Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vengeance (Quirke, #5)” as Want to Read:
Vengeance (Quirke, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vengeance (Quirke #5)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  870 ratings  ·  158 reviews
A bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood, as one of our most brilliant crime novelists 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 pist
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vengeance, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vengeance

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,622)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James Thane
This is the fifth of Benjamin Black's novels set in the Ireland of the 1950s, and featuring Quirke, a consulting pathologist who often works on homicide cases with Detective Inspector Hackett. Like the other entries in the series, it's very literary in tone and moves at a slow and steady pace. That is certainly not a criticism. Black, who is actually the Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, writes beautifully and creates characters with great depth; it's a real pleasure to simply lose yourself ...more
Mal Warwick
Vengeance is the fifth of the six novels featuring the Dublin pathologist Quirke (no first name) from the pen of Benjamin Black, aka Man Booker Prize-winner John Banville. Banville reportedly writes the series for money, seeing them as of a lower order than the dozens of “serious” novels and plays he has created. Clearly, the critics agree with him, having awarded Banville a mind-bogglingly long series of awards and prizes. However, this quick and dirty distinction between genre fiction and the ...more
VENGEANCE. (2012). Benjamin Black. ***.
Benjamin Black is the alter ego of the Man Booker Prize-winning author John Banville. This is his fifth novel as Black that features the cases involving Detective Inspector Hackett and his pathologist colleague Dr. Quirke. In this one, we meet the members of both the Delahaye and Clancy families. The two senior men started a business years ago in export/import, which is now run by their sons. The heads of the two families couldn’t be any different, one is
I got a review copy of this Sunday week for half-price a day before the official publication date. I was well chuffed indeed.

And of course, it was pretty good, Banville at his Black-est. Plenty of fun with somewhat stock characters: Dublin toffs (of both RC and Prod varieties), Trinty boys (this being the '50s, of course they're boys), and the lovable, taciturn, Midlands-bred Inspector Hackett, as well as the enigmatic pathologist Quirke. Add in the now-familiar extended family of Quirke—his dau
Vivian Valvano
Benjamin Black, aka John Banville, gets back to 5-stars from me in this 5th Quirke novel. He's drinking too much, and he has his familiar weaknesses with women, but he's spot-on in his powers of ratiocination. The narrative is excellent here - intriguing deaths to be investigated and an array of interesting characters. We get to know Quirke's daughter Phoebe a bit more, and I really feel for her. Period atmosphere and details are fantastic. Distinctions between Dublin and Dun Laoghaire, between ...more
Entertaining but slight entry in the Quirke series. The writing is fluent as always from Black (or Banville, to be more accurate) and the characters are fun to witness but the mystery isn't that substantive this time around with not much in the way of surprise. More like 3.5 stars but the fine writing pushes it up a notch. If you like the series you should like this one, just not the best entry in terms of weightiness of plot. Recommended.
Wealthy Dublin businessman Victor Delahaye invites Davey Clancy, the 25-year-old son of his business partner, out on his sailboat. Victor then proceeds to shoot himself in the chest. Soon afterward Delahaye's business partner Jack Clancy, who was secretly manueuvering to take over the company, is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Detective Inspector Hackett and his friend, pathologist Dr. Quirke, look into both cases. Plenty of persons of interest turn up: Victor's beautiful, flirtatious, ...more
David Carr
The quality of the writing in this work is superior to any other crime novel I have read, and its protagonist is among the most complex and opaque among a legion of inquisitors. The prose simply stopped me, requiring a rereading, and sometimes another. Here, a man enters his father's nursing home room.

"There was a bed, a chair, a bedside locker. A copper beech tree outside loomed in the high sash window, darkening the room within and giving it an underwater look. Jack's father inhabited this cis
Nancy Oakes
first: I received this book as an ARC; I loved it so much I bought a regular copy. So my ARC is available and needs a good home. If you live in the US and you want it, just be the first to leave a comment saying you'd like it and I'll send it to you. The postage is on me.

My thanks to Librarything's early reviewers program and to Henry Holt for sending this copy. Book number five in Black's excellent Quirke novels, Vengeance continues the winning streak of beautiful writing and excellent charact
Amy Lignor
“Vengeance” is the fifth book in Black’s mystery series featuring Quirke, a pathologist who supports Detective Inspector Hackett in his cases.

The plot is an interwoven, complicated story about two families headed up by business partners who are the sons of business partners. It seems as though one of the families has always been the ‘top dog,’ holding the upper hand in all the business dealings that have occurred over the years.

