-chasing former member of the Irish Guarda - the cops. He is also in perpetual mourning for his best friend, for the librarian who tried to teach him about life and words and for the life of peace and domesticity he can't bring himself to lead. In Killing of the Tinkers, Jack tries and tries to solve the murders of you ...more
Ken Bruen

Jack investigats the murder of tinkers.

I read the first three of Bruen's books together: The Guards, The Killing of the Tinkers and The Magdalen Martyrs.

I found myself needing to read these books together to see what would happen with Jack. There are references in them I know I didn’t quite understand, being American, but I could feel my Irish friends nodding in the background The character of Jack may not be particularly likeable, but he is compelling, a
I just recent read the first in this series and enjoyed it so much that I picked this one, The Killing of the Tinkers, up from the library. In this outing of the series, Jack Taylor is more messed up (if you can believe that is possible) than he was in the first book. Jack has decided to add a side of cocaine addiction to his already rampant alcoholism on his path to self destruction. On top of the drugs and alcohol he also is burning through women, including a wife he picked up in London. Now t ...more
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Read in one sitting last night. Loved it. Not to mention all the books mentioned by the main character. ha ha more to add to my to read pile. It's also nearly all dialogue. Quite refreshing for a change, Bruen manages to set the scene with minimum waffle - there are no long winded laboured sentences here.

1 of 20 books for $10.
Steve Scott
Dark, gloomy "Dublin Noir". This was the first time I'd read a Jack Taylor novel. Like Spenser and Longmire, he's highly literate, sensitive, vulnerable. Unlike them he's much more flawed. He's struggling with alcoholism, a coke addiction, personal relationship issues. There is nothing lovable about him. At times you think there might be something admirable about him…but that it struggles to get to the surface.

If I were to have taken on this series and I read the above, I would conclude I wouldn
Ann O'Connell
“There'll be times when the only refuge is books. Then you'll read as if you meant it, as if your life depended on it.”
― Ken Bruen, The Killing of the Tinkers
01.) The Spellcasters

It was Nicholas Nickleby that once said "Any friend of Lorem Ipsum is a friend of mine."

02.) The Jewelled and Cruel Pastors

This is one of Ken Bruen's quotes, albeit not from this very book:

"Max couldn't believe he'd fallen for her. If he'd just had a thing for flat-chested women none of this would have happened."

This is one of my pointless childish diatribes:

Sell the Overcoat and Keep the Dignity

Hurry up and have your kid and sod off to the suburbs.

*drops mic*
J.A. Callan
A club in England. Burnt out ex-Guard Jack Taylor stares at an obnoxious English cop named Keegan at the far side of the room, and is reproached by a Jamaican man - "Yo no be messing with dat man."

I was a rum past caring...

"Looks like a fat fuck to me."

This is Jack Taylor...

Jack Taylor is back in town with a coke habit to coincide with his alcoholism. He's not long back in Galway when he is approached by a traveller named Sweeper who, on behalf of his people, requests the help of Jack in invest
I am falling hard for Ken Bruen and his Jack Taylor series. I will admit I have not read any other titles from Bruen so I don't know if his style is the same for all his books. I know the detective/ PI genre is littered with sad sacks but is there anyone more self-abusive than Taylor? He has returned from London after the debacle that was the ending of The Guards with a new vice, cocaine. He is hired to find out who is killing young tinkers.
Although, for me, the case is really secondary to the
Nancy Oakes
"Killing of the Tinkers" starts with the return of Jack Taylor from London. If you've read The Guards (the first novel in the series), then you're aware that at the end of that book, Taylor had sworn off drinking and had gone to London for a change. Well, now he's back, and has fallen off the wagon. He is commissioned by the head of the clans (the tinkers), a guy named Sweeper, to find out who is killing off other tinkers, then mutilating the bodies.

As in the case of The Guards, the mystery is
Kathleen Hagen
The Killing of the tinkers, by Ken Bruen, B-plus, narrated by Gerry O’Brien, produced by Isis Audio, downloaded from

