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Vengeance: A Novel Audiobook, by Benjamin Black Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Benjamin Black Narrator: John Keating Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Quirke Series Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781427221438
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (323 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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In Vengeance, a bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood, as Benjamin Black reveals a world where money and sex trump everything. It's a fine day for a sail, and Victor Delahaye, one of Ireland's most successful businessmen, takes his boat far out to sea. With him is his partner's son—who becomes the sole witness when Delahaye produces a pistol, points it at his own chest, and fires. This mysterious death immediately engages the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett, who in turn calls upon the services of his sometime partner Quirke, consultant pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family. The stakes are high: Delahaye's prominence in business circles means that Hackett and Quirke must proceed very carefully. Among others, they interview Mona Delahaye, the dead man's young and very beautiful wife; James and Jonas Delahaye, his identical twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his ambitious, womanizing partner. But then a second death occurs, this one even more shocking than the first, and quickly it becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of several members of Dublin's elite. Why did Victor Delahaye kill himself, and who is intent upon wreaking vengeance on so many of those who knew him?

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Quotes & Awards

  • Sly, engaging… The stylish mystery of Vengeance unravels in an Ireland where the Catholic Church and its traditions hold a firm grip. Black introduces us to a fascinating, finely drawn group of suspects. Shelf Awareness
  • A provocative whydunit…Superior prose…and subtle mystery ensure another winner for Black. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • Tautly paced… [Black's] new book is the best to date. Detective Inspector Hackett is back, his Irish country charm belying his keen mind, along with Quirke, a broody pathologist who always manages to fall off the wagon and bed a prime suspect. Library Journal
  • Black is in superbly crafty form…[He] keeps the plot sleek as his gleaming prose sails across the page as swiftly as the yachts owned by the wealthy victims in his latest tale of mannerly murder among the Irish elite… A seductively moody and shrewdly damning tale of privilege, arrogance, vengeance, and a touch of madness. Booklist
  • Black is in fine fettle, as usual; his prose harkens back to an earlier time, when the English language was to be savored. He develops a plot with the best of them, and his characters are finely drawn and challenging. Bookpage
  • Quirke remains a compelling mystery, perhaps to himself most of all… Along the way, there's the pleasure of Black's prose. Kirkus Reviews

  • “With his soft Irish accent, Keating seemed to be doing something beyond merely reading aloud – without showiness or bluster, he seemed to be sending the story directly into my head. John Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review

  • Narrator John Keating does an equally good job with Irish accents that make subtle distinctions among the characters. Sound Commentary
  • Keating's melodic narration…could make a Bono lyric sound like a poem by Seamus Heaney. Mystery Scene Magazine
  • Narrator John Keating does not disappoint. As a returning performer in this series, he has become the voice of Quirke, Hackett, and all the regular characters in the series. He folds in the new characters with masterful agility…Keating can also breathe life into Quirke's haunts until the listener can almost taste the whiskey fumes. Keating is not simply a reader but a true audio artisan. Reviewing the Evidence
  • Black switches his point of view from one character to another, but the genuine Irish lilt to the book's dialogue, characters and setting gives it a voice that feels real and true. It's certainly read that way by the talented John Keating. Winston-Salem Journal
  • Propulsive… [Vengeance] will keep you turning pages. The Los Angeles Times
  • Gorgeously composed crime novels. Entertainment Weekly
  • Readers with a literary bent who prefer stylish prose and fully-realized characters are in the right hands with Black… Throughout [Vengeance], Black's prose is vividly rendered, almost painterly in its detail. The Boston Globe

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christa | 1/29/2014

    " Not my favorite Quirke. This was a very good novel, but not much of a mystery. I like my literary sleuths to actually do a little sleuthing. Quirke is great at drinking and banging widows though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 1/25/2014

    " Quirke is back, although it's not as prominent a role as in previous novels in this series. Plot opens with a strange suicide, witnessed only by the son of the victim's partner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacquelynn | 1/6/2014