Victor Delahaye (the dominant partner), takes Davy Clancy (son of t
i think this is john banville's fifth "pulp" mystery and while it is probably the smoothest, and the least "pomoish", it seemed a bit by-the-numbers. as for example, jimmy, a recurring character who as a journalist is a legitimate finger-poker into things dead and mysteries revolving around rich people, but makes a cameo in this story that just seems pointless. that said, these benjamin black mysteries, with the redoubtable, whiskey swilling, bed jumping quirke the pathologist are still fun and ...more
Stacy Bearse
The weakest installment of a great series, which still makes it a good book. Dynamite opening chapters. Emotional conclusion. What lies between meanders here and there. Absolutely superb writing is the saving grace. I found myself reading some sentences over-and-over just to marvel at the way Black (John Banville) strings together words and phrases.
It was a very interesting novel. I felt like there were too many characters who were trying to play detective, so we didn't really focus on the main detective. I also haven't read the earlier books featuring this detective, so although the character's backstories were explained so I wasn't completely lost, I wish I had read the other books featuring Quirke first.
Overall it was pretty enjoyable. Not too long and drawn out. The plot is more character based than actually hunting out clues.
I receive
Dan Downing
Benjamin Black's knack for time and place resonates strongly with me, perhaps more so than many because I am a former smoker. As a teen-ager I lived near a Tobacconist. There, when we had a few extra dollars, my best friend and I would occasionally treat ourselves to English or Turkish or French cigarettes. Thus as I made my way through Black's "Vengeance" I was by turns nauseated by the images of smoking---we ex-smokers are often repelled by the smell, something which I never knew about tobacco ...more
Mike Cuthbert
John Banville, Man Booker Prize winner puts on his other hat again and, as Benjamin Black, delves into murder most foul, this time among the upper crust of Dublin society, the Delahayes’ and the womanizing partner of Delahayes, James Clancy. Both die at sea under less-than natural circumstances. Certainly a case that will draw the attention of consultant psychologist Dr. Quirke. Dr. Quirke is also somewhat of a womanizer. Though living now and then with the famous and beautiful Isabel, a local a ...more
Must say Quirke is getting more likable as this series goes on. These books are dark, and definitely an acquired taste. I read the first in the series, and didn't like it all. On the other hand I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I've soldiered on. The writing can be exquisite, the plotting devious. It's funnyI was talking to the colleague who recommended this author; he started with a later book and is working backward and is disliking Quirk more and more.
In this outing, two families —one Cat
Derek Farrell
Banville / Black has been getting progressively darker with the Quirke novels, and this one is possibly the darkest of them all (and the most classically "Noir". Oddly enough, that made it difficult for me to get in to. The opener is a genre staple: Open with something about to happen. Have that something be dramatic and powerful. Hint at it, build to it, then have it happen in front of the readers eyes. So far, so attention grabbing.

But then, Black goes away from this scene (and this 'show, don
Lynette Barfield
Just couldn't seem to really get into this. Not bad, Not good. Just o. k. Probably one of those I shouldn't have finished. OH WELL. On to something else. Just downloaded Jo Nesbo's Phantom That's more like it.
Grand little read - not too challenging but well written as always. A bit like one of those one hour dramas on TV.
Mike Gabor
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
Over 4 previous books, Benjamin Black (novelist John Banville) has developed a wonderful world. He has sucessfully recreated 1950's Dublin and Irish society in it's post war nuances and foibles. Quirke is a great protaganist, not some all knowing savant, but a intelligent man who works hard and has demons of his own. I appreciate that Black has crafted him this way, his weaknesses andd failures are always with him. And the people around him don't simply love him unconditionally. The relationship ...more
Dayna Tiesi
A bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood, as one of our most brilliant crime novelists reveals a world where money and sex trump everything
(From Book Description)
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 D
Mark Rubinstein
Under the pen name Benjamin Black, Mann Booker winner John Banville has written a series (five or six novels) about Quirk, an Irish pathologist who tends to get caught up in helping the police solve crimes.

