Merrick – former PI and partner of author Reed Farrel Coleman’s series PI Moe Prager now runs a bar having retired from the detective gig. However, with Moe out of commission, there’s one case that hangs over Merrick; missing children and the taunting perpetrator – one case he can’t walk away from but can’t solve on his own.
Ken Bruen’s newest lead character creation Tommy Ryan has elements of Bruen’s penultimate Guarda Jack Taylor but with a little more restraint and a greater moral compass. He’s looking to make a fresh start in America having lost his way and all that matters in life in his homeland.
The two cops find each other over a couple of brews and instantly bond – soon enough they’re teaming up to crack down on children killers with their own brand of justice.
MERRICK is loaded with little easter eggs for fans of Ken Bruen’s other books. The Jack Taylor series resemblance is here, as are subtle nods to TOWER (co-authored by Reed Farrel Coleman) and ONCE WERE COPS.
Ryan is the main character and reads very well. Bruen devoted a lot of time and effort in making him multi dimensional with his personal life and relationship with a local Indian woman sharing top billing with the case itself. Interestingly enough, Merrick read as a sidekick which makes this title somewhat misleading.
It’s evident there’s to be more books featuring the two and if MERRICK is anything to go by, the new series has potential.