A Dark And Broken Heart
It should have been so easy for Vincent Madigan. Take $400,000 away from some thieves, who could they go to for help? No-one at all. For Madigan is charming, effective and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he's up to his neck in debts to Sandia, the drug kingpin of Harlem.

A Dark And Broken Heart Details

TitleA Dark And Broken Heart
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 24th, 2012
PublisherOrion
ISBN1409124142
ISBN-139781409124146
Number of pages368 pages
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Crime, Fiction

A Dark And Broken Heart Review

  • Andrew Smith
    May 19, 2012
    He's a bad man. A very bad man. He created his own trouble and now it's going to see him off. He has all the vices and is almost totally self centred. He kills with little regard for anything other than how it will benefit him. So why did I like him, the anti-hero of this brilliant thriller from RJ Elory? well, it's hard to explain, but the bottom line is the author tells the story in such a way I found myself sympathising with him - hoping he'd overcome his (almost impossible) challenges and li He's a bad man. A very bad man. He created his own trouble and now it's going to see him off. He has all the vices and is almost totally self centred. He kills with little regard for anything other than how it will benefit him. So why did I like him, the anti-hero of this brilliant thriller from RJ Elory? well, it's hard to explain, but the bottom line is the author tells the story in such a way I found myself sympathising with him - hoping he'd overcome his (almost impossible) challenges and live to fight another day.To find out if he does survive you'll have to read it yourself, but please do. A brilliant read and another stunningly original book from this major talent.
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  • Gail
    June 2, 2012
    I came upon this book by pure chance and I have to say I am so glad that I did. It is simply breathtaking. My heart was in my mouth from the end of the first paragraph. The pace never ever lets up. I have to say I loved Vincent, although I shouldn't have, but what a fantastic character. The twists and turns to this wonderful story are remarkable and I never knew where the story was going. It is literally unputdownable. I'm still reeling from the pace of it and I sorry it had to end, but on the I came upon this book by pure chance and I have to say I am so glad that I did. It is simply breathtaking. My heart was in my mouth from the end of the first paragraph. The pace never ever lets up. I have to say I loved Vincent, although I shouldn't have, but what a fantastic character. The twists and turns to this wonderful story are remarkable and I never knew where the story was going. It is literally unputdownable. I'm still reeling from the pace of it and I sorry it had to end, but on the other hand couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen.This is my first book by R.J. Ellory but it will certainly not be my last. This is a fantastic piece of work and one which I can highly recommend.
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  • Karen
    May 17, 2012
    Any new book from R.J. Ellory is an event in these parts, and A DARK AND BROKEN HEART coming with the subtitle of "How Long Can A Man Escape Judgement?" was a particularly tantalising arrival.Fans of Ellory will know that he writes flawed, complicated, considered stories often about consequences. He writes dark, and sad and desperate. He also writes glimpses of hope, humanity and future. Which makes his books amongst some of my all time favourites, and right up to and including the final sentenc Any new book from R.J. Ellory is an event in these parts, and A DARK AND BROKEN HEART coming with the subtitle of "How Long Can A Man Escape Judgement?" was a particularly tantalising arrival.Fans of Ellory will know that he writes flawed, complicated, considered stories often about consequences. He writes dark, and sad and desperate. He also writes glimpses of hope, humanity and future. Which makes his books amongst some of my all time favourites, and right up to and including the final sentence in A DARK AND BROKEN HEART this book is undoubtedly one of my favourites.What is particularly interesting about this book is that it has, as the central character, a cop who is crooked. He makes very little apology for that, and for most of the book is completely obsessed with resolving the symptoms of a life gone horribly off the rails. Gambling, drug taking, working for the crooks, he's prepared to pull the "ultimate heist" to get his life back on track. And that's just the start of how far he's prepared to go to save his own skin.I won't be at all surprised if some readers struggle a little with this book. Vincent Madigan is not an immediately likeable human being. His flaws, his driven disregard for everyone around him could make him appear completely ruthless, completely self-obsessed. He's manipulative, violent and very dangerous to know. Somewhere in the middle of all of that I could get a sense though that this was a very scared, imperfect human being, somebody who may not engender overt sympathy, but does have a conscience, does struggle with his decisions and the outcomes he now must deal with.As is always the way with Ellory's books A DARK AND BROKEN HEART is no holds barred. Ellory is looking at themes that he often explores - what makes a person choose a certain path and what makes good people do bad things. The book does this concentrating almost totally on Madigan and his battle with his chosen path, with supporting appearances from a cast of characters that further explore that distinction between "good" and "bad" but more importantly why. Madigan and his associates - from both sides of the law - don't inhabit a happy place, and everyone who brushes up against them is affected by that contact. The story is fascinating, the writing tight yet descriptive, evocative yet sparse and very very pointed. And the ending is perfect.http://www.austcrimefiction.org/revie...
