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Extended Audio Sample Black Irish Audiobook, by Stephan Talty Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (233 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephan Talty Narrator: David H. Lawrence XVII Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Detective Abbie Kearney Series Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9780385360760
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Absalom “Abbie” Kearney grew up an outsider in her own hometown. Even being the adopted daughter of a revered cop couldn’t keep Abbie’s troubled past from making her a misfit in the working-class Irish American enclave of South Buffalo. And now, despite a Harvard degree and a police detective’s badge, she still struggles to earn the respect and trust of those she’s sworn to protect. But all that may change, once the killing starts.

When Jimmy Ryan’s mangled corpse is found in a local church basement, this sadistic sacrilege sends a bone-deep chill through the winter-whipped city. It also seems to send a message,one that Abbie believes only the fiercely secretive citizens of the neighborhood known as “the county” understand. But in a town ruled by an old-world code of silence and secrecy, her search for answers is stonewalled at every turn, even by fellow cops. Only when Abbie finds a lead at the Gaelic Club, where war stories, gossip, and confidences flow as freely as the drink, do tongues begin to wag with desperate warnings and dire threats. And when the killer’s mysterious calling card appears on her own doorstep, the hunt takes a shocking twist into her own family’s past. As the grisly murders and grim revelations multiply, Abbie wages a chilling battle of wits with a maniac who sees into her soul, and she swears to expose the county’s hidden history, one bloody body at a time.

With Black Irish, Stephen Talty stakes a place beside Jo Nesbø, John Sandford, and Tana French on the cutting edge of psychological crime thrillers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Abbie Kearney is one of the most intriguing new suspense protagonists in memory, and Black Irish marks the captivating start of a brilliant thriller series.”

    Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Last to Die

  • “Luxuriantly cinematic…a compulsively readable crime thriller.”

    Buffalo News

  • “A memorable story of betrayal and vengeance.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “David Lawrence shines in this intense thriller…Although the main character is female, Lawrence doesn’t shy away from the smooth, deep tones of his voice, a practice that not only works but is refreshing. He keeps to a relatively steady pace throughout, even as the action picks up. It’s another technique that works surprising well, serving to create more tension as this suspenseful mystery reaches its surprising ending.”


  • “Talty shows his chops when recounting [Buffalo’s] Irish roots.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 2/12/2014

    " Know anything about Buffalo?, then read this "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy Barber | 1/22/2014

    " Looking forward to reading this one soon. Updated review will follow as soon as I finish reading :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Conley | 1/8/2014

    " This is a gripping mystery and character study that I found extremely difficult to put down. The story kept drawing me back and then, poof, it was over. The resolution of the underlying case was beautifully done and so sad. I am looking forward to the next book. Great story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evie | 12/21/2013

    " Very exciting ... if gory ... mystery. The characters are strong as is the story until the very end. The ending was so out of the blue, and unbelievable, that I left this with three stars rather than the four that the rest of the book deserved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie Wilson | 11/14/2013

    " Started out being a really good thriller, although a bit gruesome. I really enjoyed it right until the end. It felt like the author needed some kind of ending and came up with one that just didn't fit. A fun read, but the ending left me disappointed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kdunbier | 9/23/2013

    " this was terrible. I had high hopes. seriously, besides a couple arcs I want to get through, this has turned me off mysteries for a while. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jmrathbone | 8/2/2013

    " This novel moves along with lots of bloody awful murders. I really thought I had it figured out, but then up pops a new character about which there had been no mention until the end of the book. That approach is too far of a reach for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judie | 7/30/2013

    " Black Irish started well and had a good ending, but it fell short of being a great thriller. Too much predictability, gratuitous sex and violence and a little formulaic in spots. A good first try and hopefully then next will be tauter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jay | 7/9/2013

    " I enjoyed Black Irish until the last 10%. Then it got silly, with new characters and motives and past occurrences coming out of the blue. I had to skim to the end. What a let-down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie Peters | 6/28/2013

    " I'm so glad I received my copy as a giveaway this month! I loved this book! Full review will be posted in March after publication. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen Cunningham | 6/20/2013

    " I enjoyed this book very much! Couldn't put it down once I started it!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mrs E | 4/27/2013

    " very fast and exciting read! "

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About the Author
Stephan Talty is a widely published journalist who has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, Time Out New York, Details, and many other publications. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Empire of Blue Water and Mulatto America: At the Crossroads of Black and White Culture.
About the Narrator

David Harvard Lawrence XVII is an American television and film actor, voice talent, network radio host, internet entrepreneur, podcaster, demo producer, teacher, and author. He is best known for his role as the Puppetmaster on NBC’s sci-fi series Heroes. He was also the host of the David Lawrence Show and weekend Online Tonight, both nationally syndicated radio talk shows that revolved around pop culture and high-tech lifestyle. The “XVII” in his name was a way for Lawrence to distinguish himself from previous David Lawrences already registered with the Screen Actors Guild. At the time, he was the seventeenth David Lawrence listed on IMDB, and appended the number to his name upon his own registry.