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The Big Thrill Discusses GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL with Ken Bruen

Book Cover: GALWAY CONFIDENTIALIn this new installment of Ken Bruen’s beloved Jack Taylor series, the whiskey-swigging Irish detective investigates a series of violent attacks on the local convent’s nuns.

Jack Taylor wakes up from a coma to discover that much of the world has changed since he last walked the streets of Galway. The pandemic had hit while he was under, devastating the lives of many in his beloved city and beyond. Now, as Jack tries to recover from the attack that put him in the hospital and absorb the incredible changes in the world around him, a woman approaches him with a distressing case: two local nuns have been bludgeoned by a mysterious man wielding a hammer, and more are sure to follow. As the police fail to act while the violence against the Sisters escalates, Jack seems like their only hope.

Author Photo: Ken Bruen

Ken Bruen

Ken Bruen recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest crime fiction, GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I wrote GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL as a riff on the myriad of podcasts now.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

If I was to describe the book, it would be nuns and knives! With humour scattered throughout to lighten a heavy narrative. We are not a gun culture so knives have become commonplace.

Are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?

If I had hoped for the reader’s response, it would be that the mystique of nuns is de-mystified. I wanted to show the human side of the veil. There are violent episodes here on a daily basis against the homeless and a worrying trend of anti refugee anger. This is the penultimate Jack novel and I have slyly inserted cues to an endgame.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

GALWAY CONFIDENTIAL will be the 18th in the series and when I wrote the Guards in 2000, little did I know I would be still doing the series nearly 24 years later. I had my first book published when I was 28 and had a book published every year for forty years.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

What I will write after Jack, I’m hoping for a short sharp noir book that punches fast and furious.


Ken Bruen received a doctorate in metaphysics, taught English in South Africa, and then became a crime novelist. The critically acclaimed author of the Jack Taylor novels and the White Trilogy, he is the recipient of two Barry Awards and two Shamus Awards, and he has twice been a finalist for the Edgar Award. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

To learn more about the author, please visit his website.