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  • Els
    February 18, 2013
    Misschien wel Ellory's beste! Het verhaal is ingenieus opgebouwd, knap uitgewerkt, lekker vlot geschreven zonder dat het oppervlakkig dreigt te worden en leest dankzij de vele onverwachte plotwendingen als een trein. Superspannend, kan niet anders zeggen. De vijf sterren zijn wat mij betreft dan ook dik verdiend.
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  • Amandine
    December 15, 2016
    Le premier Ellory que je lis et j ai beaucoup aime. Je ne saurai dans quel genre le classer mais il m a emporté.Un récit d un antihéros auquel malgré tout on s'attache
  • Leah
    April 9, 2013
    Thrilling noir… This has to be the noir thriller of 2012. Fabulously well written, dark and twisted, the reader is carried into Vincent Madigan's life as he struggles to find a way out of the tangled and dangerous mess he has made of his life.An anti-hero of epic proportions, we know from the beginning that he is surely irredeemably bad. No-one could be forgiven for the crimes he has committed, the vicious things he has done. And yet...and yet, as we get to know him, we find empathy for him as t Thrilling noir… This has to be the noir thriller of 2012. Fabulously well written, dark and twisted, the reader is carried into Vincent Madigan's life as he struggles to find a way out of the tangled and dangerous mess he has made of his life.An anti-hero of epic proportions, we know from the beginning that he is surely irredeemably bad. No-one could be forgiven for the crimes he has committed, the vicious things he has done. And yet...and yet, as we get to know him, we find empathy for him as the author brilliantly plays with questions of morality and ethics. Madigan makes no excuses for himself; he accepts responsibility for every criminal and violent act he has committed, blames himself for the break-ups of his marriages and for losing touch with his children. But inside this man beats the dark and broken heart of the title and the reader - at least, this reader - can't help but see the good man he might so easily have been...and might still be. The author manipulates the reader so skilfully that I was left uneasy at how much I wanted Madigan to win through despite knowing his history. It reminded me a bit of how I felt about the awful but oddly likeable Patrick of American Psycho, but where that was blackly comic, this is true thrilling noir.I have deliberately not given a synopsis of the plot since it is so complex and has so many twists that I fear even a simple outline could lead to unintentional spoilers. But after the first couple of violent chapters, the reader is blasted by the first breath-taking twist and from there on is swept into an ever-shifting, ever more threatening world where good and bad become so blurred that they are eventually almost impossible to tell apart. This is a superbly told and completely compelling roller coaster of a story - bleak, often violent, but never without the possibility of redemption. Highly recommended.
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  • John Brooke
    March 24, 2013
    The sub-title reads, How long can a man escape judgement?The sticker in the corner claims, The most powerful thriller you will read this year.Indeed, the plotting is great – Ellroy is a master. But the inter-chapter interior monologue sections are problematic. The obsessive inner voice of Madigan, the main character, a corrupted NYC cop, repeats and repeats (as obsessives tend to do), but they do not get him anywhere. Yes, he ensures we don’t get lost in the many twists and turns as he assesses The sub-title reads, How long can a man escape judgement?The sticker in the corner claims, The most powerful thriller you will read this year.Indeed, the plotting is great – Ellroy is a master. But the inter-chapter interior monologue sections are problematic. The obsessive inner voice of Madigan, the main character, a corrupted NYC cop, repeats and repeats (as obsessives tend to do), but they do not get him anywhere. Yes, he ensures we don’t get lost in the many twists and turns as he assesses his latest moves, gives us his personal take on certain characters, and mulls a philosophy of life that’s not that interesting, not funny, mostly just a lot of guilt… I suppose this mulling and rehashing is required to reflect his struggle to find some kind of redemption after a life based on lies, and violent, selfish acts. And a reader expects (hopes?)these passages will depict the arc of this corrupted cop’s soul’s progress to something a bit noble. But it all ends in one tiny gesture toward an estranged daughter. Far too little too late. Result: the main character is this story does progress much at all, and so you have to ask, What is the literary point of all this interior soul searching? Answer: Without that italicized inner voice, this book would be merely a violent, fast moving story about violent people - most of them doomed. And what else could they be?Two stars... I admire the plotting. But it could have been a better movie. Ed Harris as a rotten cop in a rotten world. Then again, we’ve all seen that movie a few times at least. Sorry, I wish I could make a fraction of the money this writer makes, but this book is nowhere near as special as they say.
