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Saints of New York [Paperback]

R.J. Ellory
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

30 Sep 2010

The death of a young heroin dealer causes no great concern for NYPD Detective Frank Parrish - Danny Lange is just another casualty of the drug war. But when Danny's teenage sister winds up dead, questions are raised that have no clear answers. Parrish, already under investigation by Internal Affairs for repeatedly challenging his superiors, is committed to daily interviews with a Police Department counsellor. As the homicides continue - and a disturbing pattern emerges - Frank tries desperately to make some sense of the deaths, while battling with his own demons.

Trying to live up to the reputation of his father, John - not only a legendary NYPD detective, but also one of the original 'Saints of New York' - the men charged with the responsibility of ridding New York of the final vestiges of Mafia control in the 1980s - Parrish struggles to come to terms with the broken pieces of his own life. But, as the murders escalate, he must discover the truth behind them before there are further innocent victims.

Dark and intense, Saints of New York is a novel of corruption and redemption, of the relentless persistence required to find the truth, and of one man's search for meaning amidst the ghosts of his own conscience.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (30 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409104753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409104759
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 371,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


His [Ellory] complex procedurals feel influenced by The Wire and the hardboiled cop thrillers of the 1970s. The accumulation of details is accompanied by a powerful sense of location and well-paced action sequences. In this siren-filled world there are no easy answers. The result is vivid story-telling with a dark heart and an angry conscience. (Christopher Fowler FINANCIAL TIMES)

This is a marvellous, nail-biting roller-coaster ride of a novel, perhaps the best British-written police procedural for several years. SAINTS OF NEW YORK is also much more than that: a meditation on guilt, suffering, and the sins of the fathers, from one of our brightest and best talents. (CATHOLIC HERALD)

Saints Of New York is a tour de force and deserves considerable success. (DAILY EXPRESS)

Like his maverick protagonist, Ellory shows evidence of frustration at having to "colour inside the lines", yet his skill in doing so makes the familiar entertaining. Even when the plot is following a prescribed sequence, it never quite feels as though he is going through the motions. (Sam Byers TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

Ellory can write. His prose is spare, telegraphic and lyrical. The dialogue is sharp and convincing... The climax is masterful, a chaotic collision of the planned and the unforeseen which illustrates just how well Ellory is in charge of his characters and his plot. Saints of New York just couldn't be better. (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)

Dark and intense, Saints of New York opens, quite literally, with a blood bath, and from there you are in the master's hands and he's not letting go until that last satisfying page is turned. (CRIMESQUAD)

It's a suspenseful and interesting tale, beautifully written in an all-American style. It was a surprise to learn that the author is actually British; but so, of course, was Raymond Chandler. (LITERARY REVIEW)

There's a darkly lyrical cadence to his writing that engages your emotions and compels you to care about the characters he creates in his utterly compulsive thrillers. This one grabs your heart, squeezes your gut and fills you with dread at what might befall troubled New York detective Frank Parrish. You certainly can't put it down, forget it, or escape the intensity of the ride Ellory takes you on. 10/10 (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)

Saints of New York pulls no punches with a gritty and unsettling narrative that cements Ellory's reputation as a rising star of crime fiction... uncompromising and utterly compelling. (WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)

It could be so clichéd - an irreverent, hard-drinking gumshoe with a broken marriage, a hooker on the side and a tough case to solve. But Ellory crafts this premise into a truly exceptional drama. (DAILY RECORD)

I can't really do justice to how brilliant I thought this book was, how taut and tense and well characterised. Suffice it to say though, Ellory has turned out yet another great novel and is rapidly becoming one of my favourite crime fiction authors. More than highly recommended, this is a must-read. (CRIMEANDPUBLISHING)

A bleak, atmospheric tale of modern America written surprisingly by an Englishman. Ellory has a good ear for American speech and location... another one to keep an eye on. (SUNDAY TRIBUNE)

Saints of New York is equally impressive as a psychological study of a man on the edge of the abyss, and Ellory invests his gripping plot and strong characterisations with an existential angst that at times makes for harrowing reading. (IRISH TIMES)

Book Description

Most cops are trying to right grievous wrongs. Few, however, have to deal with the horrific crimes of their own father...

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Well,this is my first ever review of anything but having had a quiet weekend with my wife and teenage kids away, I saw this in the shop on friday and started reading it on friday night and finished it on sunday morning.!!I have every one of his other books in my bookcase,even though some have been very well thumbed by my wife,family and friends as I have endeavoured to spread the word.

R J Ellory is a very talented writer with an interesting personal history which ,I think, does come across in his books.He is always probing the relationship between acts of others on the main character and how this drives them on in pursuit of resolution...either good or bad..often when most of us would have given up.

His narrative is so beautifully written and engaging and I often re-read paragraphs and thought about my relationship with my own father who died two years ago. There is a haunting quality to all his books and I really do wonder where he thinks up some of the is quite tough going in places and I literally had to go and make myself a drink before turning the next page or chapter.

This book has three seperate elements to the story

-crime in New York in the 60's and 70's as relayed to 'psycho-the rapist'

-a serial killer on the loose and will he catch him,legally or not

-the personal battle of the main character with himself and his relationships with his dead dad and his living but estranged family

The plot develops in a very different direction than you would think initially and it is a subtle transition which I only fully appreciated when I turned the last page.I think I was a little frustrated at my inability to see the main 'perp' get his full comeuppance,which I was looking forward to delighting in!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saints of New York 15 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What makes us us? What drives us? What guides our reactions to spontaneous decisions in the heat of the moment when there isn't time for thought? Three very tough questions, which there are no real answers, but they are answers in which Roger Ellory tries to discover in his latest book, the Saints of New York.

