Nancy Oakes's Reviews > The Dramatist

The Dramatist by Ken Bruen
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May 05, 08

bookshelves: crime-fiction-ireland, crime-fiction
Read in May, 2008

Oh my. After reading this installment of the Jack Taylor series, I am hard pressed to figure out how much worse things can get for Jack. I've long said that making Jack Taylor's acquaintance through reading is like watching a train about to wreck on its tracks...you know that something terrible is about to happen, but the reality of how bad it's going to be keeps you watching. But frankly, I wasn't prepared for this one.

As the novel opens, Jack's drug dealer (the very well-dressed, erudite young man) is in prison, put away for six years. He makes it known through Cathy that his sister had been killed and the crime scene made to look like an accident. He wants Jack to investigate. All that was found that was even a little off was a copy of a work by John Millington Synge near the body. However, Jack doesn't see murder, and besides, he has his hands full with the husband of an ex-lover. Add to this a crazy vigilante group and a newly-found woman, and you understand why Jack takes his time about getting to the drug dealer's problem. But when a second young woman dies the same way, and a book by Synge is found underneath her body, Jack's forced to take notice.

I love these books, I love these characters, and although Taylor is pitiful (and I do mean just absolutely pitiful), I can't get enough of this guy.

Highly recommended -- if you're after it for the mystery aspect only, you'll miss so much more in this series. I think people who've been following the series will enjoy it (my guess, before I read the next in the series it's a turning point) and will want as I did to read it soon after the Magdalen Martyrs. These books all turn on Jack Taylor's character -- not the element of the whodunits embedded into the story by the author.

Fabulous - and I'm off to order the next. Do NOT read this one without the 3 previous behind you.
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