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A Dark and Broken Heart [Hardcover]

R.J. Ellory
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2012

It should have all been so easy for Vincent Madigan. Take four hundred grand from the thieves who stole it in the first place and who could they turn to for help?

Madigan is charming, resourceful, and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he's up to his neck in debt to Sandià - the drug king of East Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan from Sandià's control and give him the chance he needs 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 Sandià and the collected might of the NYPD are hunting him down, and the one cop assigned to lead the case is the very last person he could have expected.

Employing every deception and ruse he can think of, Madigan must stay one step ahead in a battle of wits that will test him to his limits. Can he evade justice for his crimes, or will his own conscience be his final undoing?

Frequently Bought Together

A Dark and Broken Heart + Bad Signs + Saints of New York
Price For All Three: 21.57

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  • Bad Signs 5.59
  • Saints of New York 5.59

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409124142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409124146
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

RJ Ellory is the author of ten novels, all published in the UK by Orion, and available in twenty-four additional languages. They are:
BAD SIGNS (2011)
His first US release was 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' (Overlook Press, Sept 2009), his second 'The Anniversary Man' in June 2010. He has been twice shortlisted for both the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA Dagger in the Library, shortlisted also for the Barry Award on two occasions and the 7th Europeen Du Point. He has won the Quebec Laureat, the Livre De Poche Award, the St. Maur Prize and the Villeneuve Readers' Prize for 'A Quiet Vendetta'; the Prix Du Roman Noir 2008, The Strand Magazine Mystery of the Year, and the US Independent Mystery Award for 'A Quiet Belief in Angels' (a 2007 Richard & Judy Bookclub selection), and was recently awarded the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year 2010 for 'A Simple Act of Violence'.

Product Description


Classic noir, a journey to the dark corners of man's foolishness, where nothing is ever what it seems and no one can ever be trusted. Ellory is beginning to sound like the master [James Ellroy]. I can think of no higher praise. (Geoffrey Wansell DAILY MAIL 2012-06-01)

As ever the writing is pungent and lacerating. This is a book that takes no prisoners and Ellory's continuing commercial success is assured. (Barry Forshaw DAILY EXPRESS 2012-05-18)

R.J. Ellory has produced another fine novel to follow Bad Signs and is becoming as prolific as he is good. With A Dark and Broken Heart, his eleventh novel, the author has captured the very essence of what makes good men act badly and why bad men act as intrinsically as they do, and is certainly an addition to any crime fan's "must read" list this summer. (Chris High WE LOVE THIS BOOK 2012-05-24)

"This thriller is written with so much power it pins you to your seat. I haven't read a better cop story since... well Ellory's own bestseller Saints of New York... A superbly riveting read" (PETERBROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH 2012-05-26)

"A pedal to the metal thriller" (Myles McWeeney IRISH INDEPENDENT 2012-06-02)

R.J. Ellory has carved himself a place at the top of British crime fiction with his dark and obsessively driven detective novels... a gripping read. (CATHOLIC HERALD 2012-07-26)

"As thrilling as a ride on the Coney Island Cyclone" (John Williams MAIL ON SUNDAY 2012-08-19)

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good, gritty read 25 Sep 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating!! 13 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Frustrating because....you 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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3 of 3 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 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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ellory at his best!!! 14 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book on my kindle and i really enjoyed it,it was very good,brutal in places sad in other places and touching in some parts.Vincent is a goody bady type of guy,he's done some bad things but i couldn't help feeling sorry for him.I have also bought the paperback for my husband. if you are reading this all i can say is go on read it!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and broken heart 1 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Once again Ellory comes up with a cracker. I have yet to be diappointed with one of his novels.
You have a bent copper in Vincent Madigan who is cunning and ruthless. In trying to cover his debts with a robbery, it all turns against him. Just when you think he's getting away with it the story takes yet another twist.
RJ Ellory is brilliant in his story telling and has me on the edge of my seat every time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 3 days ago by gambling_man
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow motion thriller at it's best
I liked the style of writing, and the plot and tension kept me interested to the end. The main character of the troubled drug taking cop managed to win me over enough that I cared... Read more
Published 5 days ago by A. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!
RJ Ellory can do no wrong. Every novel is a masterpiece. If you like psychological / crime stories with depth then this the author for you.
Published 2 months ago by homemaker
4.0 out of 5 stars Very dark
I have always loved Ellory's books (apart from Bad Signs). This is his darkest yet, and I found the ending difficult - surely it is the mark of a true storyteller, when you want... Read more
Published 9 months ago by carolintheforest
Gripping well written novel which flows and is created by a writer who is a master of his art. Great read highly recommended!
Published 9 months ago by angela lloyd
4.0 out of 5 stars Very dark and gritty thriller
This is a dark and gritty thriller not for the faint hearted. But it is also a story of redemption against impossible odds. This is one of my favourites by RJ Ellory.
Published 10 months ago by GE
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and broken heart
Nonstop, fast-paced thriller from beginning to end. Surprise after surprise, as with all Ellorys` books. Story telling doesn't get any better.
Published 15 months ago by michael cutter
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and Broken lead character - brilliant
A disturbing and violent crime thriller with an intricate plot but Vincent the corrupt, evil lead character is brilliantly portrayed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Patrick N. Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Thoroughly enjoyed this noir novel of a bent cop and local mafia. A clever final twist. A great read and unnecessary that the author should seek to provide his own praise on... Read more
Published 16 months ago by N. Short
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