Ireland is no longer the land of saints and scholars. Now, in an era of prosperity, the sexual scandals surrounding the church have caused its people to lose faith in the one institution that seemed invulnerable. But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway church brings a gasp to the most hardened cynics. Not to Jack Taylor. Emotionally bruised, battered, and still struggling with the demon drink, he’s back in town, trying to get his life on course after the traumatic trauma of personal loss. And it seems that Jack has a job: he’s been asked to investigate the murder of Fr Joyce, but to proceed with caution and discretion; no further scandals must destabilize the Roman Catholic Church. Discretion is not a word Jack understands however, especially when the dead priest has a long history of abusing small boys, and is responsible for a terrible crime …Bleak, unsettling and totally original, Ken Bruen’s writing captures the brooding landscape of Irish society at a time of social and economic upheaval. Here is evidence of an unmistakeable talent in the ascendant.