R.J. Ellory

A Dark and Broken Heart

"This book has quality written all over it..."


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 Sandià - the drug king of East Harlem. This one heist will free Madigan from Sandià'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 Sandià 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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R J Ellory is one of those writers. The ones you have on your 'To Be Purchased and Read Immediately On Release List'. Having reviewed most of his earlier books on this site, it is fair to say I am a fan, and I am afraid I am now running out of superlatives, because the man simply does not disappoint. Madigan is an anti-hero and one of his most fascinating characters I've encountered in fiction this year. Flawed to the point of being beyond hope you nevertheless find yourself almost liking the man. And hoping he finds his way out of the utter mess he has painted himself into, because be assured, he has no one to blame for his predicament but himself. It is to his credit that he acknowledges this and asks for no sympathy. I would argue that this is Ellory's most tightly plotted novel to date. The story unravels at a breakneck pace with one twist following another. Just when you get used to one idea, Ellory pulls the rug from under your feet and off you go again in another direction and when you come to the end you are all but breathless with excitement. This book has quality written all over it – from the unforgettable characters, the see it and taste it sense of place and the punch in the gut ending. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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