Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Book: The Killing of the Tinkers, by Ken Bruen (2004)
Reading this novel is like grabbing hold of a live wire while ripped to the gills on Guinness. You’re instantly swept up by the Gael force of Jack Taylor’s personality. I wouldn’t mind if Jack took a drop of Powers every now and then instead of Jameson’s, but otherwise I have no complaints. (Well, one. George Pelecanos’ name is misspelled. In two different ways.)

OK, here's my Ken Bruen comment, inspired by Vince's. When I read the three novels in The White Trilogy, I felt about them pretty much the way Vince feels about The Killing of the Tinkers. So when The Guardians came out and was nominated for the Edgar, among others, I sprang for the hardback edition. And I was disappointed. Sure, Jack Taylor's a great character, and I loved the references to the old paperbackers, but I thought the mystery element of the novel was negligible and the solution was perfunctory. To me, the book seemed more like a mainstream novel with a killing in it. I couldn't believe it had been nominated for an Edgar, because to my mind it wasn't a mystery novel at all. Not that it's not a good book. It's just not a mystery. So I haven't been eager to read The Killing of the Tinkers. I probably will, sooner or later, but I'm not springing for the hardback.

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