    " Victor Delahaye commits suicide on his boat in front of his partner's son. Detective Hackett and Dr. Quirke are called in to investigate. They interview his wife Mona, twin sons James and Jonas, and partner Jack Clancy. While investigating, Jack Clancy turns up drowned, and Hackett and Quirke must look into family secrets before finding the truth about the deaths. This is the first book I've read in the series. I was surprised that the partners didn't work together more in the investigation and why Quirke seemed to take the lead in the investigation. I also didn't like his unprofessionalism with him sleeping with Mona. The premise was better than than the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 1/5/2014

    " Black's language is gorgeous, but this is the first of his mysteries starring Quirke in which the plot was tired, a rehash of previous ones. Disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/5/2014

    " The. Best Quirke novel yet, just gets better and batter "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/4/2014

    " I rarely give 4 stars. But believable, flawed characters and a solid plot coupled with stellar imagery (molten gold cascading off oars, a dried leaf like a hand clutching the frozen ground)give this one my highest rating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 12/26/2013

    " It's all about Atmosphere with Benjamin Black and this one has plenty of it. As long as it's raining in Ireland I'm happy. I listened to the audiobook with narration by John Keating. He handles the various accents, including the southern American one, with polish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riodelmartians | 12/14/2013

    " Great plot except for initial suicide. I think if he were in character he would not kill himself or others. The vengeance would not involve blood. Nevertheless, he wanted his wife to be the femme fatale and she performs beyond all expectations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 12/6/2013

    " I enjoy 1950s Dublin and the two key players in these books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linny | 11/16/2013

    " Banville better at non mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 11/7/2013

    " The writing is divine - the plotting isn't on the same level. Still an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 9/3/2013

    " The fifth in the series. Black/Banville is a prose master, many riffs poetic, and he draws wonderful characters, especially the ones most detestable. But we might could do with a bit more plot and bit less interior monologue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 7/30/2013

    " old fashioned thriller really enjoyed it - very well written, kept me hooked til the end without any blood guts and gore "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renée | 4/26/2013

    " I love all of the Quirke novels, but this one is not at strong as the previous ones. The writing style is wonderful, but the plot was predictable. I could tell who did it way too early in the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharron | 4/20/2013

    " This particular title is not my favorite of the Quirke books because I didn't find the supporting characters to be as Interesting as in some of his earlier works. But, as always, Banville's writing is sublime. It is truly a pleasure to read his prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 4/14/2013

    " Probably my least favorite book in the series. Didn't get the connection to Quirke. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 3/28/2013

    " I really enjoy John Baneville writing as Benjamin Black. The Quirke series is always a good read. I like reading books where the protagonist is a bit of a flawed character. It seems more real. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 11/20/2012

    " I always enjoy books from this series :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erica | 9/13/2012

    " 2.5 Not as good as the other Quirke mysteries, but still OK. Benjamin Black (John Banville) is a far better writer than most "mystery" writers "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 8/6/2012

    " I think I've finished this series now. "

About the Author

Timothy Dalton is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed incarnation of James Bond in The Living Daylights and License to Kill. A classically trained Shakespearean actor, he has appeared in films including The Tourist and in television miniseries including Scarlett (in which he played Rhett Butler), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and in countless Shakespearean films and plays. He is also the voice of Mr. Pricklepants, a character in the animated film Toy Story 3. He is a longtime reader of thrillers written by Booker Prize winner John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, including Christine Falls, which garnered an AudioFile Earphones Award. AudioFile magazine described Timothy’s reading of The Silver Swan, also written by Benjamin Black and published by Macmillan Audio, as “so good it will make listeners giddy with delight…As the heavy-drinking Irish pathologist Quirke, Dalton offers a pitch-perfect Irish brogue. It’s all thrilling, honest, and raw.”

About the Narrator

John Keating is an actor, voice talent, and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. His numerous acting credits include Roundabout Theatre’s production of Juno and the Paycock and La Mama ETC’s production of Cat and the Moon, as well as various parts with the Irish Repertory Theater and the Irish Arts Center. He can also be seen in the HBO miniseries John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney.