As with the previous books in this series, The Emerald Lie reads more as a character study than crime novel, with Jack, the glue that binds Bruen's noir enriched world of fiction together.
Well known for being a drunkard and not one to shy away from drugs and violence, Jack once again dons the tried and true persona to great effect. His nonchalance customary to the crimes he takes as cases, yet he yields results inadvertently by virtue of proximity, luck, and shear will. The Grammatical killer, the antagonist with a not so obscure link to Jack, is the latest niche serial killer to wade into the cross-hairs.
A character I particularly like is Em, the dangerous femme fatale from The Green Hell who provides some crazy to complicate Jack's life and compliment the story. Along with her, Bruen writes well to maintain and strengthen the series continuity including references to some of the very first cases Jack worked on. I like this element which bodes well for long time readers while simultaneously dropping hints to new readers of what's happened to Jack along the way.
Bruen has written some great books, many of them featuring Jack Taylor, the PI who isn't, yet The Emerald Lie sits atop the pile. It's a book written for book lovers. It's a story tailor made for noir aficionados. It's a damn fine read with a cracker ending that makes you want to flick back to page 1 and start the ride all over again.
I was provided an advance copy for review by the publisher.