Jack Taylor brings death and pain to everyone he loves. His only hope of redemption - his surrogate son, Cody - is lying in the hospital in a coma. At least he still has Ridge, his old friend from the Guards, though theirs is an unorthodox relationship. When she tells him that a boy has been crucified in Galway city, he agrees to help her search for the killer.
Jack's investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, both dead and living. Everyone wants something from him, but Jack is not sure he has anything left to give. Maybe he should disappear--pocket his money and get the hell out of Galway like everyone else seems to be doing. But when the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of justice. Ken Bruen's Cross is a suspenseful and deeply moving mystery.
In Shamus-winner Bruen's brilliant sixth Jack Taylor novel (after 2007's Priest), the tormented Galway detective feels like a ghost in a newly prosperous city that little resembles his birthplace. Years of alcoholic dissipation have taken their toll. Jack's apprentice and surrogate son, Cody, lies in hospital, the victim of bullets meant for Jack. His only real friend is Ridge, a lesbian Ban Gardai (female cop), and their relationship is a complicated mixture of affection and hostility. Jack decides to cut his losses and move to America, but first he agrees to help Ridge solve a series of heinous murders. A young man's crucifixion is followed by his sister being burned to death. As Jack investigates, he squares off against a 20-year-old girl whose grief over her religious fanatic mother's death in a hit-and-run accident has become a black insanity that demands biblical vengeance. Bruen riffs on different meanings and implications of the word cross throughout, and his insights into pain, loss and Irishness are unforgettable.