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(Joe Lucchesi #1)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  708 ratings  ·  86 reviews
In this electrifying thriller—a bestseller in Great Britain and Ireland—Alex Barclay creates a stunning array of contrasts—from the violence of a cop’s world to the fragility of an embattled marriage, from the danger of New York’s gritty streets to the quiet of a seaside Irish village. With brilliance and subtlety, Barclay delivers a nerve-wracking tale of a troubled famil ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Delacorte Press (first published October 13th 2005)
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  708 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Aug 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
DARKHOUSE (Suspense-Ireland-Cont) – NR
Barclay, Alex – 1st book
HarperCollins, 2003- UK Hardcover
NY Detective Joe Lucchesi is on leave with his wife, Anna, and son, Shaun, in Ireland. When Shaun's girlfriend goes missing, Joe decides to find out what happened.
*** I made it to page 136, but only because I was waiting for my car to be serviced and had finished my other book. It's unfortunate because the basic plot was interesting. But the story rambled on with a lot of characters but no real charact
Asghar Abbas

The storyline and the writing style was OK, to tell you the truth I don't even remember most of it. The cover is the only reason, I am talking about this book at the moment. Look at it, have you ever seen anything so beautiful ?

Imagine me saying this in an Irish accent :)
Ian Mapp
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rob Kitchin
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Darkhouse was a book I edged my way through given the underlying tension and sense of foreboding, which left me uncertain as to whether I really wanted to find out how the story is resolved. Much of that tension is created through the intersecting storylines and juxtaposition of everyday family and village life in Ireland in the early 2000s, with the dark world of Duke Rawlins and Donnie Riggs in North Texas in the late 1980s. Barclay’s writing is vivid and well paced and balanced. The character ...more
This book is lazy, horrid, and terribly confusing. Plus, the story line isn't even tied up completely at the end and, from what I've gathered from reviews of the sequel, the loose ends from this one play little to no part in the future. Sigh. At least the cover was pretty and the slogan, dramatic. ...more
Jun 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps I am just too hard to please lately with the books I have selected to read, but I did not care for this one at all. There are way too many characters and the writing jumps from one story line to another and different times and settings. So confusing and hard to follow. There is one particular passage where the writer is describing Joe having a drink in a pub with a group of Irish men, then the very next paragrah describes Joe's son Shaun's girlfriend Katie. This makes no sense whatsoever ...more
Lance Greenfield
Oct 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lighthouse or Darkhouse?

This is a great debut novel. Whilst I agree with other reviewers that it sticks broadly to a formula, it is definitely a gripping crime thriller. I just could not put it down, and found myself reading until two in the morning having originally intended to read just to the end of the next chapter.

A New York detective opts for a "quiet life" in Ireland, which will allow his beautiful French wife to follow her own career interests. Her task is to transform a lighthouse for a
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful and captivating novel. The characters are likable, and I really felt for the main family as they struggle to come to terms with the disappearance. The resolution was very satisfying. The climax of the novel was a flurry of activity which seemed to make no sense until it was all cleared up at the end. What makes this novel a cut above most suspense novels was the realistic characters who are very three dimensional. The novel goes along and you think there are no surprises than the auth ...more
Ann Tracy
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have the pleasure of knowing Yve - whoops - Alex Barclay. She retreats at the same house that I do along the West Coast of Ireland.

I only read a couple mystery-suspense types book a year, and I really enjoyed this one. Not sure how fair I can be given our acquaintance.

The beginning of this book was a bit tough to get into, many characters and some jumping around, which is simply how this writer writes, but WORTH sticking to it. I could not put this book down!
Kathleen Dixon
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
A New York policeman takes time out with his wife and son to live in Ireland for a year or so. But when a nasty murder takes place locally he gradually realises that vengeance is being wreaked on him because of a fatal shooting he was involved in not long before their move.

