The Guards - Ken Bruen Jack Taylor has been kicked out the Gardia and submerged himself into a non-stop series of drinking binges. Making some kind of living as a “person who finds things” -- private eyes being too tinged in Ireland with the suspicion of being an informant, he is approached by Anne Henderson who wants Jack to investigate her daughter Sarah’s ostensible suicide. (“They say you’re good because you have nothing else in your life.”)

A cursory look around has Jack convinced it’s no more than that until he gets beaten up and warned off the case. Classic bad guy dumb move, right?

Bruen has a unique style of writing that reeks of Ireland, an almost poetic style that after a bit I found quite appealing. So you get scenes like this: He has just been turned down for a date by the hot girl upstairs because she doesn’t break her golden rule which is to never 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.”
“What?”
“You’re too old.”
That evening, under darkness, I crept out, punctured her tyre again.”

While there is an investigation, the book is more about Jack’s soul. Very dark, lots of illusions to Irish poetry and bands, but very lyrical, too. As Jack is addicted to drink, so you will become addicted to the prose.