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The Ghosts of Belfast | [Stuart Neville]

The Ghosts of Belfast

Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too.
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Publisher's Summary

Fegan has been a "hard man" - an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by 12 ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders.

As he's working his way down the list, he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too. Now he has given Fate - and his quarry - a hostage. Is this Fegan's ultimate mistake?

©2009 Stuart Neville; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Mystery / Thriller, 2010
  • Notable Crime Books of 2009 (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times)
  • The Year’s Most Mesmerizing Mysteries (Maureen Corrigan, NPR)

"Stuart Neville's debut novel about the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland is harsh, brutal, and unrelentingly grim. With spare, crisp dialogue, and a gift for turning an Irish phrase, Neville plants himself firmly in Adrian McKinty territory. And who better to narrate than Gerard Doyle? Doyle gets it—and so do we. His whine; his growl; his rough yet sensitive, always-passionate performance gives everything a listener could want from an audiobook." (AudioFile)

"With this stunning debut, Neville joins a select group of Irish writers, including Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes, and Adrian McKinty, who have reinvigorated the noir tradition with a Celtic edge." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1139 )
5 star
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4.0 (526 )
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4.2 (524 )
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Performance
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  •  
    leighda 01-28-12
    leighda 01-28-12 Member Since 2011

    Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    33
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    1
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    Story
    "Blah Blah.."

    It goes on and on.. hard to stay into the book.. atleast for me. I get what the writer is trying to do. And its a good concept.. but the rattling just goes on and on. It bored me to the point of putting it down. I can't finish, I fall asleep listening.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn 10-17-10
    Marilyn 10-17-10

    I read all the time, or nearly. I always have, I guess, since I was very young ... and now, getting older, more audio than any other medium.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
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    73
    38
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    8
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    "I'm not sure that "enjoy" applied to this book ..."

    This is a very well written and exremely well read book. It is also a very dark book, full of pain. Not the best choice for your light summer reading list .... or, for that matter, for keeping busy during that final week before your double mastectomy (mine, in this case). The author has a dim view of humankind in general, the IRA in particular, thinks politicians are all scum and that ALL politics is evil and is the root of much of what ails the human race. While I cannot fault most of his opinions, I reached a point with this book where I just couldn't read any more, even though I was very close to the end. It isn't that I don't (mostly) agree with the author. I just couldn't handle any more misery. AND there's a SEQUEL. Not, however, for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. Zaharris 10-29-09
    Z. Zaharris 10-29-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    8
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    "Redeeming Second Half"

    This book was extremely slow to start. So much so, it took me nearly two weeks to push through the first half. It simply would not grab my attention for anything.
    As soon as the second half hit though, the book became interesting and intriguing.
    I do recommend this book. Though do realize that unless you push through the first half to the second half, you will be bored and frustrated with your purchase.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 01-23-11
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 01-23-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    37
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    "Bad narration"

    If I had realized this was narrated by Gerard Doyle, I wouldn't have gotten it. He does great voices but the repetitive rhythm during long narration makes me crazy. The book was interesting but I could barely finish it without snoring.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 03-30-10
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 03-30-10 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    Overall
    "A good movie script"

    This book was "almost good" a good tale but I could never really engage with the characters. I kept thinking what a good movie it would make and trying to cast the characters.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Flagstaff, AZ, United States 12-28-09
    Patricia Flagstaff, AZ, United States 12-28-09 Member Since 2003

    Can there be any better pasttime than reading? Audiobook, regular book, e-book - I have 1 of each going at all times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    36
    19
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    "Gritty - over and over and over"

    There is no mystery to this book - the idea of it winning a mystery award astounds me. Lots of killing, maiming, and guilt is what you'll find here. The main character tries to redeem himself - perhaps the mystery is whether he succeeds. I found my mind wandering, and when it returned to the story, it was only to hear another bout of torture. I found myself wishing to learn more about the characters' motivations, but just when I thought that was coming, you guessed it-more killing.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Genry 11-21-09
    T. Genry 11-21-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    106
    4
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    "Page Turner"

    This book would have received 5 stars had it not been for the constant use of language that I try to avoid. Fantastic story and fantastic narrator!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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