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Goodnight, Irene

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In the bestselling tradition of Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky--a new mystery series featuring Irene Kelly, reporter, amateur sleuth, and woman of today. When a veteran reporter is killed while trying to solve a murder that occurred in 1955, Irene Kelly attempts to find out who silenced her comrade--and quickly becomes the killer's next target. In the bestselling tradition of Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky--a new mystery series featuring Irene Kelly, reporter, amateur sleuth, and woman of today. When a veteran reporter is killed while trying to solve a murder that occurred in 1955, Irene Kelly attempts to find out who silenced her comrade--and quickly becomes the killer's next target.


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In the bestselling tradition of Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky--a new mystery series featuring Irene Kelly, reporter, amateur sleuth, and woman of today. When a veteran reporter is killed while trying to solve a murder that occurred in 1955, Irene Kelly attempts to find out who silenced her comrade--and quickly becomes the killer's next target. In the bestselling tradition of Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky--a new mystery series featuring Irene Kelly, reporter, amateur sleuth, and woman of today. When a veteran reporter is killed while trying to solve a murder that occurred in 1955, Irene Kelly attempts to find out who silenced her comrade--and quickly becomes the killer's next target.

30 review for Goodnight, Irene

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    In Jan Burke's Goodnight, Irene, the first installment in the Irene Kelly mystery series, this debut will grip you from the first page. It all started when Irene's friend O'Connor was killed in a car bombing, when he was about to tell her something important. After his death, it was up to Irene to pick up the pieces and return to her former newspaper as a journalist. When her brother-in-law ended up in a car accident, things had gotten too close to personal. While Irene look for his cryptic note In Jan Burke's Goodnight, Irene, the first installment in the Irene Kelly mystery series, this debut will grip you from the first page. It all started when Irene's friend O'Connor was killed in a car bombing, when he was about to tell her something important. After his death, it was up to Irene to pick up the pieces and return to her former newspaper as a journalist. When her brother-in-law ended up in a car accident, things had gotten too close to personal. While Irene look for his cryptic notes about a 1955 Jane Doe case with only the skull, she picked up the pieces and searched for clues in microfilm and microfiche. She comes to rely on her good friend, Frank Harriman, from the Las Piernas PD, who ended up injured from helping her on the case. For Irene, she goes to Phoenix to find some clues there on the missing person and talk to the victim's family. The closer she gets to the truth on whodunit and why, the more endangered she would be in the end to solve this puzzle things aren't what they seem to be in the end for a shocking climax.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Taylor M.

    "For thirty-five years the identity of the dismembered woman found under the Las Piernas pier has remained a mystery. What secret did she take to her grave? Southern California reporter Irene kelly has uncovered a maze of forensic records and confidential files that suggest a motive far more sinister than anyone imagined. They discovery has bruoght her close to Detective Frank Harriman, and closer still to exposing a killer who will resort to anything to keep his secrets burried- and Irene silen "For thirty-five years the identity of the dismembered woman found under the Las Piernas pier has remained a mystery. What secret did she take to her grave? Southern California reporter Irene kelly has uncovered a maze of forensic records and confidential files that suggest a motive far more sinister than anyone imagined. They discovery has bruoght her close to Detective Frank Harriman, and closer still to exposing a killer who will resort to anything to keep his secrets burried- and Irene silenced forever." (This is on the back of the book) This book so far is really good. It is very descriptive and it's not hard to follow. Irene's friend O'Connor was killed with a bomb. Irene was informed the next morning and was very concerned about what was going to happen. She was so shaken up from this that a detective had to drive her home. He was an old friend that she had once dated. His name is Frank. Frank asked Irene to go undercover and go back to work at the newspaper,Express, to find out who would want to murder O'Connor.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    4.5 stars- this was SO good! Full body characters with the best dry humor, action, murder mystery- I can’t wait to pick up the next one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I read the second in this series first and loved it so I went immediately back and caught up. Again, I’m asking how I missed this series because it really drew me in from the beginning and kept me wanting more. Can’t wait to continue the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Great book. Read it first in high school, then another time about 7 years later... and this makes reading it a third time. Love the characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kate North

    A re-read - I've had this series on my shelf (except the most recent two or three) for years because I really enjoyed it and thought I might re-read it someday, and finally, deciding I needed more space on that bookcase, I decided the time had come for a re-read of the series, and catching up with the two most recent ones, which I haven't read. I always like to have something readable and not-too taxing, but still excellently written on hand for when my brain is a little tired, and this fits the A re-read - I've had this series on my shelf (except the most recent two or three) for years because I really enjoyed it and thought I might re-read it someday, and finally, deciding I needed more space on that bookcase, I decided the time had come for a re-read of the series, and catching up with the two most recent ones, which I haven't read. I always like to have something readable and not-too taxing, but still excellently written on hand for when my brain is a little tired, and this fits the bill perfectly. The story is well done, and the characters well-drawn and believeable. I'll look forward to going back through the series over the next few months, on the way to the new ones.