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  • Ian Mapp
    July 1, 2015
    Just Wow.This book grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The pace is relentless. And the twist - 40 pages into the book - left me quite staggered. It's brilliant noir and for me, I had failed to see it coming.As a result, it's impossible to say too much about the plot without revealing spoilers and I notice, unusually, on this site there is not one review set with the "has spoiler" flag.If you like intelligent crime thrillers looking at dark underbelly of city life, then this is a great ad Just Wow.This book grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The pace is relentless. And the twist - 40 pages into the book - left me quite staggered. It's brilliant noir and for me, I had failed to see it coming.As a result, it's impossible to say too much about the plot without revealing spoilers and I notice, unusually, on this site there is not one review set with the "has spoiler" flag.If you like intelligent crime thrillers looking at dark underbelly of city life, then this is a great addition to the genre. Its superbly plotted with the use of a first person monologue in occasional chapters getting under the skin of the main character. Despite him being a fairly appalling man, you come to like him and root for him.The early part of the book has a lot of quick repetition of key facts about the story, which means the complexity never runs away from the reader. However, in a breathless ending, I admit that I go a little confused as to what was going on - which was more down to my own lack of concentration than the story telling.What I particularly like about RJ Ellory is that he has a canon of work, where each book is different to the previous one. He is also prolific. In my experience, you usually get prolific writers churning out the same type of book annually or great writers who are far more sporadic. This might just be RJ Ellory's best yet - although there are a couple of later releases for me to catch up on.On refreshing myself on the author, I was reminded that he had been involved in the fake reviews controversy on Amazon a few years ago. Why he felt the need, I will never know, but he was correct on one thing. Mark Billingham books are 1 star all day long.Recommended.
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  • John Herbert
    March 12, 2013
    Yep, he's done it again!!!!Another scorcher of a page turner, another classic tale that leaves you thinking about it long after the last page is turned, and yet another ten out of ten novel to leave you purring!So what do we have here?Madigan, a detective who plays both sides of the fence, up to his neck in debt, two wives and girlfriend and four kids all fallen by the wayside, decides to rob the drug king of East Harlem (who just happens to be the guy he owes the money to), decides to kill his Yep, he's done it again!!!!Another scorcher of a page turner, another classic tale that leaves you thinking about it long after the last page is turned, and yet another ten out of ten novel to leave you purring!So what do we have here?Madigan, a detective who plays both sides of the fence, up to his neck in debt, two wives and girlfriend and four kids all fallen by the wayside, decides to rob the drug king of East Harlem (who just happens to be the guy he owes the money to), decides to kill his co-conspirators,and a young girl gets shot in the process; consequently he's hunted by the Drug king and the NYPD, and to rub salt in...he's given the job of solving all this mayhem by both sides. Some reviewers have suggested that this book has put Ellory back on track. Nonsense!!This author never left the track - such was the fantastic high level of storytelling in ALL of his tales, it just happens, of course, that some remain in the memory longer than others.Couldn't put it down!Even when favourite TV shows were on, one eye kept returning to the book, and that perpetual desire to find out what old Madigan was going to do next to extricate himself from the dreadful mess he now found himself in.Whilst I'm here...just to let you know....my favourite Ellory book..by some distance...A QUIET VENDETTA.Don't just mess around with this book...get the lot!
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  • Sonja
    December 4, 2013
    Deze titel zegt precies waar dit boek over gaat. Ongelooflijk waar deze politieman, alcoholist, corrupt, junkie en informant van de grootste drugsbaron uit East Harlem, genaamd Sandía. De man met het inktzwarte hart, Vincent Maddigan. Hij sleept je mee van de ene ellende na de andere ellende. Ondertussen maar denkend dat hij het enige juiste nog doet om de boel een positieve draai te geven.Maddigan is Sandia geld schuldig en niet zo'n klein beetje geld. En hij heeft geld nodig om zijn exvrouwen, Deze titel zegt precies waar dit boek over gaat. Ongelooflijk waar deze politieman, alcoholist, corrupt, junkie en informant van de grootste drugsbaron uit East Harlem, genaamd Sandía. De man met het inktzwarte hart, Vincent Maddigan. Hij sleept je mee van de ene ellende na de andere ellende. Ondertussen maar denkend dat hij het enige juiste nog doet om de boel een positieve draai te geven.Maddigan is Sandia geld schuldig en niet zo'n klein beetje geld. En hij heeft geld nodig om zijn exvrouwen, exminnares en zijn 4 kinderen te betalen. Hij bedenkt een idioot plan met vele gevolgen. Je leert Maddigan heel goed kennen en zo zwart als zijn hart is, je krijgt haast medelijden met hem. Je wordt volledig door Ellory meegezogen in dit verhaal en als je denkt eindelijk adem te kunnen halen, komt het plot. Ik heb genoten van deze thriller! Ik wil zeker meer lezen van R.J. Ellory
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  • Joel
    June 1, 2014
    Not Ellory's best work...
  • Linda
    March 30, 2016
    Although I won this book, I never agreed to review it, but this book is an incredible read and one I certainly enjoyed!
  • Sue
    February 13, 2017
    This book grabbed me from the get go. The characters are flawed, damaged, almost universally self obsessed or addicted to of drug or another. Crime, violence, raw language. The story flies along with a well structured pace and a well crafted attention to the grimy details. Read it!
