Jack Taylor is the only PI in Ireland. The Irish don't really go in for that PI stuff, too close to snitching. Taylor pretty much has to do it, however, because he is a non-functioning alcoholic who was booted from the Guarda (the national Irish police force) for chronic drunkenness (That would take some doing you would think).
This novel is ostensibly a story of Taylor investigating the "suicide" of the daughter of his client. In fact this story is all about Taylor, his alcoholism and the difficult and often disastrous choices he makes. The suicide story line is almost a distraction from the real subject of this novel.
Taylor is a great character, brilliantly done by Bruen. I loved Bruen's sparse prose. Filled with witty asides, sparkling dialog and lists, lots of lists.
Ken Bruen loves:
Noir literary references
Writing lists of things
The Guards is a great novel from an obviously talented writer. I will read whatever else Bruen writes at this point but I would really, really appreciate some more plot in future Jack Taylor books. I really liked following Taylor's arc but I don't know if I want to do it for the next ten books.