  7. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    GOODNIGHT, IRENE - Ex Burke, Jan - 1st in Irene Kelly series When a fellow reporter is blown up while investigating an unsolved murder from 1955, Irene Kelly is determined to solve the mystery despite the threat of death. Southern California reporter, lots of bodies. I'm think I'm going to like this author a lot! GOODNIGHT, IRENE - Ex Burke, Jan - 1st in Irene Kelly series When a fellow reporter is blown up while investigating an unsolved murder from 1955, Irene Kelly is determined to solve the mystery despite the threat of death. Southern California reporter, lots of bodies. I'm think I'm going to like this author a lot!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    The first in her long running series. Irene is Irish, a reporter and stubborn, and can't keep her nose out of finding the killer of her mentor. Meeting a former close friend on the case, Frank, now a Det. in homicide, they work together on the case. And, I'm sure the relationship will become serious. A fun and quick read, that is a promising start to the series. 3.5 stars. The first in her long running series. Irene is Irish, a reporter and stubborn, and can't keep her nose out of finding the killer of her mentor. Meeting a former close friend on the case, Frank, now a Det. in homicide, they work together on the case. And, I'm sure the relationship will become serious. A fun and quick read, that is a promising start to the series. 3.5 stars.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    #1 in the Irene Kelly series. "Finalist 1993 Agatha Award for Best First Novel; Finalist 1994 Anthony Award for Best First Novel". Reporter Irene Kelly shares information and danger with handsome homicide detective Frank Harriman, as she investigates the bombing murder of a colleague who had been obsessed with the 35 year old murder/disfigurement of a young woman. #1 in the Irene Kelly series. "Finalist 1993 Agatha Award for Best First Novel; Finalist 1994 Anthony Award for Best First Novel". Reporter Irene Kelly shares information and danger with handsome homicide detective Frank Harriman, as she investigates the bombing murder of a colleague who had been obsessed with the 35 year old murder/disfigurement of a young woman.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ch J Loveall

    Have ordered the rest that RPL has but not for a while.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anita Drake

    First time I've read this author - a murder mystery series where the central character is a female newspaper reporter. I liked the writing style and the characters are very likeable. First time I've read this author - a murder mystery series where the central character is a female newspaper reporter. I liked the writing style and the characters are very likeable.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sabine

    Irene Kelly is a former reporter for the Las Piernas Express who quit after a heated discussion with the owner of the paper. Her mentor and best friend O'Connor is after a story about corruption in the city council when one morning a bomb is placed at his doorstep which blows him up in many pieces. To find out what killed her friend, Irene goes back to her former job and soon discovers that the truth lies in the past, with a dead girl who was found in the fifties under the pier and whose identit Irene Kelly is a former reporter for the Las Piernas Express who quit after a heated discussion with the owner of the paper. Her mentor and best friend O'Connor is after a story about corruption in the city council when one morning a bomb is placed at his doorstep which blows him up in many pieces. To find out what killed her friend, Irene goes back to her former job and soon discovers that the truth lies in the past, with a dead girl who was found in the fifties under the pier and whose identity remained unknown until today. Can Irene uncover what happened back then to Jane Doe? Or will she be the next target.. I have read the Irene Kelly series in German paperback back in the 90ies and loved it. While sorting out old books to give away, I came across the old paperbacks and thought I should read it again - but this time the original English version. I was just curious to see whether I still like it. Even though the books are dated in the nineties, the story still holds its charm and I finished the book in one go. Funnily enough, I couldn't remember who the killer was and enjoyed the book as if it was new to me. I liked the characters of Irene Kelly and her detective friend Frank Harriman. The idea of a cop and a reporter being friends and maybe more was not new but Jan Burke did a very good job with her writing. I think I give the whole series a new try. Good crime story!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Edward Smith

    Very well written story that holds ones interest till the end. There are 2 equally possible motives for the most recent murder one a cold case stretching 30-40 years back in time and the other a current political corruption case. While the violence seems arbitrary at times it gets down to who knows what or what "they" think you know The story takes place during a period which I know well, the early '90's, it is interesting to read a story that occurs in my time where there is no semblance of the i Very well written story that holds ones interest till the end. There are 2 equally possible motives for the most recent murder one a cold case stretching 30-40 years back in time and the other a current political corruption case. While the violence seems arbitrary at times it gets down to who knows what or what "they" think you know The story takes place during a period which I know well, the early '90's, it is interesting to read a story that occurs in my time where there is no semblance of the internet, cell phones, no social media, no instant communication. The best you can hope for is that someone or something a machine answers the phone. There is a whole different set of expectations and flow to the story itself. I don't say this with a nostalgic yearning but an almost historic glimpse of a time that I lived through that is so different than today. It provides me with a little look at the history of myself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laurla2