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  • Vrouminator
    December 4, 2016
    Bon roman noir, bien dans la tradition du genre. Petit bémol, parfois trop de longueur lorsqu'on partage les pensées du protagoniste principal.
  • Angélita Manchado
    November 19, 2016
    Avis Un coeur sombre R J ElloryVoilà, j’ai fini le dernier Ellory et je n’ai plus rien à lire de cet auteur. Il va falloir attendre de nombreux mois avant de se plonger dans une nouvelle histoire. J’espère qu’il viendra en dédicaces à Marseille. Si ce n’est pas le cas, heureusement qu’il est actif sur les réseaux sociaux. Après cette entrée en matière, je vais me pencher sur Un coeur sombre et son personnage Vincent Madigan. Malgré les faits, la vie de Vincent, R J Ellory est très fort, comme à Avis Un coeur sombre R J ElloryVoilà, j’ai fini le dernier Ellory et je n’ai plus rien à lire de cet auteur. Il va falloir attendre de nombreux mois avant de se plonger dans une nouvelle histoire. J’espère qu’il viendra en dédicaces à Marseille. Si ce n’est pas le cas, heureusement qu’il est actif sur les réseaux sociaux. Après cette entrée en matière, je vais me pencher sur Un coeur sombre et son personnage Vincent Madigan. Malgré les faits, la vie de Vincent, R J Ellory est très fort, comme à son habitude, car j’ai profondément aimé Vincent, je me suis attachée à lui. Personnellement, il me suffit d’une rencontre pour savoir à qui j’ai affaire et je ne me suis jamais trompée. Mais j’ai un petit côté qui revient toujours, à savoir qu’il peut toujours y avoir quelques chose de bon, même si c’est enfoui, en quelqu’un. Et c’est ce que j’ai trouvé chez Vincent. Pour moi ce n’est pas un mauvais bougre, il a fait ses choix de vie et ils sont ce qu’ils sont. Il oscille énormément entre culpabilité, sa peur, le fait de jouer sur plusieurs tableaux. Il pense énormément à ses enfants, ses ex-femmes et surtout sa fille aînée qui va fêter ses 18 ans. Le fait qu’il y ait cette petite fille à l’hôpital, qu’il va secourir la mère, Isabella, le plongent dans un dilemme qui semble insoluble. Peut-il y avoir rédemption ? Cet homme n’a pas eu ce qu’il voulait de par son métier. Il a été désabusé par le système. Est-ce ça qui l’a changé du tout au tout ? Pourtant, Vincent semble un bon enquêteur. Mais il fait à chaque fois les mauvais choix. Son coeur est devenu noir. Seule Isabella, jusqu’à ce qu’elle apprenne la vérité, semble avoir compris le personnage. Et c’est ce que j’ai ressenti également. Il oscille entre la dureté et ce qu’il a au fond de son coeur.Comme à son habitude, Ellory fait souffler le chaud et le froid. Oui, son personnage sait comment il est, ce qu’il fait. D’ailleurs, il ne se donne aucune excuse. Il veut tenter de s’en sortir et il imagine des plans. Mais d’un autre côté, à quoi cela va-t-il servir ? Il ne veut pas mourir mais il sait que cela ne sera pas facile de rester en vie. Le lecteur se doute très bien de la fin. J’ai tout de même eu envie qu’il se passe autre chose. Cela a failli mais Ellory sait comment nous amener jusqu’au bout. Au dernier mot du roman, mon seul mot a été « merde ». Je suis désolée. J’ai été tellement prise par ce que je lisais que je n’ai pas pu m’en empêcher. Plus de 550 pages de pur bonheur car Ellory sait donner dans le psychologique. Il a fait mieux, je dois dire. Mais l’histoire, ici, est tellement différente de ce qu’il a pu écrire que l’action et le psychologique sont étroitement mêlés.Ne nous attachons pas qu’au psychologique car il y a de l’action dans ce roman. Après ce vol et ces assassinats, que va-t-il se passer ? Entre les affaires internes, un homme qui fait régner la terreur dans de nombreux quartiers, les assassinats, ceux qui doivent de l’argent, Vincent va jongler seul et contre tous pour tenter de s’en sortir.Ce que j’aime avec Ellory, c’est qu’il entraîne son lecteur là où il veut et ce dès le départ car de nombreux éléments m’ont surpris. Je dois être un très bon public pour ça. Le style d’Ellory est là. L’espoir est contrebalancé par le négatif, soit la vie elle-même en définitive. Avec lui, il existe plusieurs alternatives. Et chaque fin de roman change pour mieux nous éblouir et ne pas rester dans le même style de fin.Résumé Un coeur sombre R J ElloryVincent Madigan est un homme violent lorsqu’il ingurgite ses cocktails d’alcool et de médicaments. Il a été marié deux fois et a quatre enfants. Il se sert de trois délinquants pour commettre un vol dans une maison. Il doit payer une dette.Mais tout ne se déroule pas comme prévu. Un de ses comparses lui annonce qu’il sait qui il est. Vincent préfère les tuer tous.
