The Ghosts of Belfast Audiobook | Stuart Neville | Audible.com
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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 (1030 )
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4.2 (424 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 08-24-10
    David P. McGivern Vancouver, BC Canada 08-24-10 Member Since 2007

    retired litigation lawyer; I read history; historical fiction; literary fiction. Narrator ++ important. Story equally so

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What an unexpected good read!"

    I do not normally read ( listen to) either crime stories or ghost stories, and bought this on a whim as a vacation read ( something different). What a compelling story. Notwithstanding there are ghosts, and violence, Neville had me hooked and actually caring about what would happen to the main character, a murderer for the IRA. The language ( clear vivid word-pictures) the story ( how politics replaced the IRA tactics of intimidation) and the plot ( which proceeds in a straight and predictable line but still leaves you interested in how it will play out) were all terrific. Excellent narration by Doyle, whom I did not care for in the beginning but did, significantly, by the end.

    I listened to "Angel Time" by Anne Rice, with a (somewhat) similar theme, hit man years later trying to make amends. With respect to Ms Rice, whom I like, " Ghosts of Belfast" is -by far - a much, much better book

    5 stars

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca leland, NC, USA 01-28-10
    Rebecca leland, NC, USA 01-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You've love this Story"

    A am a hard core romance junkie. With that said, this is not a romance, I have no idea why I decided to purchase it, it was a moment of whimsy. I am glad for that moment, this story thought a bit slow in the beginning, became an addiction, my headset didn't leave me until the story finished. Not only because of the story itself; yet, also because of the narration. There is nothing worse then listening t a badly narrated story. I will not give you any particulars on the story itself other then to say- challenge yourself look for clues in the story- Is he mad or truly haunted? You wont regret finding out.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. I. Wolfson Cape Town 11-16-09
    M. I. Wolfson Cape Town 11-16-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cora Judd California 10-26-09
    Cora Judd California 10-26-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Original and gripping..."

    I've been looking for a story that's original and gripping and will give me the escape I crave. 'The Ghosts of Belfast' scores big time!
    Neville kept my curiosity both piqued and satisfied throughout. If I were to sketch the plot it would sound ludicrous and a maybe a bit implausible but every word rings true from the first paragraph. It can't really be classified as a ghost story lest one think of Stephen King. Neville's ghosts are more real and more motivated.
    As a bonus, I inadvertently learned quite a bit about the true politics and culture of Ireland, especially during the turmoil in the 70's.

    31 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cary Napa, CA, United States 11-09-09
    Cary Napa, CA, United States 11-09-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Gripping and exceedingly well told"

    Grabbed this one from out of the blue. Tightly written, taut, informative, believable, highly strung characters, all rendered by a top-notch narrator (how does he keep all those terrific impersonations apart?) My best of the year...and that's saying something!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Austin, TX, United States 04-01-10
    Craig Austin, TX, United States 04-01-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "From Idealism to Thugism"

    It shows how an idealistic cause can degenerate into a gangsterism that comes from believing that the means and ends are not the same.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 11-15-09
    D. WARD Midlothian, Virginia United States 11-15-09 Member Since 2009

    Diana bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gritty, real, disturbing."

    You could feel the dull grey skies and the damp mood throughout the book. The characters were raw to me, sometimes I had to turn my head away from my own visualizations. A strong piece of work..a different kind of look at the struggle Ireland went through. The intertwining pain,guilt and absolute evil in the small cast of characters. The realities are not romanced here. Its worth the read.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-05-13
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 01-05-13 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "don't judge by its cover"

    There are plentiful Audible reviews already for this, but I would like to qualify the violence and "ghost" elements in the novel.

    I purchased this for its setting, but once I saw reader reviews, pushed it aside as way too violent for my tastes; however, I eventually tried it because of the storyline of Neville's newly released Ratlines, wondering if I could stomach his style.

    If you are interested in the storyline but put off by the violence, know the novel IS violent but not in a sensational "screenplay-hopeful" choreographed way. It flows from and with the plot, and although frequent and sometimes graphic, is not gratuitous. Neville is not subtle in manipulating reader sympathies by making some killings seem "justified" but portraying situations as black/white, but this unfolds in a very believable manner with good characters and absorbing plot-- plus he puts you right in Belfast mid decade '00-'10. He is able to give backstory to the social-political without being pedantic, so whatever your familiarity with the setting, I think the story is clear. I think by showing the effects of a violent act on those around it, rather than drawing the reader into either the victim or perpetrator PoV exclusively, Neville is a more authentic writer and avoids the "wince" effect I dislike.

    I had postponed the listen also because I thought it might have a paranormal element: that is not the case, either.

    The narration is in lovely, rich Irish English, but the reader enunciates clearly enough I think even for listeners who do not like regional accents.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Connelly Philadelphia, PA 07-23-10
    H. Connelly Philadelphia, PA 07-23-10 Member Since 2003

    Mojo Risen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story, especially if your Irish"

    This is a decent story, not great. It seems to have a simple premise - guy must make amends for the wrongs he has done. It has some interesting twists. If you are not familiar with Northern Ireland the the struggles there, you might not enjoy this story. If your Irish you will enjoy it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Atlanta, GA, United States 07-21-10
    Richard Atlanta, GA, United States 07-21-10 Member Since 2005
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    ""Freedom Fighting" to Racketeering"

    Through the psychological struggle (insanity?) of the central character, Stuart Neville brilliantly captures the rough edges of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland. He does a great job painting the backdrop -- how criminality became "freedom fighting" or "loyalism," then morphed back into racketeering as the peace process took hold in a post 9/11 world.

    I used to spend childhood summers in Northern Ireland during the 1960s and early 70s, so I was particularly alert for flaws in authenticity. If there were any, I missed them.

    The narrator, Gerard Doyle, is excellent -- superbly capturing both the nuances of the psychosis of the main character and the Belfast brogue. He seamlessly transitions between condescending Whitehall officials and Belfast thugs.

    Given the death toll, this book is not for the squeamish or for listening with youngsters in the car. The detail is certainly designed to make the reader/listener uncomfortable -- and ultimately how I was drawn into the head of the central character.

    In summary, an excellent yarn, very well produced as an audiobook.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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