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Priest (Jack Taylor #5)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,360 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
Ireland, awash with cash and greed, no longer turns to the Church for solace or comfort. But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway confessional horrifies even the most jaded citizen.

Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership provi
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Description: Jack is hired by Father Malachy to investigate the death of a priest, Father Royce, who has been beheaded. He discovers the cleric abused two boys, Michael Clare and Tom Reed, several years earlier. Shortly after interviewing Tom Reed, he is found dead in the bath of a suspected heroin overdose. Jack initially suspects that Reed may have been targeted by a relative of a young boy whom he raped ten years ago, but when he finds a note identical to the one left at the scene of Father R ...more
Aug 01, 2013 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
For all the praise levelled at Ken Bruen for his "hard-boiled" detective novels featuring Jack Taylor this fifth instalment is much more character study than mystery. Somebody beheaded a priest, Taylor is released from a mental institute and is almost immediately thrust back to work to solve the case, privately. The actual detective narrative could fit in to two or three pages for all Bruen cares about it. What is much more of interest to him, and I would hope us readers too, is the human condit ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Ctgt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir
My unrequited bromance with Jack Taylor continues. After the devastating end of The Dramatist, Jack ends up in "the madhouse"

Oh, there was screaming, but it was silent. The wonders of medication. And for me, they provided what I most wanted-numbness

and this book spends plenty of time looking at how he deals with his release as he tries to put his life back together and stay sober following the consequences of the previous book.
As with most of my favorite detective/PI series this book isn't reall
Mike Sumner
Apr 13, 2017 Mike Sumner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read back to back with Jack Taylor #4. I had to. Events at the end of The Dramatist left me reeling. Could anything worse have befallen Jack? Is Galway the kind of place to seek redemption? God, Jack - I really felt your despair. Your tortured soul. And the dark fiction continues in Priest.

Jack leaves hospital - the madhouse, the loony bin - where he has been for several months. Refuses further medication - "I felt my eyes retreat from the nine-yard stare, move away from the dead place." How did
May 21, 2009 Mohammed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of quality Noir, quality books in general about human emotions.
Shelves: noir, ken-bruen
A very strong medicine this book,its a rare book that is darkly funny,deeply depressing. I laughed and i was emotionally close to tears. Not because of sensational writing but because of stark,realistic human drama.
The title doesnt say well how this great story has many themes,focuses even more on Jack Taylor. Less pop culture references that was the only flaw of the early books.

The powerful prose,the great black,ironic humour,the characters that walk around in this series never seem to amaze me
Susanne Clower
Jan 06, 2009 Susanne Clower rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mysteries
The word that keeps coming to mind to describe this book is "thin." Thin plot, thin characters, lazy writing under a thin veneer of noir.
Nov 01, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PRIEST follows on from the shocking events at the end of THE DRAMATIST and is every bit as good as it predecessor. The only gripe I have, is Bruen tends to lean towards the formulaic, albeit, a formula he devised himself with THE PRIEST mirroring THE DRAMATIST in many ways; the cases are in the peripheral and there is a death that once again threatens to turn the reformed Jack Taylor into the drug addled drunk he once was.

Without spoiling the story, lets say Jack Taylor is back to his…err, best
Oct 04, 2008 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't read ken Bruen yet you must. He's all at once funny, dark, thoughtful, topical and suspenseful.

Priest looks at sex abuse in Ireland and its not a barrel of laughs as far as the topic is concerned but it is riveting.

Pick it up--it's one of the my favorites for this year.

Tom Schreck
Author of TKO

ps If you're a mystery lover my books "On The Ropes" and "TKO" make great Holiday gifts for Evanovich, Parker, Travis McGee, Crais and DeMille fans ( sorry for the blatant self promotion!)
Holger Haase
A good while back someone recommended Ken Bruen as a Noir author to me. Hadn't heard about him before so delighted to put him on my To Read pile.

I subsequently learned two things:

1) Ken Bruen is Irish and writes crime fiction set in Galway. Ireland has been my adopted home for the best part of two decades so I was curious but also reminiscent that there is a lot of things that Ireland does well, but that crime fiction (and especially Noir) isn't exactly high up on that list.

2) I accidentally stu
Mar 06, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, ireland
Jack is in all sorts of self-inflicted trouble again. He's in hospital, severely affected by a nervous breakdown, after his negligence caused the death of someone very very important to him and his last close friends, when he's bought back from the brink by the kindness of another patient.