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  • Joop Liefaard
    October 8, 2013
    Vincent Madigan, een corrupte agent van de New Yorkse politie heeft zich diep in de nesten gewerkt. Hij is twee keer getrouwd geweest, heeft een vriendin gehad en uit die relaties zijn vier kinderen geboren. Voldoende geld om de alimentatie en dure advocaten te betalen heeft hij niet. Daarnaast werkt hij voor Sandía, een van de grootste drugbazen in New York bij wie hij diep in de schulden zit. Om voor eens en voor altijd financieel schoon schip te maken besluit Madigan met een paar handlangers Vincent Madigan, een corrupte agent van de New Yorkse politie heeft zich diep in de nesten gewerkt. Hij is twee keer getrouwd geweest, heeft een vriendin gehad en uit die relaties zijn vier kinderen geboren. Voldoende geld om de alimentatie en dure advocaten te betalen heeft hij niet. Daarnaast werkt hij voor Sandía, een van de grootste drugbazen in New York bij wie hij diep in de schulden zit. Om voor eens en voor altijd financieel schoon schip te maken besluit Madigan met een paar handlangers een grote hoeveelheid geld van zijn drugsbaas te stelen. De overval loopt totaal uit de hand; er vallen doden en alsof dat nog niet erg genoeg is blijkt later dat er een meisje in het huis waar de overval plaatsvond, aanwezig was. Zij is in de regen van kogels zwaar gewond geraakt. De situatie wordt voor Madigan schijnbaar uitzichtloos als zowel drugsbaas Sandía als zijn baas bij de NYPD hem de opdracht geven om de zaak te onderzoeken en op te lossen.Roger Jon Ellory (1965) is een Engelse schrijver die in de stad Birmingham woont. Hij heeft een groot aantal goed ontvangen boeken geschreven met titels als Een stil geloof in engelen, De helden van New York, Bekraste zielen, Een volmaakte vendetta en Een mooie dag om te sterven. Opvallend is dat de boeken zich allemaal afspelen in de Verenigde Staten en dat de inhoud steeds behoorlijk gewelddadig is. Met een inktzwart hart is dat niet anders. Het boek is zoals alle eerdere boeken van Ellory bijzonder goed geschreven. De ontwikkeling en de diepgang van de personages, de opbouw van het verhaal, de beschrijving van New York, corruptie bij de politie en de meedogenloosheid van de maffia, het is overtuigend en indringend op papier gezet. Zoals de titel van het boek al aangeeft is het geen boek dat vrolijk stemt. Het is donker, zwart, deprimerend en zonder enig vooruitzicht op beter. R.J. Ellory slaagt er steeds weer in om van de hoofdpersonen van zijn boeken herkenbare mensen te maken met wie je je gemakkelijk kunt identificeren. In Een stil geloof in engelen ben je begaan met het lot en leven van de gevoelige Joseph Vaughan, in De volmaakte vendetta maak je kennis met de brute huurmoordenaar Ernesto Perez en in Een inktzwart hart is het de deskundige maar gecorrumpeerde politieman Vincent Madigan die het onheil over veel mensen maar vooral over zichzelf afroept. Hij drinkt, gebruikt drugs en slikt pillen bij de vleet, vermoordt mensen als het hem uitkomt en als echtgenoot en vader laat hij het afweten. Een man die onvermijdelijk lijkt af te stevenen op de door hem zelf veroorzaakte ondergang. Ellory plaatst dit in zijn visie dat het menselijk handelen al bij geboorte in een soort van blauwdruk vastligt en dat omgevingsfactoren zoals opvoeding en opleiding dit nauwelijks nog kunnen beïnvloeden. Vincent Madigan weet dat eigenlijk ook wel maar toch smeedt hij een plan dat de redding moet worden voor het meisje, haar moeder en uiteindelijke ook voor hemzelf. Het plan is gewaagd en het risico dat het mislukt is groot. Het leidt tot een spannende, gewelddadige en bloederige ontknoping. Met Een inktzwart hart laat R.J. Ellory opnieuw zien dat hij een van de beste misdaadauteurs van deze tijd is. Het is weliswaar een somber en deprimerend boek maar heel erg goed geschreven en dat maakt het voor lezers die van dit soort uitstekende maar gewelddadige thrillers houden tot een overweldigende leeservaring.