This is the second in the Jack Taylor series. And he continues to be the anti-hero he was in the first book. He leaves Ireland after the disgrace of the first book and goes to London for a year. But he has Ireland in the blood. Besides he has been hearing that a bunch of “tinkers” (people on the bottom rung of society, like gypsies) are being killed one at a time and t
Perhaps I shouldn't have read this book so quickly after the first one because that made it really obvious how similar the basic plot in both books is. The only differences were that in the first book he was drinking too much and now he's drinking too much and doing coke (he also messes much more things up...)
I wrote in my review for the first novel that I hope that the novels turn in a slightly more conventional crime-novel because 'watching how Jack self-destructs via alcohol' makes a good rea
A la fin de Délirium Tremens, Jack Taylor quittait Galway pour aller se réfugier à Londres, se faire un peu oublier et bien décidé à ne plus toucher à l’alcool. Après plusieurs mois d’exil, il revient dans sa ville natale, buveur conscient comme il l’avoue et dépendant à la cocaïne. Il retrouve ses vieux amis, Jeff, tenancier du Nestor’s et Cathy, qui attend un bébé. Première soirée à Galway, première fiesta et première gueule de bois le lendemain, les habitudes sont vite reprises. Jack fait la ...more
Manchmal treffen Zeit, Ort und der Mensch, der man gerade ist, mit genau dem richtigen Buch zusammen und es hinterlässt etwas Besonderes, Einzigartiges.

Vor einigen Jahren in Irland, entdeckte ich am Bloomsday in einer größeren Buchhandlung "The Killing of the Tinkers". Der Autor Ken Bruen war mir schon ein Begriff, doch die Reihe mit dem Privatdetektiv war noch nicht ins Deutsche übersetzt. Am nächsten Tag zockelte ich in einem Bus von Dublin nach Galway und begann es zu lesen. Perfekte Synchron
Tim Niland
Jack Taylor left Galway Ireland in the wake of a disastrous turn as an unofficial private investigator ended in two deaths and a broken heart. After trying to make a go of it in London, he his back in Galway with a coke habit and a heavy burden. He is sought out by the leader of a tinker (gypsy) clan who is looking for him to investigate the killing of several of the traveling men. Despite being warned off and beaten by the Irish police, the Guards of which he was once a member, he continues in ...more
Kenneth P.
Goodreads reviewers tend to give this five stars or one star. They love it or hate it. I think the book is okay; it's fun, a bit of healthy escapism, a solid three stars. Jack Taylor, a fired cop (garda) in Gallway, Ireland is a hopeless drunk and cocaine addict. He works as an impaired private detective. Crimes are solved with no help from alky Jack Taylor. Along the way the reader is subjected to Jack's relentless blackouts and fuck-ups. But it's entertaining.

Ken Bruen uses his pulpit to para
Ian Mapp
Some Quotes:

In my universe the drinkers and dancers. And the two should never intermingle. I have always been with the drinkers, self concious introverts who crack wise about the music and sneer and the dancers at the same time. They are consumed by envy,

Typical Bruen Fayre - great one liners and drinking quotes. This is the second in the Jack Taylor series. What is refreshing about these books is the bloke is hopeless. His mistakes with the last investigation are well documented here and he doe
Jack Taylor "2". Admirador de Bruen y su Jack Taylor, después de unos problemillas de faldas Jack vuelve a su pueblo de siempre, allí le encargarán investigar la muerte de miembros de una familia gitana, adicto a todo lo posible pero competente y con una manera de ser que crea empatía, Jack Taylor entra en el Top de nuestros detectives favoritos.
Better than The Devil (Number 8) but doesn't live up to the promise of The Guards (Number 1) There's undoubtedly some great writing in this, especially around the birth of his friends Jeff and Cathy's first child, and Jack's relationship with Laura, the girl his London Met mate Keegan sets him up with is interesting. I kept feeling however that Bruen, never mind his character, was using the alcohol and drugs to avoid something (there's hard boiled, and there's the grey yolk you get if you just l ...more
Chris Lytle
Ken Bruen's 2nd Jack Taylor novel clips along so quickly you're turning the final page before you know it. Our excessively flawed reluctant Irish PI again proves that he's mastered the art of taking one step forward and three steps back. In those rare lucid moments Taylor's big heart finds him willing to help friends and other locals alike. Having recently returned from London he's propositioned with the task of solving a murder spree amongst the Tinkers. Aided by his British buddy Keegan, and t ...more
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Ken Bruen, Not My Favorite Author 3 12 Aug 23, 2013 02:02AM  
Is there actually an ending to this book? 2 9 Jan 11, 2013 11:55AM  
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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 (10 books)
  • The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1)
  • 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)
  • Purgatory (Jack Taylor #10)
The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1) The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor, #3) The Dramatist (Jack Taylor, #4) Priest (Jack Taylor, #5) Bust (Max & Angela, #1)

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“There'll be times when the only refuge is books. Then you'll read as if you meant it, as if your life depended on it.” 34 likes
“In London, I tended to hang with the fallen.” 2 likes
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