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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 (1189 )
5 star
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4.0 (569 )
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Story
4.2 (567 )
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Performance
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  •  
    M. I. Wolfson Cape Town 11-16-09
    M. I. Wolfson Cape Town 11-16-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    "bloodthirsty"

    This is a riveting book brilliantly narrated. However, it is not a book for the faint hearted, The violence is horrific and terrifyingly real. If you don't like horror don't get this book. But if you can enjoy blood and guts then certainly you won't be disappointed. This has more bodies than Hamlet and is more bloodthirsty than No Country for Old Men. Enjoy.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 10-30-09
    Deborah shallotte, NC, United States 10-30-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Are they in his head or are they not?"

    I wasn't expecting what I got from listening to this book. I guess with 12 ghosts following him around, I expected a spooky piece of light-weight literature. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. This book provoked a real discussion in my head of the moral dilemmas Fegan faced nearly on an hourly basis. It is tightly written, imaginative,and very entertaining. It was nice to see what seemed to be a sure jump into a love story evolve into something that would be more likely to happen.

    Strong and likeable characters, gritty with a moderate dose of grisly violence, and top notch writing. It will be read in one fell swoop, I promise you.

    A new and real talent.

    I can't wait to read more from this author.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dylan PASADENA, CA, USA 12-06-09
    Dylan PASADENA, CA, USA 12-06-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "A great "read""

    Gripping, real, intense. And the narration only enhances the experience. I rarely write reviews but this book took my breath away. This is not just another horror tale. This is storytelling at its finest. It is an accomplished exploration of one man's journey through a very real hell. The story enlightened my understanding of the conflict endured by generations of Irish men and women. Very powerful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 11-15-09
    Andrew 11-15-09 Member Since 2015

    Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    199
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    "Engaging. Gritty. Tough."

    If you like Adrian McKinty and Stieg Larsson, you'll love this book. Gerard Doyle is one of the best narrators out there - he really helps make the story great.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Houston, TX, United States 11-08-09
    Dave Houston, TX, United States 11-08-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    90
    9
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    "Amazing narration"

    I agree with most of the reviews here, i.e. that this novel is an amazing debut by Stuart Neville. This author is going to be one of the greats. What I really want to say is that from an audible book point of view Gerard Doyle is a fantastic narrator. It can not be overstated how much a good narrator brings to the experience of an audio book. I enjoy Michael Connelly's books but half of the Audible narrators used for Connellys's books are terrible. *PLEASE* Audible, use more narrators like Gerard Doyle and Peter Giles.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 11-02-09
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 11-02-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The abyss"

    This book is a realistic peek into the abyss of madness. It is a strange book in that the main character is a madman and murderer, but also a hero in his way. I found myself on his side and pulling for him to prevail. His madness is very believable and the cause so obvious that this seems to be a true story. The story takes place in Belfast and lets just say that Ireland is put in a bad light here. But Belfast is the only place on earth this kind of madness could exist. The narrator is perfect for this novel with his Irish brogue and he does a great job of making the voices and characters believable. This is the best novel I have downloaded in a while and fits neatly into the top ten of thousands in my library. I hope I hear more from this author.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moku 12-30-09
    Moku 12-30-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
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    "Irish noir at its best"

    This is a superb debut novel, featuring an original and gripping story, vivid prose, and finely crafted characters. The atmosphere is much like that in Adrian McKinty's remarkable "Dead" trilogy. Gerard Doyle's nuanced narration is perfectly matched to the book. His rich Irish brogue and his unique rendering of each character make for a truly pleasurable listening experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-14-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 12-14-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Dark Brilliance"

    I rarely read fiction, but read the reviews and gave Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast a turn. I was not disappointed. This book takes you to Belfast and the IRA from the perspective of one who carries the "ghosts" of his involvement in the Troubles. If you want to get a feel for what those dark days may have been like - this might be the listen for you. If you enjoy crime fiction this might be of interest as well. The writing is good and the reading is great. Remember the content is "fiction" and not history, per se, and you'll be fine.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry florissant, MO, USA 12-14-09
    Jerry florissant, MO, USA 12-14-09
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    "Top Shelf"

    Great narration, the accents are perfect even switching from the rolling Dublin speech to the hard Belfast accent. Characters are spot on, totally real. Edge of your seat plot. Overall a must hear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Marietta, GA, United States 12-10-09
    Adrienne Marietta, GA, United States 12-10-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book"

    Loved this book and the narrator is probably the best I have ever listened to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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