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Sanctuary (Jack Taylor #7)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  915 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
When a letter containing a list of victims arrives in the post, P.I. Jack Taylor tells himself that it's got nothing to do with him. He has enough to do just staying sane. His close friend Ridge is recovering from surgery, and alcohol's siren song is calling to him ever more insistently.

A guard and then a judge die in mysterious circumstances. But it is not until a child i
ebook, 208 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 2008)
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Anthony Vacca
Bit of an odd duck this book. In a lot of ways, it’s a flop that can be read in one sitting—while Bruen has always liked to get cute with sparse, page-chomping prose stylistics, this time around it feels more like a matter of tired form over function that makes all 208 pages of this book a reading experience of about two hours. Also, one of the biggest traumas in a long list of traumas experienced by Jack Taylor, the hero (for lack of a better word—oh wait, here’s one: loser) of this series, is ...more
Sep 13, 2015 Ctgt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir
Dear Mr. Taylor,
Please forgive the formality. We'll progress to a
more informal tone. Here is my shopping list-I
know you like lists:

Two Guards
One nun
One judge
And, alas, one child.

The latter is tragic but inevitable and certainly
not negotiable.
But this you already know - the death of a
child, I mean.
The list has already begun: see Garda Flynn,
deceased two days ago.
Only you will truly comprehend my mission.
You are to be my witness.
I remain, in benediction,

And so begins the seventh
May 07, 2011 Mohammed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, ken-bruen
This series is consistenly so great that its silly really. I try to find faults in every story just give more critical rating,review but its not easy. Ken Bruen is just too talented in the way he uses some real important issues you dont find in crime novels often.

This book is the best along with The Gaurds,The Dramatist.
Tim Niland
May 08, 2009 Tim Niland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
Jack Taylor still hasn't made it to America. Still in Galway, Ireland and trying to care for an ill and despondent friend, Jack is taunted by a letter claiming that the writer will kill a policeman, a nun and then finally a child unless Taylor can put a stop to it. Jack is ignored by the police and the church and struggles to track down the killer after bodies start turning up. Following Jack around Galway as he attempts to solve the crime and battles his considerable personal demons is by turns ...more
Nov 24, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noir readers
Targeted by a serial killer, Jack is the center piece of a murder puzzle which hits too close to home and provides the reader with a mere glimpse into an earlier Jack Taylor. With The Guards still want nothing to do with him, he leans on his dwindling circle acquaintances in Stewart (former drug dealer and now master of zen) and Ridge (close friend and equal parts enemy) to catch a killer before more innocent lives are lost - notably that of a child's.

As usual the dialogue is superb - full of b
Aug 05, 2009 S.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think there is anyone who writes dialogue better than Ken Bruen. His character, Jack Taylor, is flawed but Bruen makes him so endearing you can't wait to see what comes out of his mouth, or his thoughts, next. Jack receives a letter in the mail listing the people that will be murdered. He dismisses it as a crank letter but then the people start dying. In the previous book Jack was headed to America, but a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer so he stuck around for support. With the Ja ...more
Dinah Steveni
Jul 11, 2010 Dinah Steveni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
KB has a spare and poetic sytle of writing. His themes always provoke thoughtfulness. One of my top ten favorite authors in UK genre writing dealing with one character whose life is reprised in subsequent novels. No huge laughs, but wise observations on la condition humaine. Steps outside most of our lives. Isn't this why we read "difficult" authors and their themes because we have created boundaries for our actions?
Mike Sumner
May 05, 2017 Mike Sumner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Darker than Irish stout. Another cracker from Ken Bruen. Jack, who has sold up in Galway and preparing to travel to America.... doesn't. He stays put to offer support to his Garda friend (if 'friend' is the right word) who has received the devastating news that she has breast cancer. Meanwhile, Jack receives a letter containing a list of victims: two Guards, a judge, a nun and, alas, a child. The letter is signed 'Benedictus'.... And the list has already begun. Garda Flynn, deceased two days ago ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Mr Bruen. Tis been too long.

I'm a big fan of the Jack Taylor novels. It's been a while since I've read one. I'd forgotten how a Bruen novel differs from others. They are simple, sophisticated, intriguing, quick, cutting, certain, and downright readable in every way. Add a character like Jack that is at once lovable, enigmatic, insightful, and a train wreck, and you've got a book that you can't put down. Nor should you.

