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Vengeance (Quirke #5)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,031 Ratings  ·  179 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)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,948)
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James Thane
Aug 28, 2013 James Thane rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2014 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2012 Tony rated it liked it
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
Aug 15, 2012 Frank rated it really liked it
Shelves: irish-authors
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
Aug 16, 2012 Vivian Valvano rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 04, 2013 Gatorman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Jul 26, 2012 Nancy Oakes rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it really liked it
“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
Apr 10, 2016 Barbara rated it liked it
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,
Aug 30, 2012 Tuck rated it really liked it
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
Feb 01, 2014 Stacy Bearse rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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.
Apr 24, 2012 Katy rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Keith Currie
Nov 11, 2015 Keith Currie rated it liked it
Here is the fifth of Benjamin Black’s Dublin set 1950s crime novels featuring the inquisitive pathologist Quirke and his idiosyncratic circle. As in a number of the earlier novels a suspicious suicide attracts the interest of Quirke and the police in the shape of inspector Hackett. The first death is followed by a second even more suspicious suicide and the reader is quickly enwrapped in the dysfunctional activities of two Dublin business families, the Protestant Delahayes and the Catholic Clanc ...more
Dan Downing
May 19, 2014 Dan Downing rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2014 Mike Cuthbert rated it really liked it
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
Fredrick Danysh
When a rich man goes for a sail with his business partner's son and then commits suicide in front of the young man secerets are revealed during the investigation. A little slow at times, this police procedural is a fair read.
Nov 10, 2015 Vontel rated it liked it
Rather odd mystery, purporting to take place in Ireland in the 1950's. Quirke, the pathologist, is aptly named, and working together with Det. inspector Hackett, tries to resolve whether or not two deaths of business partners within a week of each other are related, were they suicides or accidents or murders, and why they happened. The writing and pace is both languid and at times, wonderfully descriptive. Sometimes it's frustratingly slow and almost aimless. How much of this is to help capture ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2015 Andreasoldier rated it liked it
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
May 11, 2014 Derek Farrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2012 Lynette Barfield rated it it was ok
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.
Mike Ceballos
Benjamin Black (el alter ego de John Banville) presenta este cuarto volumen de la serie de Quirke, llevándonos nuevamente a la Irlanda de los años 50's. Ha pasado casi un año desde que Quirke resolvió el caso de la muerte del magnate Richard Jewel y también desde que se despidió de la afligida y solitaria viuda: Francoise d'Aubigny.
Ahora Quirke se ve envuelto en la investigación de un suicidio bastante peculiar, el del empresario Victor Delahaye atestiguado por el hijo de su socio: Davy Clancy.
Oct 31, 2013 Godowd rated it liked 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
Feb 10, 2014 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-mystery
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
Jul 19, 2012 Erik rated it liked it
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
Sep 06, 2012 Mark Rubinstein rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
Oct 14, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 21, 2012 Kristine Brancolini rated it it was amazing
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
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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)

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“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
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