In "The Emerald Lie," the latest terror to be visited upon the dark Galway streets arrives in a most unusual form: a Cambridge graduate who becomes murderous over split infinitives, dangling modifiers, and any other sign of bad grammar. Meanwhile, Jack is approached by a grieving father with a pocketful of cash on offer if Jack will help exact revenge on those responsible for his daughter s brutal rape and murder. Though hesitant to get involved, Jack agrees to get a read on the likely perpetrators. But Jack is soon derailed by the reappearance of Emily (previous alias: Emerald), the chameleon-like young woman who joined forces with Jack to take down her pedophile father in "Green Hell" and who remains passionate, clever, and utterly homicidal. She will use any sort of coercion to get Jack to conspire with her against the serial killer the Garda have nicknamed the Grammarian, but her most destructive obsession just might be Jack himself."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Brooding thoughts of suicide and loss haunt Jack Taylor in Irish author Bruen’s desultory 12th novel featuring the Galway PI and former Garda officer (after 2015’s Green Hell). Of course, Jack is also preoccupied with lists of the authors he has been reading, the music he listens to, and the TV shows he binge watches. The main menace this round may be the Grammarian, who kills over gaffes in speech. But a side trip to London puts Jack in the sphere of another criminal with an interest in young children. Series regulars such as the deadly Emily/Emerald and Sergeant Ridge, a former police colleague of Jack’s, make the scene, though Galway and its living history trumps the players that strut across the stage. With his easy episodic survey of the moment-to-moment in Jack’s life—each sip of Jameson, every walking of the dog, the sudden beatings and murders—Bruen remains on the mountaintop of contemporary Irish noir. Sprightly, elliptical prose is a plus (“the ubiquitous McDonald’s bag. In my time, weapons are always delivered thus”). Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Sept.)