Ireland, awash in cash and greed, no longer turns to the Church for solace or comfort.
But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway church horrifies even the most jaded citizen. Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation.
But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership makes him hope that his one desperate vision - of family - might yet be fulfilled.
An eerie mix of exorcism, a predatory stalker, and an unlikely attraction conspires to lure him into a murderous web of dark conspiracies.
The spectre of a child haunts every waking moment. Bleak, unsettling and totally original, Ken Bruen's writing captures the brooding landscape of Irish society at a time of social and economic upheaval.
Here is evidence of an unmistakeable literary talent.