While it helps to have read the earlier novels, "Vengence" can stand alone as a mystery with holding power. The earlier novels set Quirk's character in the context of a traumatic childhood which explains some of his aloofness, and sheds greater light on his relationship with his daughter Phoe
I finally caught up my Benjamin Black reading with this last book. This is the latest in his "Quirke" series, so it will probably be a year or two before another comes out. If you are not familiar with Black, you would probably know Mann-Booker winner, John Banville. I've become addicted to this author. They are not the "easy reads" of so many mystery writers out there. The plotting is deliberate, even slow. Motives are tangled and obscure. Endings are seldom satisfactory. In this latest story, ...more
Kristine Brancolini
Set in the mid-1950s in Dublin, Ireland, Benjamin Black's mystery series featuring pathologist Quirke (honestly, I think I knew his first name once but can't find it anywhere now) is magical and perfect. Taken as a five-part series, it's flawless, and the latest installment, Vengeance is the best in the series since the first book Christine Falls. Black (actually John Banville) is the Raymond Chandler of Dublin. It hit me when I reached the end of Vengeance that Quirke reminds me a lot of Philip ...more
Deirdre Clancy
In terms of plot, this book has everything: two decadent dynasties in business partnership with one another battling it out; a pair of sinister identical twins; hints of incest (but only hints); a seemingly innocent spinster, who turns out to be highly disturbed; a seductress; a playboy by the name of Clancy. Perhaps it is because I'm Irish, and familiarity breeds a certain weariness, but I found Hackett and Quirke to be a depressing, slightly jaded duo in this book, and I think that was my prob ...more
Another very good Quirke mystery by Benjamin Black. I love Quirke - he's so flawed, but yet so brilliant. I especially like the relationship between Inspector Hackett and Dr. Quirke. This book revolves around two families who have been in business together for generations; the senior partner of the firm takes the junior partner's son out on a boat, far from land and shoots himself, stranding the young man (a non-sailor) alone in the boat. Once the boat is found, Hackett is brought into the inves ...more
Evanston Public  Library
Fifth in the mystery series featuring complicated pathologist Quirke and seemingly bumbling detective Inspector Hackett. Once again set in 1950s Dublin, the story this time centers around the suicide of a wealthy business owner--whose relationship with his partner raises a lot of questions and uncovers many secrets. The cast of suspects include the businessman's beautiful but unsympathetic widow, his very strange twins sons, his unstable sister, and the son of his partner who witnessed the suici ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Gloria added it
Author aka John Banville

Genre: Mystery, Psychological Fiction
Hardback: 304 pgs

Cover: Pic of a hard-looking beautiful woman exhaling cigarette smoke
Back cover: Endorsements from newspapers such as "New York Times"
Somber Looking Covers
Inside Flap: Money and Sex in big letters
Back Flap: Dark, somber author pic (aged 50-ish)

Longer chapters, with sections. Not dense.
Manly Tone; Character Driven
Themes: Suicide, Revenge
The latest in a mystery-esque series under the pseudonym of novelist John Banville, this installment gets high marks from critics but was a big thud for me. Benjamin Black, aka Banville, has created an intriguing Irish noir investigator in Quirke, a coronor with his own pathology which he tamps back with copious amounts of alcohol while compulsively pursuing the whodunnit components behind the corpses who are sent to his lab. Earlier novels delve into Quirke's troubled familial relationships tha ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 54 55 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Has anyone seen the British TV series of these books? 2 3 Jan 08, 2015 04:15PM  
  • Borderlands (Inspector Devlin, #1)
  • Athena (The Freddie Montgomery Trilogy, #3)
  • Mortal Leap
  • I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Detective Sean Duffy, #2)
  • City of Lost Girls (Ed Loy, #5)
  • Priest (Jack Taylor, #5)
  • The Silence in the Garden
  • Sezione Suicidi
  • Cop To Corpse (Peter Diamond, #12)
  • How's the Pain?
  • People Park
  • Until the Night (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #6)
  • Beneath the Abbey Wall
  • Stardust
  • Hearts of Sand (Gregor Demarkian, #28)
  • The Dead Season (Sandro Cellini, #3)
  • Stolen Souls (Jack Lennon Investigations #3)
  • Operation Napoleon
Pen name for John Banville

Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife. He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own. His sister Vonnie Banville-Evans has written both a children's novel and a r
More about Benjamin Black...

Other Books in the Series

Quirke (7 books)
  • Christine Falls (Quirke #1)
  • The Silver Swan (Quirke, #2)
  • Elegy for April (Quirke, #3)
  • A Death in Summer (Quirke, #4)
  • Holy Orders (Quirke #6)
  • Even the Dead (Quirke #7)
Christine Falls (Quirke #1) The Silver Swan (Quirke, #2) Elegy for April (Quirke, #3) The Black-Eyed Blonde A Death in Summer (Quirke, #4)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“All the same, she wondered if they did know what she thought and felt, if they knew without knowing, in that way the Irish were so adept at doing.” 3 likes
More quotes…