I am new to Ken Bruen (heck, I'm new to almost all the books and writers discussed on this List), but I've been reading the Jack Taylor series in order (I'm through the first 3 now), and I think there's a real benefit to doing so. The second book very much builds on the first, and I am guessing that character development (or devolvement?) is one of the core themes of the series.
By the way, I absolutely love this series so far: dark, brooding, deeply melancholy, funny at times but also dead serious (almost as serious as some of dem dere "great books"), and wonderfully dialogue driven. If you wring the book a little, good Catholic Irish whiskey just might drip out. I'm looking forward to reading Bruen more widely: I have read the HCC Bruen/Starr collabs, and they are fun but much more lightweight, and I am amassing a little pile of the Brandt series and some of the stand-alones. If anyone wants to suggest a reading order for the rest of Bruen's work, I'm all ears. (And I think Mr. Bruen is on this List? If so, I'm raising a glass to him.)
As a disclaimer, I should note that I am mildly obsessive about reading series books in order. Some people would, I'm sure, say that reading them out of order doesn't matter at all. I say do it if you can. When possible, I even like to read non-series books by the same author in order of publication, as I'm currently doing with Hammett and Cain.
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