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Galway Confidential has Ken Bruen's tortured investigator Jack Taylor coming out of a coma in the middle of COVID and working up against two different sociopath's, one trargeting nuns, the other the homeless. As always, Jen was kind enough to take some questions from me.

SCOTT MONTGOMERY: There were rumors that you were finishing up Jack Taylor. If that's true, what made you bring him back?

KEN BRUEN: I was sure Jack was finished and then covid happened, Jack's voice was loud in my head. All throughout Confidential, there hints that there is one final book to come, Galway DNA. And that is the final one, I've been writing Jack for over 20 years and book 18th is the end.

S.M.: Sometimes in the Jack Taylor books you choose a word to explore its meaning. What drew you to "confidential"?

K.B.: Confidential is a riff on Ellory's book and also because we are very Big on confidential in all matters and then a malign delight in exposing the confidence, our history is riddled with it.

S.M.: How did you deal with the challenge of Jack working during COVID social distancing?

K.B.: Jack was literally in a coma during and only came out of it at the near end, he had to manoeuvre the whole new world.

S.M.: Taylor is hunting down two different killers with very specific targets, one nuns, the other homeless. Is there a particular reason you chose those for the same book?

K.B.: The homeless and the nuns are intrinsically linked, the nuns provide all kinds of help yet are savagely attacked for their work. No good deed etc.

S.M.: Through the series, I get the feeling that Ireland's view of the Catholic church has changed. Besides the greater knowledge of its scandals, do you see any other reason in it?

K.B.: Every time Jack cuts the church some slack, they come along and shatter his belief. Nuns are in a weird way the last visible evidence of the clergy on the actual streets.

S.M.: You told Peter Mendel in his interview with you at Crime Reads that the series examines the Irish obsession with drink. I think it also looks at its relationship with the written word as well. Where do you think they both come from?

K.B.: Drink and literature are the twin DNA of our race. Thy feed off each other. A good book and a good drink are nigh on the two subjects the world views out country in.

All our famous/infamous writers have a rich drink history.


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