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The Devil (Jack Taylor #8)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  863 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
America—the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: but not for PI Jack Taylor, who's just been refused entry. Disappointed and bitter, he thinks that an encounter with an overly friendly stranger in an airport bar is the least of his problems. Except that this stranger seems to know much more than he should about Jack. Jack thinks no more of their ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Anthony Vacca
Mar 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
For all intents and purposes, this book probably should have sucked pretty hard. A fairly straight-faced PI series suddenly introduces 8 books-in a supernatural element? And by “supernatural element” I mean our barely-functioning PI Jack Taylor goes head-to-head in the streets of Galway with the Infernal One himself. No, the title is anything but metaphorical.

Actually, this book turned out to be a pleasant puff of fresh Gaelic air after the last three ho-hum entries in the never-ending struggle
1. I read a 140 pages of this book on my ride into work. It wasn't a ride that had any significant delays.

2. I still don't know how I feel about the actual Devil being a part of the book. I get how it pulls together some of the earlier novels, and now that I'm writing this I see how this book is working like the David Lynch moment Bruen has a character tell Taylor about during this book in regards to 'supernatural' fiction.


3. I'm not sure I approve of my hard-boiled depressing crime novels
'I look to you like a guy who does happy?' If a line could sum up Ken Bruen's masterful creation more accurately, I'd like to see it. Jack is back and not much has changed in his vice dependent life. Adding to his ever growing list of failures, rejections, beat downs and misrepresentations is a refused ticket to America. His fresh start thwart before it even begun. Naturally it's smooth sailing down hill with the breeze at his back straight to hell courtesy of the devil himself. While not necess ...more
I had not read any of the Jack Taylor series in four or five years, so, in an attempt to catch up, here I am. Jack Taylor is drinking again, hooked on xanax, and doing the rounds of the bars. I approve.

Mr. Bruen appears to have taken some kind of left turn with this addition to the series. We have here a romp into the supernatural that could have been called "Jack and the Devil". Yes the murders and violence in Galway (West Ireland) continue unabated and Jack is hired to resolve a number of the
Bruen, Ken. THE DEVIL. (2010). ***. Wait...There’s almost a novel here. Bruen is the current top-selling author of noir crime fiction from Ireland. He manages to get on the best-seller lists with each succeeding book. This one will probably make it, too, if only for the momentum of his work. His readers will buy it because they think they know what to expect. They will be wrong. This novel features Jack Taylor, an ex Garda, ex-alcoholic, ex-PI. It starts with him trying to board a flight to Amer ...more
First Sentence: I should be in America.

Jack Taylor’s second attempt to leave Ireland ends with Irish customs; his attempt at sobriety ends at the airport bar. The journey he does take is one of a mysterious stranger who seems to know a lot about him, and the death of those who come into Jack’s life. Has the Devil come to Jack in this life rather than waiting for him in the next?

From the first page, and first chapter heading, I remember how much I love Bruen’s voice. You hear and see Ireland in e
Jack Taylor meets the Devil. The Devil appears with long golden hair, or he is bald, and there are horrific murders with mutilation of the victims and also of dogs. Jack Taylor pursues the Devil and after each stop he makes in his investigation something very evil happens. Somehow this just doesn’t work for me. The whole plot line seemed pointless. As another reviewer said “at least it is brief”.
Mike Sumner
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Nightmares are the dress rehearsal for the dread awaiting'.

Jack is having nightmares alright. He should have been in America but past misdemeanors have put paid to that. Stopped at the departure gate, prevented from boarding his flight. Jack does what Jack does. It's a large Jay and a pint of the black in the airport bar. A tall, slender man in a beautiful suit, long blonde hair, handsome, slides onto the stool next to him. "Sure is hell here today" - "Get you something, Jack?". Guy has a kille
Kathy Davie
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal, suspense
The Chronology of the Series
Eighth in the Jack Taylor suspense-mystery series set in Galway, Ireland involving an ex-Garda turned private investigator.

