Review of Vengeance by Benjamin Black
Vengeance (#5) is another strong instalment in BENJAMIN BLACK’s noir crime series set in 1950s Dublin. Davy Clancy hates the sea but finds himself nevertheless coerced into accompanying his father’s business partner, Victor Delahaye, on his sailboat. As the boat bobs gently on the water, Dalahaye points a pistol at his own chest and fires. Davy is the sole witness of the bizarre suicide and is left with only the remnants of Delahaye’s cryptic remarks: “A man is not much if he can’t depend on himself, and nothing if others can’t depend on him.” The charming and intelligent Inspector Hackett and Quirke, a pathologist in a Dublin hospital, investigate the strange event. Together they delve into the world of the wealthy Clancys and Dalahayes, their secrets and their power struggles. A second death soon occurs at sea and the mystery deepens. The characters are complex, from Delahaye’s menacing identical twin sons and his young, attractive widow, to Quirke himself who is an alcoholic widower, with a dark past, a complicated love life and a boundless curiousity for the lives of the dead. Who is intent upon wreaking vengeance beneath the clear skies of an idyllic Irish summer? And when is justice achieved? The prose flowing from the pseudonymous pen of Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville is as compelling as always. This is a riveting read!