Like the other Taylor novels I've read, Jack gets himself into a sticky si
Jun 21, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're given another fascinating glimpse into the dour Jack Taylor's tortured life. By now he wears a hearing aid and walks with a limp. He's discovered a new substitute for the booze: Xanax. He's going after a deranged nun who has kidnapped a child. I liked the song references like the Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down," one of my favorites. Spurts of mordant wit, poetic turns of phrase, and the rich Irish atmosphere make this fast read also a rewarding one.
another short fun glimpse into the world of Jack Taylor/Ken Bruen (surely they are one in the same person?). I always close the pages feeling like i'v traveled to Galway...which is nice. on the downside, bruen seems to have lost his drive to live up to the earlier brilliance of The Magdalena Murders or Killing of the Tinkers. he doesn't have to...because most of us are along for the ride no matter what. however: Ken, if you are out owe us another good one.
May 27, 2011 Beesley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am wearying of the Jack Taylor schtick, and this book made me more, not less weary. Taylor lurches through battles with his various demons while trying to solve a mystery . . . yet again! Yawn! Bruen did back flips to connect this particular mystery to Taylor's personal life, making up a couple of whoppers so big they made me put the book down in dismay at the sheer nerve of it. This is turning into a bankrupt franchise, and it is awful to watch.
Bruce DeSilva
Aug 06, 2010 Bruce DeSilva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book by the Irish master of noir. For my Associated Press review, click on this link:
Mar 03, 2012 Briant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a terrible book. I almost felt like I was reading the Cliff Notes of some actual novel. The book felt like it had been written over a weekend. Little character development, no mystery, and a ridiculous and unbelievable ending made this painful to finish.
Sep 05, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bruen's latest installment in the Jack Taylor series is the best yet. He combines the taughtness of Thomas Harris with the hardboiled world weariness of Raymond Chandler, with Galway standing in for Los Angeles.
Mar 13, 2017 Owlsinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With all his physical damage, self- and other-inflicted, Jack Taylor should get himself a hydraulic lift to make it easier falling off and getting back on his wagon. A couple of story arcs have been, if not actually resolved, brought to a place from which resolution can be seen in the distance - if the rain lets up. More brutality, a bit of humor, however dark it may be; Jack's life in a nutshell.
Jan 12, 2013 Sebastian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I'd sworn I was out of the investigation business, but this was personal, or so the lunatic who wrote it implied."

I was surprised by this book because there is a slight shift in Bruen's style. Part of this relates to form, such as the use of chapters with titles, giving the story a more structured presence, which was clearly present before. But there is also a change in the mood of the narration. Don't get me wrong, this is still a dark, gritty story, but Jack's narration has bursts of humor th
Cathy Cole
Sep 02, 2014 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor mysteries. They are lean, brutal howls of anguish and rage that sometimes read like poetry and at other times read like outlines. I normally do not care to read books about main characters who are alcoholics or drug addicts, but Jack Taylor is the exception. He rages against man's inhumanity to man. He is a wounded, soul-sick wreck of a man who came to be that way simply because he cares too much. I may not like Jack Taylor, but I do care about him.

Bruen's Jack Tay
Felix Zilich
Целый квартал Голуэя оказался в реанимации из-за отравления водопроводной водой. Горожане перепуганы, скупают дистиллированную воду вёдрами. Джек Тейлор тоже озадачен, но его шкурный интерес куда проще. Где берут в барах лёд для вискаря - из под крана или из пластиковых бутылок?

Вы не ошиблись - Джек наконец вышел из завязки. Психотравма с улетевшим в окно ребенком почти обнулилась, поэтому меню “для рывка” снова хрестоматийное: пинта “Гиннесса”, шот “Джемисона” и - сюрприз! - два колеса ксанакса
First Sentence: Dear Mr. Taylor, Please forgive the formality.

Jack Taylor has sold his apartment and is ready to head to the US when his friend, Ridge, announces she has malignant breast cancer, so he stays to help her. He then receives the letter stating two guards, one nun, one judge and a child will die and he is to be witness. His once friend, now enemy, Guarda Superintendent Clancy, doesn’t give it any credence, but Jack does follows up, with the help of now-recovered Ridge and other friend
Jul 25, 2016 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have just discovered Ken Bruen and the Jack Taylor novels. Yes, I have viewed the tv programs via Prime and enjoyed them. But the books I have read pack a visceral punch. With terse, sharp dialog and spare description each story unfolds like whiplash, with stinging slashes of bitterness from Jack in accompaniment.
Truly the hero-antihero- Jack is a nasty, embittered person with every addiction possible lurking in his background. His misogyny , anti- clericalism and suspicion is well founded, th
Apr 29, 2015 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Jack Taylor ist trocken. Noch. Denn Benedictus, Antagonist im nunmehr 7. Band der Reihe um Privatermittler Taylor, lässt den alten Jack wieder an der Flasche nuckeln. Und während Benedictus munter eine diabolische Todesliste abarbeitet, säuft sich Taylor wieder in altbekannter Manier unter die Pub-Tische in Galway.

