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Dark Times in the City

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Danny Callaghan is having a quiet drink in a Dublin pub when two men with guns walk in. They're here to take care of a minor problem - petty criminal Walter Bennett. On impulse, Callaghan intervenes to save Walter's life. Soon, his own survival is in question. With a troubled past and an uncertain future, Danny finds himself drawn into a vicious scheme of revenge. Dark Tim ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Europa Editions (first published April 2nd 2009)
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  336 ratings  ·  53 reviews


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Manuel Antão
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013


My first Gene Kerrigan book.

The writing is tightly drawn, using very short scenes to drive the narrative along.

The prologue is good, but then I struggled to get into the story at the beginning. The reason I think I had trouble with at the beginning came out almost at the end of the book, which jumps back in time to provide the back story as to why Walter Bennett was the target of an assassination.

I think the book would have worked a little better if it had started with this part. I don't think
...more
Rob Kitchin
In Dark Times in the City Kerrigan gives as a good a portrayal of the relations between the new, vicious and ambitious gangsters and the older generation of Dublin’s underworld, and the ordinary folk caught in cross-fire. The writing is taut, using short half page to two page scenes to drive the narrative along. The prologue is good, but then I struggled to get into the story for the first 15 pages or so. After that the pages kept turning. The reason I think I had trouble with the opening was re ...more
Mike Gabor
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mike by: Frank
Shelves: british-mystery
Danny Callaghan is having a quiet drink in a Dublin pub when two men with guns walk in. They're here to take care of a minor problem - petty criminal Walter Bennett. On impulse, Callaghan intervenes to save Walter's life. Soon, his own survival is in question. With a troubled past and an uncertain future, Danny finds himself drawn into a vicious scheme of revenge.

An excellent book. Dark and gritty. The main character of Danny Callahan is terrific. He's made his share of mistakes but is trying to
...more
Matt
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love reading foreign crime novels, because I often have no idea if what I'm reading is cliché or not. It's very liberating.
Mikee
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Damn good book! Cold and gritty and violent, but couldn't put it down. Kerrigan is the best!
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A stunning, page-turning crime thriller that captures the dark essence of the genre. I don't think a better book of this type could be written.
Havers
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Der irische Autor Gene Kerrigan ist gelernter Journalist, und dass ihn die wirtschaftliche und politische Situation in seinem Heimatland umtreibt, ist den zahlreichen Beiträgen zu entnehmen, die er seit vielen Jahren für unter anderem für den Sunday Independent schreibt. Ebenfalls aus seiner Feder stammen zahlreiche Sachbücher, aber auch einige „schwarze“ Kriminalromane. Von letzteren sind mittlerweile zwei in der deutschen Übersetzung im Polar Verlag erschienen: „Die Wut“ und „In der Sackgasse“ ...more
John Sheehan
Jul 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, one that I would heartily recommend to any fans of Irish crime noir. This is the second of Mr. Kerrigan's fictional novels I have read (he also writes non-fiction), and I'm looking forward to reading the others.

The story is set in the Irish underworld, in the years since the financial meltdown. The lead character is just out of prison after serving time for murdering an up and coming crime boss. As he adjusts to life outside of prison while trying to stay out of trouble, he
...more
Bob
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no question that as a crime junkie that Irish crime is, for me, among the best in the genre, whether set back during The Troubles or just later day crime. The list of too notch writers in the field goes on and on.

This one, from Kerrigan, is a dandy, an ultra violent gang story. It features a couple of really likeable good guys, one especially, caught up in a whirlwind of bad activity and more than several well drawn crime boss bosses who propel the plot forward.

If this is your thing too,
...more
Charles
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
You'll assume that Danny Callagham is the protagonist and the story will follow the typical hero's path. You'll assume when the narrative shifts from Danny's POV that it is just a brief digression. By then you'll be half way through the book and begin to realize that Danny isn't all this book has to offer. Maybe this isn't the same old road you've been down many times before. The mean streets are familiar but you're taking a different route.
AC
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-mystery
My third Kerrigan novel and each is superb. For those who like the genre, I *highly* recommend these books. Absolutely authentic, gritty, complex plotting, but the author holds and pulls all the strands together with a deft hand, rich characters, depth of observation...
Patrick O'Neil
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Young thug upstarts take on the old school gangsters with a "I wanna do the right thing" ex-con caught in the middle. Decent plot, but I found the characters stereotypical - but then Irish thugs actually do tend to be in real life. I'm giving it a four because I can dance to it.
Tuck
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europa, noir
noir of modern ireland, where the neighborhood thugs have been replaced by wanna be global mafia, but things are still personal, brutal, and Machiavellian. lots of hard choices, horrific violence, dirty cops, conflicted excons, . super book for that.
John Pullen
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-fiction
I get pulled into Kerrigan's stories like few others. If you like crime novels with memorable characters and writing like Pelecanos or Lehane, try Kerrigan.
Darren
Oct 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cruelly authentic. A very fine crime novel
christopher Long
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kerrigan writes no nonsense prose. His story flows and characters evolve effortlessly. His depiction of Dublin and the "Celtic tiger' that left so many behind is first rate. Everything is grey, even the worst villains are touched with a warped humanity.
Barbpie
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, ireland
Couldn't stop reading until I'd finished this one. I lost count of all the murder victims but most of them had it coming. Can't wait for the next book by Gene Kerrigan. He's got his finger on Ireland's pulse.
Terry Gallagher
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
A little more bloody, a little less procedural than the others I've read, but the local color is terrific.
Don Osterhaus
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew! "Dark" is definitely the operative word. Not for the faint of heart.
Debara Zeller
3 1/2 stars. Good story if a bit violent.
Mary
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Z
Sandra
Very high body count, but the tension even higher. Once a certain amount of belief was suspended (and why not when reading for enjoyment?) this was enjoyable, and each individual character clearly delineated.
Bonnie Brody
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've become an avid fan of Gene Kerrigan's Irish mysteries. They are literate page-turners that are complex in plot with wonderful characterizations. This is the second one that I've read and I plan on reading each of them.

