THE GHOSTS OF GALWAY is the 13th Jack Taylor novel by author Ken Bruen. To date, nine novels about Bruen’s Irish ex-cop turned private detective have been adapted to screen starring Iain Glen of Game of Thrones fame. The series has variously been nominated for and awarded many honors, including those for Edgar©, Anthony, Macavity and Shamus awards.

HEAD GAMES: the Graphic Novel is Craig McDonald’s adaptation of his 2007 debut novel that was a finalist for Edgar© and Anthony awards, and one of 10 novels in his internationally best-selling Hector Lassiter series about an author/screenwriter notorious for “living what he writes and writing what he lives.”

McDonald conducted the first U.S. newspaper interview with Ken Bruen in 2003, upon the American debut of THE GUARDS by Macmillan/Minotaur.

On the occasion of the fall release of their new books, these two crime novelists reunite to “interrogate” one another about their long-running series:


CM: You’ve stated previous Taylor novels would be the last. What draws you back to Jack?

KB: His voice keeps whispering in my ear and each time I genuinely believe he is gone but No 14 Is I think fitting in the very title
To make me own self follow the silence edict, I began a new standalone

CM: Galway is yours and Jack’s shared hometown, and its own fully-realized character. Contrast Guards-era Galway to Ghosts era-Galway…

KB: PHEW-oh.
Back in 2001, THE GUARDS had huge respect and the church still had some power.
Now, THE GUARDS are reeling from daily new scandals.
The new flood of refugees has altered the very alchemy of the city.
This era of Trump seems to leaden everything with despair and worse, apathy. 

CM: Jack frequently muses/flirts with coming to America. Will we ever see him operate on American soil?

KB: OH YES, albeit briefly. 

CM: Which of your Taylors would you most like to see adapted as a graphic novel?

Only in France did that novel hit as they saw it as the very metaphysical depiction of evil as a potent ferocious force in a living walking entity. 

CM: You and Jack are avid readers and TV connoisseurs. What are some of your recent discoveries we should all be reading/watching?

KB: Your Graphic novel
One True Sentence, my go to book
READ WAYNE SALLIMAN, he is the next rock n roll George R Martin.

CM: You asked me about my perfect day; what would your ideal day be?

KB: Sitting in Arizona with you, James Sallis, Charlie Stella, Tom Russell, Gretchen Peters.
A case of Long Necks, ice cold and just shooting the literary breeze.
Then dinner of chili and beans with Narco corrida ballads playing soft in the background and Edgar nominations for us all in the mail.


KB: As a writer, how would you like to be remembered?

CM: James Garner, my favorite actor, always said he wanted to be remembered for his work “with a smile.” That’s not bad. Maybe also for pushing the boundaries of crime fiction by writing a finite series that collectively tells a bigger story, and allows its protagonist to age in real-time across ten darkly-comic books.

KB: Who would ideally play Hector in a movie and who to direct?

CM: Ideally, technology would allow for a digitally resurrected William Holden to be Hector. Watching Daniel Craig moving around Mexico in SPECTRE, I envisioned him as a potential, 50ish Hector. As to director, I always dreamed of Robert Rodriguez or the Cohen Brothers.

KB: Secret guilty reading pleasure and TV series?

CM: Reading: I’m not sure that I feel so guilty about it, but I frequently re-read Ian Fleming’s original Bond novels. TV: “Supernatural,” which like a certain favorite Irish detective series, is now in its (ahem) 13th edition. My dad had a ’66 Impala I loved, so the Winchester Brother’s ’67 Impala originally hooked me into that series when it debuted. I actually have a non-vintage four-door black Impala for my current wheels. (But no guns, knives or holy water in the trunk).

KB: What is the ideal day for you?

CM: Probably a rainy fall Saturday like we’re having today here in Ohio. Early-morning writing, then some Chicken Yucatan at my favorite Mexican joint (Zapata’s). Then a well-written book in the evening with the right background music. Some one-way charla profunda or “deep conversation” with the family dog, Duff, throughout.

KB: How do you feel about your graphic novel and will you go to Comic-Con?

CM: We sold graphic novel rights back around 2007. It took much longer than I wanted to get this one out there, but the final two-color art by Kevin Singles and Les McClaine is striking and powerful. The book looks fantastic. It’s getting consistently great reviews which is terrific. It arrived too late for this year’s Comic-Con to make sense, but I’d love to go in 2018.


Mysterious Press description for THE GHOSTS OF GALWAY: “Jack Taylor is recovering from a mistaken medical diagnosis and a failed suicide attempt. In need of money, and with former cop on his resume, Jack has been hired as a night-shift security guard. But his Ukrainian boss has Jack in mind for some off-the-books work. He wants Jack to find what some claim to be the first true book of heresy, The Red Book, currently in the possession of a rogue priest who is hiding out in Galway after fleeing a position at the Vatican…”

First Second Book description for HEAD GAMES THE GRAPHIC NOVEL: “It’s 1957, and aging novelist Hector Lassiter thought that his adventures were long behind him. But then he receives a treasure worth killing for: the skull of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. With his partners in crime, brooding poet Bud Fiske and hard-as-nails beauty Alicia Vicente, Hector must make a mad dash across the American southwest. If the trio can survive long enough to sell the skull to the highest bidder, they’ll score big. But in the meantime, Hector must dodge bullets from deranged fraternity members, aging soldiers of fortune, vicious warlords, and crooked feds.”