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 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?
“A provocative whydunit…Superior prose…and subtle mystery ensure another winner for Black.”
- Publisher's 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.”
“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.”
“Quirke remains a compelling mystery, perhaps to himself most of all… Along the way, there's the pleasure of Black's prose.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“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
“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