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  • Roger
    July 29, 2013
    This is not a pleasant book and the main character, Vincent Madigan, is a most unpleasant person. Drunk, pill addict, thief, murderer, serial husband and poor father – he really has little to commend him apart from the fact that, amazingly, he is good at his job as a detective. It is not easy to see why he is such an obnoxious person and why should it be? Some people just seem to have a remarkable ability to make the wrong decisions in life (Macbeth for example) and Madigan is one of those. Hope This is not a pleasant book and the main character, Vincent Madigan, is a most unpleasant person. Drunk, pill addict, thief, murderer, serial husband and poor father – he really has little to commend him apart from the fact that, amazingly, he is good at his job as a detective. It is not easy to see why he is such an obnoxious person and why should it be? Some people just seem to have a remarkable ability to make the wrong decisions in life (Macbeth for example) and Madigan is one of those. Hopefully most people's mistakes do not lead to quite the level of calamity that Madigan achieves but he is not alone in getting things remarkably wrong.Few of the other characters in this book are much better. Most are either totally incapable of living any sort of normal life, or are so twisted that they do not want to. Quite the most unsympathetic bunch of characters that you are likely to encounter in any novel. And the story is very dark indeed; death, desolation and destruction lurk around every corner. So, why should anybody wish to read a book with such an unprepossessing cast and a plot of almost unremitting blackness? First of all read it for the quality of the writing. I have read, and enjoyed, other books by R.J. Ellory and I have to say that the writing in this one is at least up there with his other, much lauded, work. A very different style, from his other books, but then they are all quite different from each other. I do wonder when I read stuff of this quality why it is that books such as these get pigeon-holed as “crime fiction” while the writing of the likes of Martin Amis and Brett Easton Ellis and other writers of boring books about tedious people get lauded as “literature”.Secondly, Madigan is a very well drawn character whose actions do follow a path of dark logic. You may not like him, but as he struggles against all that life throws at him (and that is an awful lot), it is difficult not to hope that all could come right for him in the end. In fact all of the characters, both major and minor, are really solid creations. Love them or hate them, they are impossible to ignore. Also, the fact that Mr Ellory manages to maintain twist and turn with the story and maintain uncertainty about the ending until it actually happens is a testament to his skill as a story teller. Having said that, I did find the ending a little contrived; but at least there is an ending and it is understandable.Thirdly, it is worth reading just to savour an English writer who is as good as the Americans at writing American crime novels and at describing the atmosphere of, in this case, New York so well. Finally, the story does rattle along and this is one of the rare examples where a 350+ page book does not feel overstretched. There are a couple of plot holes and the odd place where a little bit of tighter editing might have helped but they are small blemishes on an exciting and interesting book. Readers will not be bored.
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  • Manuel Antão
    August 15, 2012
    I’ve read almost all of R. J. Ellory’s 10 books so far (“Bad Signs” being the exception. Soon to be corrected :)).Along with Science Fiction (SF), Crime Fiction excites, evokes emotion, stimulates mentally, engages, mystifies, perplexes, and pleases me greatly. That’s what Science and Crime Fiction do for me. Good SF makes me think and Crime Fiction makes me experience dilemmas of ordinary people presented with extraordinary situations. Both genres challenge me. Most of the time, mainstream lite I’ve read almost all of R. J. Ellory’s 10 books so far (“Bad Signs” being the exception. Soon to be corrected :)).Along with Science Fiction (SF), Crime Fiction excites, evokes emotion, stimulates mentally, engages, mystifies, perplexes, and pleases me greatly. That’s what Science and Crime Fiction do for me. Good SF makes me think and Crime Fiction makes me experience dilemmas of ordinary people presented with extraordinary situations. Both genres challenge me. Most of the time, mainstream literature does not make me feel that. That’s why I tend to avoid it.I just wish R.J. Ellory was more widely read than he is now, because he is a class act and shows the amateurs how it's really done. So far the books I’ve read are simply superbly written. Anyway you want to look at them, there’s almost nothing at fault with any of them. Every year that there’s a book by R.J. Ellory coming out, I just know it’s going to be one the best books of that year (as far as I’m concerned…)What can I say about this book without revealing the plot? It’s about a policeman, who has a Dark and Broken Heart… From a very high-strung introduction, to a shattering conclusion, via a series of audacious but sublimely executed twists, this book never once lets up. R.J. Ellory can melt breathtaking plotting with profound emotion and meticulous detail, and produce novels of a quality unattainable by even the most gifted of his contemporaries. A Dark and Broken Heart is, quite simply, another masterpiece.
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  • Bill Lawrence
    July 9, 2012
    The latest R J Ellory and a pre-order so no doubt I was going to buy and read. Having read a few of his books now, I've enjoyed most - dark, complex and often surprising - the best have been compelling reads. A Dark and Broken Heart is a disappointment in some ways. After the opening surprise, (it's great to read these books with as little knowledge of plot as possible, even the dj blurb). The plot does follow relatively predictable lines. It is a complex plot within the story as Madigan seeks r The latest R J Ellory and a pre-order so no doubt I was going to buy and read. Having read a few of his books now, I've enjoyed most - dark, complex and often surprising - the best have been compelling reads. A Dark and Broken Heart is a disappointment in some ways. After the opening surprise, (it's great to read these books with as little knowledge of plot as possible, even the dj blurb). The plot does follow relatively predictable lines. It is a complex plot within the story as Madigan seeks redemption and survival but in its broad strokes it doesn't deviate from what I expected. There is even a clunky attempt to hide a revelation that it is blindingly obvious. However, Ellory is infusing his books with a darker and nastier atmosphere. He is not creating romps through a crime story, there is nothing here that is fun. Although not as unpleasant as Bad Signs, it still portrays an evil world where few are innocent and all are touched by the bad. Even with all my reservations about this novel, Ellory is still one of the best crime writers today and writes thought provoking work. Four stars seemed generous, but 3 stars too few.
