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A Dark and Broken Heart [Kindle Edition]

R.J. Ellory
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How long can a man escape judgement? A dark and atmospheric thriller from the award-winning author of A QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS.

It should have been easy for Vincent Madigan. Take four hundred thousand dollars away from some thieves, and who could they go to for help? No one at all.

Madigan is charming, effective, and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he's up to his neck in debt to the drug kingpin of Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan and finally give him a chance to get his life back on track.

But things go wrong when Madigan is forced to kill his co-conspirators and a child is shot in the crossfire. Now both sides of the law are hunting him down, and the cop assigned to lead the case is the very last person he could have expected . . .

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Product Description


'An awesome achievement - a thriller of such power, scope and accomplishment that fanfares should herald its arrival' --The Guardian

'This isn't your standard shock and bore serial killer novel. It's an impassioned story of a man's life told in Ellory's distinctive voice, and it confirms his place in the top flight of crime writing.' --The Sunday Telegraph

Book Description

How long can a man escape judgement? A dark and atmospheric thriller from the award-winning author of A Quiet Belief in Angels.

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More About the Author

RJ Ellory is the author of twelve novels, all published in the UK by Orion, and available in twenty-six additional languages. They are:
BAD SIGNS (2011)
'Candlemoth', his first-published, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger, as was his fourth, 'City of Lies', in 2006. His fifth novel, 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' was a Richard & Judy Book Club selection in 2007, and went on to win the Livre De Poche Award, The Strand Magazine Novel of The Year, The Mystery Booksellers of America Award, the USA National Indie Excellence Award for Best Mystery and the Inaugural Nouvel Observateur Prize. 'A Quiet Vendetta' won the Quebec Laureat, the Villeneuve Readers' Prize and the St. Maur Prize. 'A Simple Act of Violence', Ellory's sixth novel, won the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year 2010. He has been nominated for a further thirteen international awards including two Barrys, the Association 813 Trophy, and the Europeen Du Point. He has also written the screenplay of 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' for Oscar-winning director, Olivier Dahan, and has optioned 'A Dark and Broken Heart' for film. His novella 'Three Days in Chicagoland' is being released as a French graphic novel at the end of 2014, and he has published short stories in numerous British and American magazines. Ellory is also the guitar player in Zero Navigator, and is soon to record an album of songs co-written with Martin Smith of ELO in a project entitled The Whiskey Poets. He was born in Birmingham, U.K., and continues to make this his home with his long-suffering wife, idiosyncratic son and two troublesome cats.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good, gritty read 25 Sept. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took me a couple of chapters to get going with this book but once I did I couldn't put it down!

My feelings towards Vincent the main character were very mixed, I think the fact that the story was told mainly from his view point made me sympathise with him more than I would have done otherwise. The emotions portrayed made me root for him even when he didn't deserve it!

I read lots of "easy reading" books over the summer and it was good to get my teeth back into a gritty storyline.
If you like a beautifully written thriller, where the lines stopped being black and white long ago and have become many shades of grey, A Dark and Broken Heart fits the bill!

I've read the majority of RJ Ellory's books and it still amazes me when in the midst of reading about murder, hate and greed there are lines written so poetically I forget that I'm reading a crime thriller.

Looking forward to the next one....
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating!! 13 Feb. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Frustrating should, you know you should, utterly dislike Madigan - for all he is and all he has done. But, you just can't stop those teeny feelings of sympathy creeping in. He wants to put his bad past to rest though to do so needs him to be just a little more bad. That is where the frustration creeps in.

Once again RJ Ellory entices you into his storyville and holds you there. He is without doubt one of the best authors around - and I hope he stays around for a long time to come. The literary world would be a far more dull place without him.

To all the 'one star haters' - really, you should get out more. To be so bitter and twisted can't be good for your health. People make mistakes - all people. So what? Did it affect you personally? No - move on!

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars back to his best 7 Oct. 2012
By beano
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you leave aside the 4 individuals who cannot get beyond the admittedly dubious review practice of the author and, instead, focus on the other 16 reviews, you do get the real sense of how good this book really is. I have read all of the authors published works to date. I feared after Bad Signs and The Anniversary Man that he was, perhaps, burned out. But then, along comes A Dark and Broken Heart and your faith is restored in his writings. A great book which is well worth a read and well worth the 5 stars. I am looking forward to his next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not a saint of New York 18 Jun. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of those stories for which the synopsis is best kept to a minimum because there's an important and surprise twist early on and I wouldn't want to spoil things by saying too much about the character of Vincent Madigan. So very briefly, and in keeping with the dust-jacket blurb, Madigan is embroiled in a robbery which goes wrong - a child is injured - and most of the tale involves his efforts to protect that child and her mother and wriggle out of trouble himself. You could call him a killer with a new-found conscience in search of a redemption that he knows he does not deserve.