Hilfe bekommt Jack diesmal nicht nur von einer lesbischen Polizistin, sondern auch von seinem ehemaligen Dealer, der mittlerweile auf östliche Kampfkunst und Zen schwört. Insbesondere
Theresa Leone Davidson
I have discovered another author of mysteries/thrillers that I really enjoy: Ken Bruen. Unfortunately, he writes 'series,' with one main character who continues to be on the case, and once again, I started with, I think, fifth in the series. Nevertheless, it didn't feel like I was missing too many important details from stories past, and now I know how much I enjoyed the story, I'll go back and start from the beginning. In Sanctuary, Jack Taylor, a private investigator in Ireland, is looking for ...more
Kel McGowan
It's about a detective trying to solve a murder after he's sent a list that specifies the victims. Two guards, a nun, a judge and child. When news comes home about the death of a judge and a nun, it becomes a race against time to save an innocent kid.

Apparently Ken Bruen is Ireland's bestselling crime writer and it's not hard to see why. The book is short, gritty and uncomplicated. I'm not really into the crime genre as it's so depressing but this one is never more than you can manage, even when
Jun 11, 2009 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A shocking, major retcon of probably the single greatest defining event in the protagonist's life left me with mixed feelings. While I'm glad he has one less regret to drink down, it just seemed too pat and smelled a little of, "It was just a dream..." in reverse. (It happened, but someone else did it while I was asleep.)

I'm still in love with the narrative voice, and it's really the only genre fiction series I make it a point of reading. Usually I get so lost in the stray observations and morda
Minty McBunny
Usually, reviewing a book in this series is just a matter of finding new words to praise Bruen's gorgeously gritty poetic prose. Unfortunately, I found this book not up the usual standard, I felt rushed & not the rich portrait of Jack's tormented inner psyche that I usually expect. Several bombs were dropped through the course of this tale & Jack seemed to almost take them in stride. Even a return to the bottle seems like no big deal & something easily recovered from.

I have seen Bru
Jul 18, 2011 JackieB rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
I think I enjoyed this. I think I was only really getting into it when it ended. At first it seemed like a typical gritty plot-driven crime novel, but part way through I realised there was a lot going on under the surface. The main character was a lot more complex than first appeared and there were some really poignant moments which I was not expecting. I think my overall verdict is that this is a series which needs to be read in order. This is about the third book, and I think I missed a lot of ...more
May 29, 2010 Daryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed that Jack Taylor returned to his old ways, but as he would say "What did you expect?"
I think that the series should have ended with "Cross" and he should have been leaving for America and not answered Ridge's phone call. But that would have been too clean and not in keeping with the self-destructive Jack.
A bit of psychology here, I could see Ken Bruen taking all of his bad qualities and creating a character out of them. I guess that it is a tribute to his story-telling that I comple
Jul 25, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 7th Jack Taylor book by Ken Bruen and just as delicious as the other six. Hard, brash, fast paced, and extremely entertaining. Jack Taylor will never have luck or good grace shining down on him, but somehow he manages to muddle through from one book to the next with a bit of violence, a few addictions, and a heart that sometimes does the right thing. These books by Jack Taylor are my go-to-books when I want a fast quick read of pure entertainment.
Michael Walls
Dec 02, 2015 Michael Walls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book varies from the mystery at hand, and Jack's personal issues. The build up of anger showed in Jack throughout the novel, and the way he handled it at the very end was a complete shock to me. Each chapter ends in a cliff hanger, and the more information you get the more you want to read. This didn't take that long to read, probably because it was so interesting. I like the authors writing style, and I will certainly be reading more of his books.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Jack Taylor (1 - 10 of 13 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)
  • The Devil (Jack Taylor, #8)
  • Headstone (Jack Taylor, #9)
  • Purgatory (Jack Taylor, #10)
  • Green Hell (Jack Taylor, #11)

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