A Dark and Broken Heart: R.J. Ellroy

The other day found me rereading A Dark and Broken Heart (2012). That’s actually surprising as I have little time for such indulgence.

This overview is from Ellroy’s website: 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?

While this overview is accurate, it doesn’t give us the tumble of emotions that Madigan is experiencing.

His struggles to give-up the pills and booze that have him barely functioning, his desperation over the failure of the heist, and the guilt over the young girl who was shot. That’s where this book shines the most, even as the plot ratchets up the tension.

R.J. Ellory has written 17 books to date and this book is the one that has obviously stuck with me. Give this book, this writer, a try. He’s exceptional.

~ June Lorraine Roberts

Murder in Common is a Feedspot Top 100 Crime Novel Website

9 responses to “A Dark and Broken Heart: R.J. Ellroy”

  1. The Sinister just received a starred review from publishers weekly, I was wondering if I could send you an ARC?

    • Hello David, that would be fine. The fine print is that I don’t guarantee a review of a book, only that I will read it 🙂
      If I don’t see it as a fit for the website, I may do an Amazon/Goodreads review.
      Does that work for you? If so, send me a pdf if you have one.
      ~ June Lorraine

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