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 a pigheaded fashion working the case in-between bouts of devastating drunkenness, visits from a wife he cannot remember wedding and a cop friend from London that looks suspiciously like the lead character in one of Bruen's other series. Taylor zeroes in on a suspect in the Tinker killings, a young British social worker, whose pomposity and arrogance and need to torment Jack puts him at the top of the suspect list. Despite being warned off by several people including two policeman, Taylor presents his findings to the Tinker leader with devastating results. Despite or perhaps because of his failings, Jack Taylor is one of the most riveting characters in contemporary crime fiction. Regardless of his crippling substance abuse, self doubt and fits of startling rage, his relentless path is fascinating for the reader to follow.