I found it difficult not to draw comparisons between this and Ellory's 2010 offering Saints of New York, even though the stories have little in common. The key difference is that while the leading character of SoNY was fundamentally good, Vince Madigan is simply bad, and any entitlement to redemption is just too late now. This the reader knows from pretty much the first couple of pages and it has to be said that his ultimate destiny is not hard to guess at - it's just a question of how the journey unfolds. The conflict for many a reader, I guess, is that Madigan is curiously likeable, and despite his black past and irreconcilable actions, you'll have at least a part of you that roots for him. He is the hard-drinking pill-popper with the dark and broken heart, he's aware of it but in spite of his estranged wives and children he makes a point of saying that there is no point on dwelling on the past, no point in regrets. What's done is done, he says.

It took a while to really get involved in this tale but as usual with this author I most definitely did, and the 'middle bit' is highly entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous. 23 Feb. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is as good as it gets. Writing this good should not be limited to the Crime genre. It transcends the genre simply by the quality of the writing.

Just stop what you're doing and buy the book. Ellory makes the others look like bumbling amateurs. If you're not drawn into the character of Madigan, then you don't have a heart, either dark or broken.

I keep this book on my desk, to remind me how it's done. It really is that good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling noir... 14 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This has to be the noir thriller of the year. Fabulously well written, dark and twisted, the reader is carried into Vincent Madigan's life as he struggles to find a way out of the tangled and dangerous mess he has made of his life.

An anti-hero of epic proportions, we know from the beginning that he is surely irredeemably bad. No-one could be forgiven for the crimes he has committed, the vicious things he has done. And yet...and yet, as we get to know him, we find empathy for him as the author brilliantly plays with questions of morality and ethics. Madigan makes no excuses for himself; he accepts responsibility for every criminal and violent act he has committed, blames himself for the break-ups of his marriages and for losing touch with his children. But inside this man beats the dark and broken heart of the title and the reader - at least, this reader - can't help but see the good man he might so easily have been...and might still be. The author manipulates the reader so skilfully that I was left uneasy at how much I wanted Madigan to win through despite knowing his history. It reminded me a bit of how I felt about the awful but oddly likeable Patrick of American Psycho, but where that was blackly comic, this is true thrilling noir.

I have deliberately not given a synopsis of the plot since it is so complex and has so many twists that I fear even a simple outline could lead to unintentional spoilers. But after the first couple of violent chapters, the reader is blasted by the first breath-taking twist and from there on is swept into an ever-shifting, ever more threatening world where good and bad become so blurred that they are eventually almost impossible to tell apart. This is a superbly told and completely compelling roller coaster of a story - bleak, often violent, but never without the possibility of redemption. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book where the main character is not exactly a good guy. The book...
It makes a change to read a book where the main character is not exactly a good guy. The book is well written, as usual by RJ Ellory, and gives an insight into various criminal... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and affecting. Approach with caution
Ellory at his darkest. The main character here is about as much of an anti-hero as you can get yet I was drawn to him. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Ian S. Mowat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Great author
Great book!Great author.Only disappointment is finishing it and nothing else matches the standard!
Published 13 days ago by margaretgil
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just a great thriller - you need to concentrate to follow the plot or it's easy to get lost.
Published 16 days ago by Tony G
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellory's novels can be dark and this is certainly one ...
Ellory's novels can be dark and this is certainly one of the darkest. Written in a harsh American gangster style, it is in many ways a complex novel. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Peter Steward
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good book and very good seller
Published 9 months ago by doug
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every book by Ellory is different . Don't know how he thinks them up. I've read them all.
Published 10 months ago by Lesley
5.0 out of 5 stars another cracker from ellory
the usual very high standard by mr ellory...kept my interest throughout
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one from RJ Ellory
Well, it's RJ Ellory and he never slips up. I devour everything he writes and he never ceases to surprise, shock, delight, challenge.
Published 13 months ago by Janet Tchamani
5.0 out of 5 stars Another diamond
The legend does it again, the best author I've had the pleasure of finding has written another amazing book. Read more
Published 15 months ago by gambling_man
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