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  • Pats Cornelis
    September 13, 2016
    Wederom verrast en overdonderd!!! Ook weer een aanrader!
  • Al
    March 18, 2013
    It should have all been so easy for Vincent Madigan. Take four hundred grand from the thieves who stole it in the first place and who could they turn to for help? Madigan is charming, resourceful, and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he's up to his neck in debt to Sandia - the drug king of East Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan from Sandia's control and give him the chance he needs to get his life back on track. But things go wrong when Madigan is forced to kill It should have all been so easy for Vincent Madigan. Take four hundred grand from the thieves who stole it in the first place and who could they turn to for help? Madigan is charming, resourceful, and knows how to look after himself. The only problem is that he's up to his neck in debt to Sandia - the drug king of East Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan from Sandia's control and give him the chance he needs to get his life back on track. But things go wrong when Madigan is forced to kill his co-conspirators and a child is shot in the crossfire. Now both Sandia and the collected might of the NYPD are hunting him down, and the one cop assigned to lead the case is the very last person he could have expected. Employing every deception and ruse he can think of, Madigan must stay one step ahead in a battle of wits that will test him to his limits. Can he evade justice for his crimes, or will his own conscience be his final undoing?
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  • Jess
    January 1, 2016
    *mild spoilers*This was just such a gripping read, it was brutal, confronting...I can't even begin to go into how much this was a great read. I haven't pulled an all nighter on a novel in a long time, but no regrets because this one was amazing; fast-paced action, a drug-addled protagonist who commits atrocious acts of violence but finds himself seeking an unlikely redemption after the influence of a good woman, a plot continually thickening with the protagonist's solid wall of lies, and the ong *mild spoilers*This was just such a gripping read, it was brutal, confronting...I can't even begin to go into how much this was a great read. I haven't pulled an all nighter on a novel in a long time, but no regrets because this one was amazing; fast-paced action, a drug-addled protagonist who commits atrocious acts of violence but finds himself seeking an unlikely redemption after the influence of a good woman, a plot continually thickening with the protagonist's solid wall of lies, and the ongoing internal conflict of the bad cop trying to become good. You find yourself surprised to be rooting for him (while at the same time holding him in pity and disgust), and it was actually well written, no clunky wording to detract from the story. Blended through the novel were excerpts of Madigan's racing thoughts; dark, anxious, self-loathing, passingly hopeful yet generally resigned. It was just great. So brutal, but so engrossing. Go read the book, it was just great.
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  • Vera VB
    December 31, 2013
    Vincent Madigan is a police detective, has been divorced three times, has gambling debt, drinkt too much, uses drugs and is corrupt. To pay his debts he robbs a house where money that comes from a bank will be kept. First mistake: the house is from a gangster. Second mistake: people get killed and one of them is the nephew of the gangster. Third mistake: one of is helpers, who he kills, hasn't kept his mouth. Forth mistake: during the robbery a child gets badly wounded. What was she doing in tha Vincent Madigan is a police detective, has been divorced three times, has gambling debt, drinkt too much, uses drugs and is corrupt. To pay his debts he robbs a house where money that comes from a bank will be kept. First mistake: the house is from a gangster. Second mistake: people get killed and one of them is the nephew of the gangster. Third mistake: one of is helpers, who he kills, hasn't kept his mouth. Forth mistake: during the robbery a child gets badly wounded. What was she doing in that house?Fifht mistake: he is an informant of the gangster. And he is not the only cop who gives the gangster information. One lie leads to another lie and there is no stopping.Vincent has indeed a dark and broken heart, but deep down, he tries to do what's right. He is just in it too deep.
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  • Tim McCullen
    August 14, 2013
    Another winner from R.J. Ellory, a British-born author who specialises in writing crime thrillers set in the U.S.A. Every book Ellory produces has a different setting, whether place or time, and a different feel to it. He always endeavours to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the U.S. in a very American style, down to an American style of writing (including the different spellings of words). The protagonist in this latest drama is a corrupt New York cop who, having been mixed up with a po Another winner from R.J. Ellory, a British-born author who specialises in writing crime thrillers set in the U.S.A. Every book Ellory produces has a different setting, whether place or time, and a different feel to it. He always endeavours to capture the sights, sounds and smells of the U.S. in a very American style, down to an American style of writing (including the different spellings of words). The protagonist in this latest drama is a corrupt New York cop who, having been mixed up with a powerful crimelord for a number of years, is desperate to get out of his situation. The measures he takes and the consequences of his actions, are described in gripping detail, keeping those pages turning towards a dramatic denouement.
