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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flammabe Material
Talk of the town just now is Philomena, the movie. It tells the story of a woman who was a victim of one of the wicked manifestations of the Catholic Church. The film looks OK. I may see it one day, perhaps on DVD. However it plays out, I'm pretty sure it won't be able to shine a prayer-candle to Ken Bruen's The Magdalen Martyrs.

I loved Jack Taylor before...
Published 9 months ago by nigel p bird

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1.0 out of 5 stars not quite what it says on the tin
after reading the last of peter may's brilliant lewis trilogy, i was hoping for a kind of irish version of the same. wrong on all counts. i found this totally lacking in local atmosphere and the only really rounded character was the protagonist. the magdalen laundries barely featured and the habit of quoting from abstruse, introspective books at every turn became...
Published 17 months ago by mallorca


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flammabe Material, 5 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story (Paperback)
Talk of the town just now is Philomena, the movie. It tells the story of a woman who was a victim of one of the wicked manifestations of the Catholic Church. The film looks OK. I may see it one day, perhaps on DVD. However it plays out, I'm pretty sure it won't be able to shine a prayer-candle to Ken Bruen's The Magdalen Martyrs.

I loved Jack Taylor before arriving at this novel. It's difficult not to. He articulates his inner workings with charm, humour and a good deal of learned profundity.

Here, he becomes involved in 2 cases. The first is to investigate a rather interesting woman who likes her drink and whose ex-husband suspects is guilty of murder. The second, a job from a killer whom he couldn't turn down, is to track down an old lady with associations with the Magdalen Laundry.

The cases are hugely interesting in themselves and give the book its movement and superbly dimensioned characters. Although that's crucial to the plot, the main story is one of addiction - the effects of intoxicants, withdrawal, black-outs, extreme actions, hallucination, self-loathing, guilt, depression, the works.

Jack moves from the booze to pills to periods of abstinence. As he plods through each phase, he sees his reflection the world and the people around him. He talks about his life and his failings in such an articulate and entertaining way that I doubt there can have been many better accounts of these extremes. Bruen would argue with this last statement and win because he knows far more than I - each chapter begins with a quote that has been selected perfectly to set a tone or underline a point.

Talking of quotes, here's one of his own that I rather cared for:

"I can't blame books for the chaos of my life, but they've always been there on the journey."

This novel works wonderfully on so many levels. It's a brilliant piece and one that only emphasises Bruen's right to be accorded such a high status within the crime-writing world and the world of literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, 18 Jun 2011
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A. Kinsella - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story (Paperback)
I have only just started reading this author's novels and have read a few of the Jack Taylor's series. I think it is fantastic series which is new and different to much of what is out there. Jack Taylor is no one's idea of a hero and yet he uses his natural instincts to solve cases while slowly destroying his life. In this book he touches on the Magdelene laundrys as with many of his books he is not afraid to delve into difficult topics. He sets out in the book to find a woman who worked in the Laundry years ago but all is not what it seems. This forces him to change tactics. Overall this is a brilliant read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars not quite what it says on the tin, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story (Paperback)
after reading the last of peter may's brilliant lewis trilogy, i was hoping for a kind of irish version of the same. wrong on all counts. i found this totally lacking in local atmosphere and the only really rounded character was the protagonist. the magdalen laundries barely featured and the habit of quoting from abstruse, introspective books at every turn became annoying. this will teach me to try just one book by an author i have not read, as i bought 3, and very much doubt that i shall enjoy the others.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magdelen Martyrs, 3 Feb 2004
By 
David Pye (Brighouse, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story (Paperback)
At least the publishers managed to spell Pelecanos correctly in this book unlike the previous two in the trilogy.
Taylor is better in this book because he is more on the edge, unlike the previous two where he is just wallowing in self indulgence and self pity. All three suffer from the 'rabbit pulled out of the hat' at the last minute. Pelecanos deals with consequences as well as scenarios far more effectively
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The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story
The Magdalen Martyrs: A Jack Taylor Story by Ken Bruen (Paperback - 3 Jan 2003)
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