On his release Jack returns to his previous life with a new-found determination to avoid drinking and drugs. When his least favourite priest, Father Malachy asks Jack for help in discovering why a local priest
PRIEST (Private Investigator-Ireland-Cont) – Ex
Bruen, Ken – 5th in series
Scorpion Press, 2006- UK Hardcover
Jack Taylor is out of the madhouse, sober and trying to give up smoking. A young man wants to be Jack’s partner as private investigators and the son Jack never had. Jack is also the guilt over the death of his friends’ daughter and its result on them. Jack’s one friend from the Guarda is being stalked, and a priest, with a history of pedophilia, has been found decapitated in his confessiona
May 21, 2011 Danny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Apparently part of a series, I picked up this gritty, Irish noir because I liked the blurbs on the back. I think I'm going to have to amend my "types of mysteries I like" list to include noir.

If you're keeping track, the list is now:

1) Agatha Christie, and other female British authors
2) Noir

We meet our detective, Jack Taylor, just as he's getting out of an asylum where he spent some time after a child he was minding fell out of a window to her death. Now staying away from alcohol, he bounces ar
Nov 11, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“My previous years I’d spent as a half-assed private investigator, finding people, solutions, mostly fueled on alcohol. Time after time, I’d been plunged into horror, disaster, and lost everyone I cared about. The list of my dead would cover a wall.”

Yes, Jack Taylor, our favorite Irish rogue is back and no one describes himself better.
This is Jack’s fifth venture and he is hired to look into the murder of a local priest: beheaded in the rectory. Allegations of child abuse are abundant. And as us
Minty McBunny
Every book in this series renews my awe with Bruen's ability to elevate personal tragedy and internal struggles of an addict into a beautiful work of heart wrenching art. The only author I know of who can wring poetry out of such grit and sorrow and filth is Denise Mina, but Bruen's verbal economy is unparalleled. He really showcases the Irish flair for wit and poetic speech.

These books are character studies disguised as PI novels, reading the first few out of order was fine for me but 4, 5 &am
May 27, 2012 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What more can Jack Taylor possibly go through? I think enough is enough and then Ken Bruen wallops off another great story and Jack Taylor is once again blindsided by the dark side of life.

"Priest" is the 5th book in Bruen's series featuring ex-guard Jack Taylor. The subject for this book is not a new one but Bruen handles it in a way that is unique yet very true to his own writing style. As I'm sure I've mentioned with each book that I've read in this series, I love the way Bruen writes. Hard-c
Mar 18, 2015 Susu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Your killing me here Mr. Bruen.

This series is no holds barred and no pulling the punches.

I thought the last book was going to do me in. This one was like a kick in the teeth.

I'm almost nervous just reading about Jack Taylor, even that slight association makes me want to watch my back and peek over my shoulder for fear someone or something will get me as well. Damn no one is safe around Jack (except maybe Jack, what's the saying 'God protects babies and drunks').

Hell even babies aren't saf
Jitka Jitulisko
Kněz od K.Bruena

Anotace- Nové Irsko se utápí v penězích a vlastní chamtivosti. Lidé přestali dávno hledat útěchu u katolické církve. Ale vražda otce Joyce, jemuž ve zpovědnici galwayského kostela kdosi usekl hlavu, otřese i těmi nejotrlejšími Iry. Jack Taylor sám sebe vždy považoval za beznadějný případ. Navíc se ještě ani zdaleka neoklepal z nedávného těžkého traumatu. Ale nabídka nové práce mu dává šanci začít znovu. Zároveň mu zcela nečekaně svitne naděje na vyplnění jednoho dosud marného snu
Nov 27, 2009 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
SETTING: Galway, Ireland
SERIES: #5 of 5

The scandals involving priests who have abused children in their congregations have reverberated around the world. Certainly, any young man or woman who has been a victim of one of these pedophiles has been damaged for life. Some retreat into their own worlds; others lash out at those around them. However, very few of these victims end up decapitating their tormentor. When Father Joyce is found in a Galway church without h
Nancy Oakes
Here we are, at installment number five of the Jack Taylor series. First, let me say that I've read a number of reviews of this book in which it was the first Taylor book the reviewer had read -- this is probably not the best one to start with. There's so much of Jack's character that begins with book one (The Guards) that starting at book five leaves you with big holes to be filled in only by sketchy references to events from the others.

brief look (no spoilers, I promise)

Like its predecessors
Aug 25, 2008 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unconsecrated Ground