    i enjoyed it. "'goddammit irene, you'll do as your told!" "that line only worked for my father, and he wore it out in less than fifteen years.'" "'irene, do you know what the two saddest words in the english language are?" "boo and hoo?" "no, wise ass. the two saddest words in the english language are 'if only'.'" "i grew up in upstate new york. like a friend of mine says, only penguins should live there. you ever been to upstate new york? no? well i suppose for some people its got attractions. but ev i enjoyed it. "'goddammit irene, you'll do as your told!" "that line only worked for my father, and he wore it out in less than fifteen years.'" "'irene, do you know what the two saddest words in the english language are?" "boo and hoo?" "no, wise ass. the two saddest words in the english language are 'if only'.'" "i grew up in upstate new york. like a friend of mine says, only penguins should live there. you ever been to upstate new york? no? well i suppose for some people its got attractions. but every time i even start to miss it, you know what i do? i go out to my garage. i got a snow shovel out there. honest to god. i'm probably the only guy in southern california with a snow shovel in his garage. yeah i just look at that snow shovel and think about what it feels like when there's a good windchill factor and a driveway full of snow and i say, 'just sit there you bastard. i'm never picking you up again in my lifetime'."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    First book in Irene Kelly series. I liked the book but also felt like I continued to read to end only to find out the murderer. The emotional connection between me and the characters just didn't happen. Prediction events leading up to revelation of murderer: telephone contact made from killer to Irene, Irene falls for ploy and goes alone, killer tells Irene why the victim was killed, murderer plans to kill Irene, Irene rescued. First book in Irene Kelly series. I liked the book but also felt like I continued to read to end only to find out the murderer. The emotional connection between me and the characters just didn't happen. Prediction events leading up to revelation of murderer: telephone contact made from killer to Irene, Irene falls for ploy and goes alone, killer tells Irene why the victim was killed, murderer plans to kill Irene, Irene rescued.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Stanley

    Even for a debut, I thought “Goodnight Irene” was remarkably mediocre, which surprised me given the attention she has received generally, one award nomination, I believe, for this book, and several other different nominations (Agatha, Macavity, Barry, Edgar) for a number of later books. Most of her books have been the Irene Kelly series and I just don’t know if I’m all that interested. However, I think one or two of her later ones are standalones and maybe I’ll try them.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    Meh. I read the first 85 pages and then jumped to the end and read the last 15 for closure. I really thought I was going to enjoy this- it starts with a bang (haha- there's a bomb) and immediately got some emotional heft, but after that I really failed to engage with the characters and I didn't care about the plot at ALL. Meh. I read the first 85 pages and then jumped to the end and read the last 15 for closure. I really thought I was going to enjoy this- it starts with a bang (haha- there's a bomb) and immediately got some emotional heft, but after that I really failed to engage with the characters and I didn't care about the plot at ALL.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Jan Burke is clearly a good enough writer and plotter that when she invented a mystery character she didn't need a particular gimmick to pull in the reader. Irene Kelly is simply a spunky female journalist based in a fictitious Southern California small city (resembling Long Beach with composite elements from other places) who wants justice when her friend and colleague is murdered. If you're a fan of Sue Grafton or Sara Paretsky, you'll probably like this - it's definitely in the same league. Jan Burke is clearly a good enough writer and plotter that when she invented a mystery character she didn't need a particular gimmick to pull in the reader. Irene Kelly is simply a spunky female journalist based in a fictitious Southern California small city (resembling Long Beach with composite elements from other places) who wants justice when her friend and colleague is murdered. If you're a fan of Sue Grafton or Sara Paretsky, you'll probably like this - it's definitely in the same league.

  20. 5 out of 5

    KC

    This book had it all for me... nicely paced and interest-grabbing murder mystery, likable characters, with just a hint of a brewing romance. I like the way Jan Burke writes and look forward to more of her books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Phipps

    I read this series years ago, and had forgotten how good Jan Burke is--a writer who knows her craft, develops an intriguing character and an interesting plot. I'll be reading the rest of the series again. I read this series years ago, and had forgotten how good Jan Burke is--a writer who knows her craft, develops an intriguing character and an interesting plot. I'll be reading the rest of the series again.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tess Mertens-Johnson

    Irene is a reporter who gets tangled in a murder case. Did not grab me

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deidre

    very well paced mystery novel. held my interest even though I had figured out the mystery early on. I still wanted to see how it played out.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    I tried! I tried so hard to finish this book! But it just did not capture my attention. It couldn't make me care. Sorry book! I tried! I tried so hard to finish this book! But it just did not capture my attention. It couldn't make me care. Sorry book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vivien

    Good book. Surprising twist in the end.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jewett

    Couldn't stop listening Really good characters and great plot. Couldn't stop listening Really good characters and great plot.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The ending was predictable; however, I really like the main character and the cast of characters. I think I'm going to like this series. The ending was predictable; however, I really like the main character and the cast of characters. I think I'm going to like this series.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Newspaper reporter plus police detective Irene Kelly is a worthy protagonist, and she makes the series interesting.I will add this entertaining series to my TBR list.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    Great book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelley

    Really predicable

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