The Story
The economy is so far down the tubes in Ireland with unemployment and anger over the non-nationals snagging all the aid and free medical for which the locals don't qualify skyrocketing and who should show up to ensure it all goes to the dogs…at least, those that manage to keep their heads. The Devil. Mr. K. Seems he's pissed off at Jack f
Sam Sattler
Ken Bruen is one of the true masters of noir. The man’s writing style, some kind of cross between outright poetry and weirdly formatted prose, is a nice visual representation of the genre – and private detective Jack Taylor is the perfect noir character. It just does not get any darker than Jack Taylor.

As this eighth novel of the series begins, Jack is disappointed (but not surprised) to learn that he has been denied passage to the States because of his past run-ins with the law. Always moody, t
K.A. Laity
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That’s the thing with Bruen novels, you can’t just read one. An unholy trinity I offer this week, ending with perhaps the oddest of the three. From the brutal realism yer man from Galway dips a toe into the dark swirling waters of magical brutal realism.

I really can’t get enough of Jack Taylor; Bruen keeps chipping off bits of him — knocking his teeth out, breaking his bones with a hurley stick, and of course wasting his flesh with a variety of drugs, whiskey and the good old black gold, Guinnes
Ian Mapp
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've missed Bruen... why have I waited so long for the next installment?

The books are easy reading and the story is secondary to the great lines that he writes and the references to literary and musicians that you should check out. I recommend keeping a pad next to you to take down the references... they are almost always worth checking out.

Noone writes about drinking like Bruen. After the first description of Jack Taylor hitting the bar for a pint of black and a double jay, it makes you want to
Ken Bruen is an amazing writer. This one I don't know was going on. There is no mystery, really, which is fine. Then the Devil shows up and gets angry about a bunch of Jack Taylor's old cases. Then the devil starts killing anyone Jack talks to. Then Jack kills the devil. Then the devil shows up somewhere else quoting Rolling Stones lyrics. Add in some heavy drinking, Xanax, and a return to smoking, diatribes about non-nationals and repeat. I truly love Ken bruen's writing, and will read anything ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-fiction
#8 Jack Taylor series - Noir/PI

Jack Taylor, hard drinking & drugging PI, years ago kicked out of the Garda, is refused entry to America as he tries to leave Ireland. Taylor's hopes of a better life in the U.S. His violent past as a PI in Galway have caught up to him.

Jack meets a stranger is the airport bar, Mr. K, who seems to know a lot about him. Bruen steers his hardboiled PI into supernatural territory for the first time in book 8. Taylor has attracted the attention of Lucifer himself.

Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
I love everything by Ken Bruen. He strikes a deep chord with me, I love the style, the dark humour, the stubborn, Jameson-infused and literate characters, and I loved the entrance of the devil himself. So some of his books work better than others, but I love all of them, making me the worst possible commentator, I apologise for my own sappiness.

But one last thing...I also loved that list of writers he drops, I love writers that honour other writers, and I'm glad to see Gary Phillips make the li
Liam Green
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of silly, to be honest, in a way the other Taylor books aren't. But incredibly entertaining, and it picks back up the hyper-clipped postmodern prose style that made all of the first few Taylor stories so compulsively readable. (Not sure why books 6 and 7 in the series went to a more conventional writing technique.)
OK book, everything that makes a Jack Taylor story was present, but the supernatural aspect was just a bit off-putting. Not enough to stop reading, or not enjoy all we look for in the series, but enough that I couldn't completely suspend the disbelief. Sorry, Jack - looking forward to the next one.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Ken Bruen eccentric story!
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a strange one, as Jack comes face to face with......the Devil?
Veronika Sebechlebska
As a crime sucks. But it sucks in the best noir way I have ever read.
Dennis Osborne
The style of writing is very lipped but interesting. The plot too far fetched for my tastes however
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Jack Taylor is a sad sack one can’t help but love. He is a former member of the Irish Guard who refuses to give up the Guard coat, a recovering alcoholic who seems to only be able to stay clean for six months, and a sometime P.I. whose acerbic rhetoric is cutting but funny as hell. Speaking of hell, Taylor’s latest nemesis appears to be the devil himself. When Jack is refused entrance to the U.S. because of a prior arrest, he seeks solace at the airport bar. A man known only as Curt/Kurt tries t ...more
This was the Jack Taylor novel on the library shelf when I went looking. I might have done better to leave it there. To jump ahead to this departure without journeying through all the preceding instalments after The Guards (which I very much enjoyed) didn't really work. It may never have done, but I'm comparing with my experience of reading Christopher Brookmyre's own foray into the demonic Pandemonium. That passed muster... but not only had I read a lot more of Brookmyre's preceding novels but ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"So, the Devil is hanging out in airports, looking for poor bastards who get refused entry to America?"

