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Vengeance (Quirke Mysteries) Hardcover – 2 Aug 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle; Main Market Ed. edition (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330545817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330545815
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.6 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘A beautifully written and a scrupulously characterized portrait of mid-twentieth- century Dublin’ Literary Review

‘As with the previous books, this one is replete with all the period detail and atmospherics one could hope for in a thriller. Black is a master of presentation. The nudges and the winks, the red herrings and the wool-pullings are all consummately done. The gears of the plot mesh silently and inexorably and the whole machine moves forward to its disastrous outcome. On the way to its terminus, the book becomes more and more Banvillean and it is all the better for that . . . But Black's and Quirke's Dublin remains the gritty and deplorable place it has always been and Vengeance is a memorable and compelling snapshot’ Independent Ireland

'Engaging . . . The liquid precision of the writing presents convincing characters. It renders the drama of their lives as strangely matter-of-fact while fully illuminating the forces at work. We are deftly led through a complex entanglement of charged but often spent relationships. There is a blunt empathy with the principal characters that is curiously affecting. Effortlessly, it would seem, and never wanting, Banville’s description of the physical world is superb. Vengeance is the fifth novel in the Quirke Dublin series by John Banville, writing under the pen name Benjamin Black. It is a pleasure to read’ Irish Times

Book Description

The latest irresistible Quirke mystery from the Booker prize-winning author: now a major TV series starring Gabriel Byrne

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Bluecashmere. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This, the fifth in the Quirke series, more than lives up to the virtues of its predecessors. In fact, I think it is my favourite so far. Certainly, there is no sign of Black running out of steam yet.

Here, the action centres on a family feud and business rivalry, but once again it is less a burning sense of suspense than the texture of the writing and the lives of the three central, permanent characters that rivet attention. Against the background of 1950s Dublin – the time if not perhaps the place – is sharply realised, and becomes almost an additional character. The plot is skilfully handled, but our attention is every bit as much focused on the lives and relationships of Quirke, himself, his daughter Phoebe and his foil, the phlegmatic but sharp Inspector Hackett.

As I write I think I have only one novel in this series left to read. I savour the prospect and hope that Black is hard at work on the seventh. I find Quirke one of the most engaging of crime novel detectives.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Delahayes and the Clancys have been in business together for two generations but everyone knows that the Delahayes call the tune. So it is that Davy Clancy doesn't feel he can refuse when Victor Delahaye, his father's partner, invites him out on his boat one day when they are all holidaying at the Delahayes' country house near Cork. Once out at sea, Victor takes out a gun and shoots himself. As the families are Dubliners, the case is passed over to Inspector Hackett who, uncomfortable with the rich and posh, asks Quirke to help him. The Delahayes --young second wife and louche twin sons-- seem little affected by his shocking death. Only Victor's spinster sister Maggie seems to care. Meanwhile, Davy's father, Jack, has been secretly attempting a hostile takeover of the company. Then there is another death: we, the readers, know that it is murder but that is not obvious to Hackett.

Having been the central pivot in the first four books, Quirke seems curiously marginalised here, as if only half awake. Black created a vivid character in Christine Falls but has left him to fade away ever since. Left by the woman he loved in volume 4, he finds himself back in the arms of actress Isabel, whom he previously dumped and left to a suicide attempt of her own. The glamorous widow Delayhaye also has her eye on him. As so often in fiction written by men, we are expected to believe that no attractive woman can wait to throw herself into the arms of a depressed, middle-aged alcoholic.

90% of the time Black writes beautiful, resonant prose and then a leaden cliché will appear on the page, as if a troll had crept into his manuscript and vandalised it.
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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 10 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoyed this book, although I do have my reservations about it. Set in Ireland in the 1950s, pathologist Quirke investigates two deaths in two families who together own and run a large business. This is the fifth in the Quirke series and it helps to have read some of the earlier ones although it isn't essential.

The plot, frankly, is slight and predictable and anyone familiar with crime fiction will spot most of what is coming from an early stage. Although not as floridly literary as when he is writing under his own name, Banville's underlying interests are the same: insights into how character works and rich evocation of time, place and the internal lives of his characters. He succeeds well with all of that here; my reservations are mainly that I didn't feel that this was quite enough to carry the book with so little interesting plot. Personally, I don't find Quirke a terribly interesting character so having his thoughts and behaviour as the central theme of the book didn't really work for me, and Inspector Hackett, who I found a wonderful creation in the previous book, scarcely gets a look-in here. However, there is enough in other characters to hold the interest and I found I wanted to see how things turned out.

I suspect that readers looking for a good crime thriller will be a bit disappointed, but fans of Banville will love this. It's not a gripping read, but recommended nonetheless as a thoughtful and contemplative one with a good deal of interest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book I found to be disappointing. Although it is superbly written by a master of the English language, the content of the story I found disappointing. For me the story lacked coherence. I found the pairing of Quirke and Hackett not very persuasive. It just did not hang together for me.
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By HJK VINE VOICE on 31 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the 5th book in the Quirke series - however this is my 1st & it was possible to read & enjoy it without having read the others. (Having said that I have now just read Elegy for April - the 3rd in the series & will go on to read the others).

I enjoyed this book - is goes at a slow, measured pace to get to a solution - it is not a "wham bang" action thriller.

Dr. Quirke is a pathologist is 1950s Dublin & the strange events involving 2 families capture his attention and that of Inspector Hackett.

The Delahaye family & the Clancy family have been involved in business for several generations. At the beginning of the novel Victor Delahaye & Davy Clancy go out sailing .... Victor takes out a gun and shoots himself dead .......

I went to Dublin in the 1980s ... I think the feel of Dublin is very much here in the book.

Quirke himself is a very flawed character & the "back story" of his earlier life is interesting & strange - to get the full picture I think I must read the rest of the series.
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