Having written reviews of his previous two novels, and even earlier about my first Ellory discovery, the wonderful "Quiet Belief in Angels", it appears to have become somewhat of an annual tradition!

We are introduced to Ellory's latest protagonist, homicide detective Frank Parrish amidst a literal blood bath as he attempts to save the life of a girl who has been attacked by her boyfriend, but things, as always don't go according to plan. Parrish, down on his luck, it seems things aren't going his way. As the novel unfolds and we are introduced to the main story line we learn more about him, more importantly, his past and the ghost of his father, New York police legend, John Parrish, one of the original "Saints of New York".

What people don't know, but what Frank does, is the truth. He knows the real John Parrish and the seemingly sinister motivation behind his actions. Once again, as is the case with all of Ellory's books, we learn the back story at the same time that the main narrative races forward at a relentless pace. This time told in gripping dialogue with Parrish's counsellor, who was assigned to him after Internal Affairs called him to book for a transgression too many.

All the while, a homicide investigation is going on, a drug dealer turns up dead, but so too does his sister. She's not the only one, there are more and we follow Frank's journey to unravel the pieces and follow the clues.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best yet? 24 Oct 2010
This is a superbly written thriller that proves Ellory is now a class apart from even the best selling authors working in the genre. But this also works on a much deeper, more emotive level than the novels of Stieg Larsson and Michael Connelly: this is far more engaging, quite shaking in places and ultimately deeply emotional. It's been ten days since I read the last pages and it just won't leave me alone. Damn you, Ellory, damn you.
This is nominally a story of father and son but even more affecting for me were the fathers and daughters, and a shocking betrayal of trust and a sudden burst of all-too-realistic violence made me gasp out loud. This has proven to be a novel I just can't seem to let go of even though I actually finished it a week or so ago. Maybe it's having a seventeen-year-old daughter of my own that makes this resonate so much , but judging from the other reviews here on Amazon I'm not alone - this novel rocks you and disturbs.
And taking centre stage of this spellbinding journey is one of the bravest fictional creations of recent times: Frank Parrish, an alcoholic NY cop teetering on the very edge. He's horribly, perhaps fataly flawed but all-too-believable.
Sit back and enjoy. Absolutely stunning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy drinking cop does good! 16 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
R.J. Ellory recently (and deservedly) won the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award for his novel, A Simple Act of Violence.

Saints of New York goes to show what an extraordinary writer he is. He manages to intertwine the harrowing tale of teenage abductions, alcoholic cops, people living on the edge of sanity and reason whilst at the same time carrying you into the thought processes, worries and anger of the main character - Detective Frank Parrish.

Parrish fights not only "the bad guys" but also his personal insecurities, hangups and inability to handle the most basic of inter-personal relationship. It is the manner in which Ellory writes the unfolding tale that absorbs the reader in an ever more complex and harrowing tale in which your every fibre is screaming out to help Frank Parrish get through another day without "screwing up" in his usual manner.

This is a gripping and somewhat darker tale than other Ellory novels. Having read all of his other books, I was anxious to get my hands on Saints of New York as soon as it came out. It definitely came up with "the goods". As with previous books, this one is a stand-alone novel containing many interesting characters, plots and scenes of the worst forms of crime imaginable. We follow Parrish on his path towards some form of redemption - Can he catch the killer; Will he reconcile himself with his late father's actions; Can he heal the rifts with his family and friends.

Once you have picked up this book, you won't want to put it down. R.J. Ellory just keeps on getting better and better. Buy it, read it, feel it. This is a great book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed all of Ellory's novels.
Published 9 days ago by Lesley
4.0 out of 5 stars Great most of the time and something a little different
I have read a few books by R J Ellory and have enjoyed them in the main particularly "A Quiet Belief in Angels". Read more
Published 27 days ago by Adam Bradbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book. Get it,love it.
Published 2 months ago by Tip
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
A really good read at a great price, ideal for my kindle, easy to buy and delivered instantly to my kindle, what's not to like!
Published 3 months ago by Westendboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
An enjoyable read. R. J. Ellory books are hard to put down once I start reading them. Money well spent.
Published 7 months ago by Linda Young
1.0 out of 5 stars Unnattractive book
Difficult to relate to or sympathise with any of the characters, written in a comic strip style. Grim, which is good in Scandinavian crime, but not this setting.
Published 9 months ago by Dorine Tinnion
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern detective noir
Liked this book a lot, great characters, good plot hook, echoes of different times ring through it. It was a classic maverick cop tale, but with depth.
Published 12 months ago by A. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Saints of New York
Mr Ellory writes his characters so well. It's like peeling off layers as you progress through the story. The murder plot was almost secondary to me by the time the book finished. Read more
Published 12 months ago by S. Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I like the conflicts that the main characters had to contend with in their lives and the story line was very clever, a little disturbing in that I could see how it would be... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Elizabeth Morton
2.0 out of 5 stars poor and boring
It was sleazy and distasteful . I had mistaken it for a Saint book, but decided to read it anyway - gave up in disgust after the third chapter. NOT recommended
Published 12 months ago by Mr R.Pulling
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