Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Never break a Golden Rule

In case you were ruefully unaware, Dear Reader, there are a series of novels by Irish author Ken Bruen featuring ex-Garda "finder", Jack Taylor.

Well, it came as a bit of a surprise to me too, when I first learned of this!

Several of the novels have also been turned into feature-length films for television, which is how  Taylor first came to my attention. Taylor is played by Iain Glen, perhaps better known for his role as Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones

I have only recently started reading the novels and while they contain familiar, if not cliched, private investigator tropes - at least the setting is somewhat unusual, with the novels based in the author's home town of Galway.

So far, I am enjoying the first novel in the series: The Guards - which is in turn darkly funny and deadly serious. 

For your reading pleasure, an excerpt... 

I live by the canal. But a scarf away from the university. At night I like to sit, listen to the students roar.

And they do.

It’s a small house, the old two-up, two-down. The landlord has converted it to two flats. I have the ground floor. A bank clerk named Linda is above. A country girl, she has adopted all the worst aspects of urban life. A sort of knowing cunning.

She’s a looker, in her early twenties. Once, when she forgot her key, I picked the lock. Emboldened, I asked,

“Fancy an evening out?”

“Oh, I never break my golden rule.”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t date drunkards.”

Time later, her car had a flat and I changed the tyre. She said,

“Listen, that other time - I was outa line.”

Outa Line!

Everyone is quasi-American in the worst way.

I stood up, grease covering my hands, waited. She continued,

“I shouldn’t have said, you know… the awful thing.”

“Hey, forget it.”

Forgiveness is a heady fix. It makes you stupid. I said,

“So, you want to go out, grab a bite?”

“Oh, I couldn’t.”


“You’re too old.”

That evening, under darkness, I crept out, punctured her tyre again.

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