Vengeance

Benjamin Black

Ages 12+
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2011 Nominee

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year

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15 August 2013
9781447256342
592 minutes
John Keating
Synopsis

Why would suicide need a witness?

On the east coast of Ireland, Victor Delahaye, one of the country’s most prominent citizens, takes his business partner’s son out sailing. But once at sea, Davy Clancy is horrified to witness Delahaye take out a gun and shoot himself dead.

This strange event captures the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett and his friend Pathologist Doctor Quirke. The Delahayes and Clancys have been rivals for generations and the suicide lays bare the perplexing characters at the heart of the mystery, from Mona, Delahaye’s toxic young widow, to Jonas and James, his strange, enigmatic twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his down-trodden, womanizing partner. And when a second death occurs, one even more shocking than the first, Quirke begins to realise that terrible secrets lie buried within these entangled families; and that in this world of jealousy, ruthless ambition and pride – nothing is quite as it seems . . .

'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

‘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