This book not only gets the reader thoroughly involved in the family at risk, but also takes us into the childhood of the murderer and what turned him into a psycopath. Very well done.
Ellie at BookBucket
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a bit surprised by the number of people saying they found the jumping around of viewpoints confusing or difficult to keep up with. I had no issues with it and enjoyed the format. In fact, I enjoyed the book immensely and stayed up late to finish it. I'm glad it was recommended to me. ...more
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read! Couldn’t put it down.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable book, was gripped from start to finish.
Asha Stark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Susan
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
There were lots of reasons to read this book, enticed by a good cover, a good summary and a genre that I like. It was slower in parts than I liked and although I like Ireland I wasn’t convinced that they would move there or that trouble would follow them the way it seemed to, think they could have moved states in America just as well. The road to the truth about the missing girl is not smooth but the truth comes out eventually.
I struggled at the start of this book as it jumps around a bit, but once I got the characters straight in my head it all slotted into place. The book I have to say is quite formulaic and nothing really new in the storyline. It was quite readable though, didn’t take long and was left quite open to carry on in another book.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
It may be my be my problem but I found it difficult to read, I might add not because my English is poor, but the sentence structure didn't flow too well; character jumps from paragraph to paragraph but disjointed and confusing. At least some tension and twists. Number two in the series... nah ...more
Paul Harvey
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, although I did have some issues with it. I found it a little confusing that the narrative jumps around in location and time period, often several times within a chapter. There were also elements underlying the final twist that had not been sign-posted.
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
There appear to be a lot of negative comments about this book and yet I thoroughly enjoyed it.....I know each to their own but it kept me gripped and I had no problem with the toing and froing between years.
I thought it was a terrific debut novel and will definitely be reading more by her....
Jeff Farrell
Sep 17, 2018 rated it liked it
First third of the book was a dull, painful read (I blame the book editor for that) but a quality crime thriller when it got going.
I liked this book, my only complaint being it jumps around from character to character a lot which made it hard to follow at first.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was okay. One story line was predictable, the other was confusing with too many characters. I don't regret finishing it but I won't be continuing the series. 2.5 stars rounded up. ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Great story idea, but I struggled with a white trash redneck from Texas, not standing out in rural Ireland.
And the story of how Duke got to be the psychopath he became was almost a book in itself.
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firmly one of my favourite contemporary authors now. Another searing, well-paced thriller that delivers from start to finish.
dikshita read
Apr 18, 2021 rated it it was ok
Too many characters.
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-novel
Can't the past just remain past?

After a tragedy happens at work, a detective takes a break from NYPD and takes his family to a quiet place in Ireland. There will NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi spend a year with his family before he goes back to work. He's gonna stay there, spend time with the family and just do ordinary things. He needs a place to calm down after a brutal event.

But the quiet and isolated place in Ireland for the Lucchesi family turns soon to a nightmare. Joe's son, Shaun is 16 and
Katherine Campbell
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Honestly, there is nothing inherently terrible about this. It's just your basic mystery beach read. The plot is engaging enough, and the characters are numerous, but what detracts from both of these aspects is that the author has clearly never heard the axiom "Show, don't tell". I feel like this would translate well to nighttime TV screens, but reading constant descriptions of moments that should be obvious became quite tedious after awhile. This also goes for characters that were mostly qualifi ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Don't worry about the multiple characters and setting switches going on at the beginning--eventually they all come together! It is odd that there is only a two-line space between the changes though--so when I lost my place on a page, I really got confused and had to start over!

Joe "retires" from the police force in America when he shoots a unarmed criminal dead in the streets. All agree that it's best that he travels to Ireland with his wife and son--she's fixing up a lighthouse for a Vogue Inte
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi moves his family to Ireland after a botched ransom drop in a kidnapping case that results in the deaths of the kidnapper, the kidnapped child and her mother. But an ocean can't keep the Lucchesi family away from trouble. Joes' son, Sean, his girlfriend disappears and the dead kidnapper's partner in crime goes after Joe and his family.

Tough one to grade. There are a lot of storylines and the first third of the book is spent setting them up and the story as a whole got
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Barclay studied journalism at university and worked for a period in fashion and beauty journalism as a copywriter in the RTÉ Guide. In 2003, she left the fashion industry to write Darkhouse, the first of two novels featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi. Her second novel, The Caller, was released in 2007, and Last Call in 2008. She won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for ...more

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Joe Lucchesi (2 books)
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