Jack Taylor is fired from the Gardaí after assaulting a politician he catches speeding. He is subsequently contacted by Anne Henderson, who hires him as a private eye on the premise of finding her missing teenage daughter. Henderson suggests the girl may have become the latest in a series of suspicious ‘suicides’ in Galway. Assisted by his artist friend, Sutton, Jack traces several of the dead girls to a sleazy factory manager named Ford, and discovers a collection of illegal sex videos. These revelations turn out to be only the beginning of his investigation.
Upon returning to Galway a year on from the events in The Guards, Jack is hired to investigate the murder of a man who fell from the scaffolding of a construction site. Assisted by Cody, a naive young man who idolises him, Jack becomes drawn into the world of a vigilante group. Upon re-establishing contact with Anne Henderson, Jack finds her in an abusive relationship with a local businessman, who later turns up murdered. Jack is arrested and questioned for the murder, but escapes from custody, and he is forced to rely on Cody to help clear his name.
The Magdalen Martyrs
Jack Taylor is hired by Maggie McCarthy, the daughter of a recently deceased former inmate at St Monica’s, an infamous Magdalen laundry in Galway, who wishes to identify the sadistic nun mentioned in her mother’s diary, known only as Lucifer. The investigation is quickly hampered when Cody discovers that incriminating church records have vanished; while Jack is warned to drop the case by local criminal, Bill Cassell. As the diary reveals the depth of Lucifer’s brutality, Jack discovers a 50-year-old family secret that leads him to the nun’s identity, and an unexpected connection to the recent deaths of two brothers…
Seven months after his mother’s stroke, and continuing on his path of sobriety and healthier living, Jack is called on to investigate the death of a female university student, who falls from a roof while dressed in theatre costume. A ring of paper around her wrist contains an apparent suicide note written in her blood, and Gardaí assume the death to be drug related.
Jack investigates the death of a priest who has been beheaded, and discovers the cleric abused two boys several years earlier. As more secrets from the church are revealed, Jack drifts back into his old habits, and discovers more of his own demons, along with the horrendous consequences the victims of the priest’s earlier abuse are still enduring.
Riddled with guilt after a personal tragedy, Jack leaves Galway for Dublin. There he meets Rosie, a young girl who witnessed her mother’s murder, but has suppressed the memory. While also dealing with a travellers’ feud, Jack must help Rosie to recall the events of her mother’s death before the killer strikes again.