In this novel, Danny Callaghan has gotten out of jail seven months ago after serving an eight year term for manslaughter. He beat a man to death with a golf club when he was 24. He is now 32 and trying to live by the letter of the law, working for his bar-owning friend Novak,
...more
Mary Crawford
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Danny is keeping a low profile since being released from prison. He unexpectedly steps in to help out in a situation that has nothing to do with him. The consequences spiral out of his control and he finds himself in what seems an impossible cul de sac. Good development of the story line and finale came together well.
Monica
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Danny Callaghan, ex-convict, and his tavern owning friend Novack are sympathetic, if flawed characters. Danny's crime was manslaughter, beating to death a bully who happened to be the brother of a major crime boss. He's on parole now, keeping his head down, working as a driver for Novack. He is having a quiet pint in Novack's pub when two men come in intent on killing a small time snitch. Danny interrupts them, then is terrified that the men may have been after him - acting for the brother of th ...more
Marion
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Really enjoyed The Rage and this one, Dark Times in the City. These books are set in post-boom Dublin, and Kerrigan tells the story from both the police and the criminals' viewpoints. I really like that some of the same characters are in each book, but a major character in one may become a minor in the other. I enjoyed these two much more than the first one I read, The Midnight Choir, I think because although the main characters are quite flawed, you care about them - and for me that wasn't the ...more
Ed Mckeon
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one. Another in a stream of Irish crime fiction on which I've gotten hooked. I picked this one up in the fabulous RJ Julia Bookstore in Madison, CT, when I heard another browser say to a friend - "corruption in the Dublin Police Department. This should be good." He didn't buy the book, but I did, and glad I did. Reformed petty criminal Danny Callaghan gets drawn into a gangland dispute, and finds himself struggling to remain uninvolved. Of course he doesn't. His return to cri ...more
Carmen
Actually more of a crime novel than a mystery. It highlights a two week period in Dublin when rival gangs are fighting for control of the crime market. Sympathy was generated for the main character, by showing that although he had committed crimes in the past, he was trying to change his life. It didn't involve my thinking skills at all and since it wasn't entertaining, I don't think I'll read any more books by this author.
Diogenes
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars : The mobsters of Dublin make the Sicilian Mafia seem like boy scouts. Hard men, these.
An interesting and compelling read, not for the faint-hearted. One gets a real connection with the main character and a concern about his future. Some Irish slang, but in context it's mostly understood.
Igor
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Make a great Sodabergh directed film.
Not sure if plot construction really pays off in a novel. Like the short handed writing fits the crime genre style.
Roger
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gene Kerrigan is surprisingly complex, in plotting and in his characters, but writes with pristine economy. With one sentence, he can add depth to a secondary character, and then move on expecting the reader to get it. DARK TIMES IN THE CITY is kind of a follow-up to LITTLE CRIMINALS (Tana French-like), which took me a while to figure out. My bad. This is a very good book.

Irish thugs run amok
Saints and poets can't be found
Take a breath, move on
Nikmaack
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
It has been a long time since I missed my bus stop because I was engrossed in a book. The climactic chapters to this novel are excellent and worth the wait. Alas, there is a wait. A few times I was genuinely bored. Some of the plot twists and character decisions seemed very implausible. Overall, an excellent read, with some slow bits.
Tim Lockfeld
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book. It's hard to tell at points if all the violence and sadism has a point. Like a Guy Ritchy movie there's a procession of bad guys each more nasty than the next. The last harrowing scene brings sharply into focus why the author has been battering us and his characters, finally letting us exhale.
Alfredo De villa
This is a crime novel, not just a mystery. As such Kerrigan deals with criminals doing bad things to each other. Like George V. Higgins, there's a main character, but everyone impacts each other in surprising ways.
Colleen
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this modern day crime story set in Dublin. I would have liked it to have a little more depth of the main character Danny Callagan. Liked the story and the crime was pretty cold blooded. Good read!
Nita
Dec 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fair book. The sensory description is done very well, as is the character development. The crime details are too gritty for my taste, and that personal aversion skews my overall rating of the book downward. Other readers who enjoy crime novels may rate the book higher.
Robin Jonathan Deutsch
I found this book to be sensational, on par with all of Kerrigan's books. Great characters, real dialog and suspense that keeps you guessing right down the the last pages.
Dave Jorgenson
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
A well-written thriller, but damn is it dark and violent and a little terrifying in the casual, uncaring brutality. The writing carries you onward through the plot with short, descriptive scenes.
Jonathan Greeley
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced crime thriller set amid post-sectarian violence in Dublin. Very enjoyable read.
Cvinci06
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New author--or new to me anyway. I enjoyed it and will look for others by this author.
Shane C
Was a decent gangland crime drama/thriller! ...
Samantha Fraenkel
An enjoyable Irish crime novel. Gritty and full of plot twists, an entertaining read!
Marik Casmon
A good Irish crime novel set in Dublin.
judy
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Just about perfect.
Diane
Oct 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read - fast moving and thrilling.
Danath01
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent
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Gene Kerrigan is an Irish journalist and novelist who grew up in Cabra in Dublin. His works include political commentary on Ireland since the 1970s in such publications as Magill magazine and the Sunday Independent newspaper. He has also written about Ireland for International Socialism magazine. He was chosen as World Journalist of the Year in 1985 and 1990, and has written books, including ficti ...more