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  • Arzu
    October 16, 2015
    After reading the author's newest book, Mockingbird Songs, I was disappointed with this one. The mystery wasn't as intriguing - I was not blown away by the meaning behind the "Watermelon Man" and whether the main character, Vincent Madigan, would defeat him. Also, Madigan had no redeemable qualities about him. I could not care less whether he lived or died and for that reason felt disconnected from the novel as a whole. I also found the novel very predictable. I also felt that this novel was not After reading the author's newest book, Mockingbird Songs, I was disappointed with this one. The mystery wasn't as intriguing - I was not blown away by the meaning behind the "Watermelon Man" and whether the main character, Vincent Madigan, would defeat him. Also, Madigan had no redeemable qualities about him. I could not care less whether he lived or died and for that reason felt disconnected from the novel as a whole. I also found the novel very predictable. I also felt that this novel was not as unique as Mockingbird Songs and like I had encountered the same kind of plotline over and over in other crime-related media such as television and movies. I expected more.
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  • Carol Wilson
    March 8, 2014
    Ellory is one of my favourite authors; I love the fact that he tells a different story all the time and - at least most of the time - tells them so well. His characterisation is brilliant, and never more so that in this book - his detective is one of the saddest people I have ever come across in a story. You so want this guy to come good, but you know, in your heart of hearts, that he won't. And there lies one of Ellory's strengths - he tells it as it is; no happy endings for him! Just a wonderf Ellory is one of my favourite authors; I love the fact that he tells a different story all the time and - at least most of the time - tells them so well. His characterisation is brilliant, and never more so that in this book - his detective is one of the saddest people I have ever come across in a story. You so want this guy to come good, but you know, in your heart of hearts, that he won't. And there lies one of Ellory's strengths - he tells it as it is; no happy endings for him! Just a wonderful, sad, dark story. I am always left wanting the next one, whenever I read a book by R.J. Ellory!
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  • Louise
    January 5, 2017
    Absolutely loved the first book I read of R.J. Ellory, A quiet belief in angels. This one, not so much. I stuck with it till the end, though was constantly having an inner tussle to put it down and start something new. The main character is an unlikable figure with very few redeeming features. That wouldn’t have been enough to put me off. It was more the repetition of the inner monologue that annoyed me. We get it; you feel you’re a bad man. I did like the story line; the mob style gangster and Absolutely loved the first book I read of R.J. Ellory, A quiet belief in angels. This one, not so much. I stuck with it till the end, though was constantly having an inner tussle to put it down and start something new. The main character is an unlikable figure with very few redeeming features. That wouldn’t have been enough to put me off. It was more the repetition of the inner monologue that annoyed me. We get it; you feel you’re a bad man. I did like the story line; the mob style gangster and fate of the little girl and there were times that I was enjoying it but there was just far too much monologue from the protagonist which I felt would have been better written in action or dialogue.
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  • Andy Coote
    June 21, 2012
    Just read Roger Ellory's latest, Dark and Broken Heart and found it impossible to put down (really)! Madigan, his (anti)hero shares a lot of characteristics with Frank Parrish in Saints of New York and I found myself fully engaged from the moment he reveals who Madigan really is. I won't spoil it here.I read the last third of the book in one sitting late into the night and found the denouement satisfying (with some reservations about one aspect of the plot). Worth the investment of time. If Ello Just read Roger Ellory's latest, Dark and Broken Heart and found it impossible to put down (really)! Madigan, his (anti)hero shares a lot of characteristics with Frank Parrish in Saints of New York and I found myself fully engaged from the moment he reveals who Madigan really is. I won't spoil it here.I read the last third of the book in one sitting late into the night and found the denouement satisfying (with some reservations about one aspect of the plot). Worth the investment of time. If Ellory is new to you, read the back catalogue as well. Ghost heart is especially rewarding.Now have to wait another year for the next book.
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  • Ana
    March 31, 2015
    I am somehow disappointed with the book (and maybe myself). It caught my attention during the first chapters but it ended up losing me. I do enjoy books with short chapters but this ones were so, so small it cuts your reading and thoughts. When Madigan's inner voice comes up is a plot-breaking moment. Mayb that's just me, but he lost me because of that. I will definitely give it another shot later. So, for now, I will give it 2 stars, which might increase when I finish it.
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  • Jérémie Moenne Loccoz
    April 10, 2016
    Good plot served by a dark and twisted main character and a credible ending. We are here far from the hero in shining armor, good and loyal and that makes the story all the more interesting. No manichaenism here, only human beings, flawed and weak, drawn in the turmoil of murders, treason, guilt. The pace goes faster and faster, making the book a real page turner not action packed but still very enjoyable.
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