Black Irish

  • by Stephan Talty
  • Narrated by David H. Lawrence XVII
  • 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this explosive debut thriller by the New York Times best-selling author of Empire of Blue Water, a brilliant homicide detective returns home, where she confronts a city’s dark demons and her own past while pursuing a brutal serial killer on a vengeful rampage.
Absalom “Abbie” Kearney grew up an outsider in her own hometown. Even being the adopted daughter of a revered cop couldn’t keep Abbie’s troubled past from making her a misfit in the working-class Irish American enclave of South Buffalo. And now, despite a Harvard degree and a police detective’s badge, she still struggles to earn the respect and trust of those she’s sworn to protect. But all that may change, once the killing starts.
When Jimmy Ryan’s mangled corpse is found in a local church basement, this sadistic sacrilege sends a bone-deep chill through the winter-whipped city. It also seems to send a message - one that Abbie believes only the fiercely secretive citizens of the neighborhood known as “the County” understand. But in a town ruled by an old-world code of silence and secrecy, her search for answers is stonewalled at every turn, even by fellow cops. Only when Abbie finds a lead at the Gaelic Club, where war stories, gossip, and confidences flow as freely as the drink, do tongues begin to wag - with desperate warnings and dire threats. And when the killer’s mysterious calling card appears on her own doorstep, the hunt takes a shocking twist into her own family’s past. As the grisly murders and grim revelations multiply, Abbie wages a chilling battle of wits with a maniac who sees into her soul, and she swears to expose the County’s hidden history - one bloody body at a time.
With Black Irish, Stephen Talty stakes a place beside Jo Nesbø, John Sandford, and Tana French on the cutting edge of psychological crime thrillers.

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What the Critics Say

“A memorable story of betrayal and vengeance.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Abbie Kearney is one of the most intriguing new suspense protagonists in memory, and Black Irish marks the captivating start of a brilliant thriller series.”(Tess Gerritsen, New York Times best-selling author of Last to Die)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Mystery + history lesson = Great read!

Where does Black Irish rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is my first audible book so it ranks fairly high. But it was a good first selection and now I'm hooked!


What did you like best about this story?

The author left little clues all through the story so it feels like the reader is solving the mystery along with the main character Absalom. The characters were interesting and the back drop of the collapse of Buffalo and the rust belt made the story seem real and alive.


What about David H. Lawrence XVII’s performance did you like?

I liked that even though the main character was a women it never felt like David H. Lawrence was over reaching.


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- Elizabeth

VERY GOOD first effort!

This was a can't put it down read. Great writing, great performance, and a real whodunnit. The author kept it clean and tight throughout, but the ending is a bit convoluted. I usually don't like an author having to summarize the action at the end but it was helpful in this instance. So much story! There was a lot of beautiful writing and original and creative metaphors as well.

I won't summarize the story since the Publisher Summary does that, but I will say Talty has written a humdinger.

I want to say something about narrators. Though the main character is female, David Lawrence XVII was perfect. I find that men can do women characters much better than women can do male characters. I just finished Did You Miss Me by Karen Rose. The female narrator was awful with male characters of which there were many. I almost decided to return it and buy it on Kindle. Authors...the right narrator can make or break a book.

Anyway, I can't wait to read Talty's next, and I hope Absalom has her own series.

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- Deborah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio