Irish crime author Ken Bruen is back with his 10th Jack Taylor novel, Purgatory. Frequently controversial in his home of Galway, Bruen isn’t one to shy away from harsh truths and social critiques within his lithe, biting and quick-witted prose. This time around, Taylor finds his recent stint of sobriety threatened by “C 33,” a cryptic and clever serial killer. Whodunit columnist Bruce Tierny calls Purgatory “another fine installment in the series that defines Irish noir.”
In a 7 questions interview with Bruen, we talked about classic noir films, classic albums and more.
Describe your book in one sentence.
Betrayal in all its guises.
Jack Taylor is a deeply flawed but very popular character, especially here in the States. What do you love most about him?
His love of books and absolute hatred of bullies.
You have a knack for exposing the darkness that lurks in Galway, but what do you find most pleasing about the city?
The people and the swans plus you are never at any time more than five minutes from water, either the canals or the ocean.
"It seems the more I write the deeper my anger as I delve more into the Banks, the church, the so called rulers and shakers. All rotten to the noir core."
You’ve said that your work has been fueled by anger and bitterness. Have you found that writing has lessened the intensity or changed the nature of that anger?
It seems the more I write the deeper my anger as I delve more into the Banks, the church, the so called rulers and shakers. All rotten to the noir core.
We know you’re quite a fan of American crime novels, but what is your favorite classic noir film?
Sunset Boulevard which led me to write London Boulevard.
You are quite passionate about music, and you’ve said that you think of music as “a spiritual ID.” Which three albums would you choose to best represent you?
The Clash, which I think pretty much the blend of anger, spirit and diversity of my taste.
TV series for U.S. television. I have two pilots under consideration.