Not that further proof was needed, but "Priest", Ken Bruen's latest apologies-be-damned journey into Hell, is additional evidence that if he is not the most talented writer of crime fiction today, he is certainly the most uninhibited. Not unlike Bruen's paradoxical hero Jack Taylor, who is as comfortable reading classic fiction in the library as he is bashing in an adversary's head with a hurley stick, Bruen's jagged, stripped down Irish prose, rendered with a chainsaw, cont
Jan 06, 2013 Sebastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is always a pleasure when I open one of Bruen's book and I find myself reading the first person narration of my favorite anti-hero, Jack Taylor. In this case, he is recovering from a traumatic event, related to the death of a child in his care, which even for someone that is used to having everything go wrong with his life is an occurrence that has had devastating consequences. As he is trying to get back into his "normal" life, Jack battles with his alcoholism and with the idea of getting ba ...more
Felix Zilich
После событий предыдущей книги Джек Тейлор выходит из психушки. Он больше не пьет, не курит, не потребляет веществ и кокса. Книг тоже не читает, только Паскаля. Трезвый, тихий и совершенно адекватный старик 50 с небольшим лет. Друзей совсем не осталось, зато бывшие коллеги стали относиться лучше. Еще у него появились своя квартирка, небольшой капитал и даже собственный (не поверите!) сайдкик. Целыми днями Тейлор бродит вокруг площади Эйра, пьёт диетическую (!) колу и вспоминает своих мертвецов. ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you shoot and kill the person who says "Tomorrow is just a consequence of today" then you'll never really know if his statement could ever be wholly incorrect. That's why I'm a big fan of a society that completely lacks firearms.

I memorized every single channel that my cable provider offers immediately after I started detaching effort from reward.

Aug 12, 2008 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#5 Jack Taylor mystery set in Galway, Ireland and featuring the tormented alcoholic ex-Guard once again. Just released from ‘the nuthouse’ where he’s spent many months with his brain on vacation and subdued by medication after the tragic events at the end of the previous book (trying not to give spoilers here!), Jack discovers just how much Galway and his situation can change in just a few months’ time. He discovers that his old landlady at the hotel has died and left him a hefty sum of money an ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Danny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ex-cop Jack Taylor is back on the streets of Galway after a stint in the asylum where he landed after a young girl he was minding fell out of a window to her death. As he wanders around the city he runs into old acquaintances and new friends, trying to piece his life back together while looking into the murder of a priest whose head was found sitting in a confessional. Ireland has changed in the early years of the new millennium. The people have money to burn, American culture is everywhere, and ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time deciding between 5 or 4 stars with this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and performance given by the reader. It's an Irish murder/mystery/crime fightin novel which automatically makes it a 3 star book. While it instantly made me want to read and hear more by the author, it didn't make me want to 'have' the book. Thus the 4 stars instead of 5.

This is the first Bruen novel I've read or heard. After the first disc I knew I'd found someone I liked, which is why I went back to
Oct 12, 2014 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 5th book I've read in Bruen's Jack Taylor series and I've loved every one of them. If you're expecting an Agatha Christie style whodunit, you'll be disappointed since few of the books have a classic mystery at the heart of them. Instead, they are hard-boiled noir with a unique setting in the Irish city of Galway and a memorable lead character in Jack Taylor. As one review stated: "if a bottle of Bushmills could talk it would sound like Jack Taylor." Intelligent and sharp tongued, Tay ...more
Ian Mapp
Oct 19, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nother day, another Bruen.

The great quotes are drying up (much like Jack Taylor, who is now off booze, fags and drugs) but I have to say that there is an almost classic line comparing drunks with snooker players - they are always plotting one drink ahead knowing where the next drink is coming from. Sound familar.

Taylor is as hopeless as ever - in a previous book, the downs child of his friends who he was babysitting dies (sounds vaguely familliar, but you dont read these books for the story) and
A. Mary
Aug 04, 2014 A. Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-novels
Jack Taylor has been in an asylum for months, shattered by his life and one incident in particular, but he emerges, returns to Galway, because where else would this guy go? His case for this novel confronts the sexual abuse scandal, which has resulted in an extreme loss of faith in Ireland and brought the Catholic church to its knees. A priest has been murdered in the confessional. Taylor's nemesis, Father Malachy, who is a chain-smoking miserable heap of a man, is afraid, and in spite of himsel ...more
Kay Wright
Even reading old Jack Taylor stories is fun. This one, from 2006 is in a Galway rich with characters from the Celtic tiger era with lots of opportunity for Bruen to comment on the Americanization of Ireland. Great humor, great writing. There's a dead priest and lots of covering up by the law but good triumphs, as always, in the end.

Watched Spotlight the same day I read this, my poor brain is full of pedophile priests. Bruner seems to have a deep and abiding fury over the church's abuse of child
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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 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)
  • Cross (Jack Taylor, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Jack Taylor, #7)
  • The Devil (Jack Taylor, #8)
  • Headstone (Jack Taylor, #9)
  • Purgatory (Jack Taylor, #10)
  • Green Hell (Jack Taylor, #11)

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