When I started reading this book and realized that Bruen had decided to introduce the character of the Devil into the story I tried not to like it. The main reason for this was that it was taking the plot to a completely different place, incorporating fantastic elements in it. I swear I was ready not to like it, ready to take the smallest defects I could find and harp in them. But then it happe
Tim Niland
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
When Jack Taylor is refused entry onto an airplane bound for America he drowns his sorrows with alcohol and Xanax at the airport bar. There he meets the most peculiar gentleman, one who seems to know an awful lot about him and gives him the creeps. Returning to Galway with his tail between his legs, Jack reluctantly returns to his gig as a half-assed private investigator, only this time, there's a catch: everyone he talks to is turning up dead, and the man from the airport seems to be everywhere ...more
Paige Ellen Stone
Ken Bruen is the master of what I am going to call Irish noir. This is a one sitting book. You pick it up and you read it; it's that simple. While his previous Jack Taylor novels have been dark, they look like a walk in the park on a sunny day compared to this one. Jack is called to come face to face with the Devil, or with an evil being of some sort. Why Jack? Because many of the adventures of the earlier Taylor novels have actually been cases of Jack thwarting the devil's plans.
Jack is painful
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What did I just read? I love Ken Bruen and the way he writes the Jack Taylor books. The cadence of the storytelling, the anguish, the pain, the drinking, the occasional glimmers of hope and redemption. And in The Devil all of these things are there, however, what's new is the introduction of the supernatural, the devil himself.

If there's one thing that keeps me coming back to crime novels it's the reality of the stories that are told. So looking back on this book I'm not sure if what I read is
David Peters
Typically I try to avoid reading a book from a series out of order, especially if the series is new to me. I made an exception in this case because Ken Bruen is an exceptional author rarely seen in my library. The reason I will read Ken Bruen every chance I get is simple; he is simply one of the best dialogue writers I have ever read. The conversational tome of his books are phenomenal, the pages just fly by. I feel pretentious praising his writing style, but the whole plot is driven completely ...more
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, ireland
Galway is maybe my favorite place on the planet and was the reason I first started reading Bruen. He paints it well (though I like to think he paints it a whole lot darker than it actually is), and I am perhaps not the best judge of what makes noir good, but when I pick up one of Bruen's Jack Taylor novels, I can't put it down. Taylor is the most miserable, beaten-up, drug/drink addled fellah's in all of Ireland, but you'd want him on your side even if half of his plans end in a mess, and just k ...more
Minty McBunny
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, august-2014
This book is much better than it has a right to be. I figured it was going to be another disappointing entry into the series like the previous book, I was highly skeptical that a supernatural element could be introduced with anything but eye rolling implausibility.

Was I wrong?

Was I *#€^.

My only complaint us that Bruen seems to no longer feel the need to wax poetic about Jack's drinking. Previous books were heartbreaking poetry of addiction/drunkenness/hangovers and now it's just kind of glosse
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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)
  • Priest (Jack Taylor, #5)
  • Cross (Jack Taylor, #6)
  • Sanctuary (Jack Taylor, #7)
  • Headstone (Jack Taylor, #9)
  • Purgatory (Jack Taylor, #10)
  • Green Hell (Jack Taylor, #11)
“I had me one sharp knife, a throwback to my glory days of the swans, and it’s sharp as a nun on her second sherry.” 3 likes
“Expect nothing, and by Christ, you’re entitled to even less.” 3 likes
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