The Guards by Ken Bruen
A Novel

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Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Síochána--the Guards, Ireland's police force--and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland's best private investigator, not to mention its first--Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.

Stark, violent, sharp, and funny, The Guards is an exceptional novel, one that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets. Praised by authors and critics around the globe, The Guards heralds the arrival of an essential new novelist in contemporary crime fiction.

The Guards is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.


About Ken Bruen

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Ken Bruen was born in Galway, Ireland in 1951. The author of sixteen novels, he spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, SE Asia and South America. He now lives in Galway City with his wife and daughter.
Published April 1, 2007 by Minotaur Books. 305 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Crime, Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Parenting & Relationships. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Guards

Publishers Weekly

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With the recent accidental death of Mark McGarrity, the American who wrote (as Bartholomew Gill) about a top Dublin cop, Bruen now has a chance to become that country's version of Scotland's Ian Rankin—and perhaps the standard bearer for a new subgenre called "Hibernian Noir."

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The Bookbag

It is the first book in a series about Jack Taylor and you can almost tell because it feels more like an introduction that establishes the character for the next books, rather than as a stand-alone novel.

Feb 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Guards: A Novel

Spinetingler Magazine

Spinetingler Magazine's Online Review site adds reviews regularly.

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Spinetingler Magazine

I recently got to see the film adaptation of Ken Bruen’s The Guards, shown on the Irish channel TV3, it’s the pilot of a proposed series of TV movies based on the Jack Taylor series of novels.

Aug 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Guards: A Novel

Spinetingler Magazine

More then the central mystery to be solved The Guards acts as a character study of Jack Taylor.

Aug 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Guards: A Novel

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