This is the second Quirke novel from Man Booker prize-winning John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black. Time has moved on for Quirke, the world-weary Dublin pathologist first encountered in "Christine Falls". It is the middle of the 1950s, that low, dishonourable decade; a woman he loved has died, a man whom he once admired is dying, while the ...
This is the second Quirke novel from Man Booker prize-winning John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black. Time has moved on for Quirke, the world-weary Dublin pathologist first encountered in "Christine Falls". It is the middle of the 1950s, that low, dishonourable decade; a woman he loved has died, a man whom he once admired is dying, while the daughter he for so long denied is still finding it hard to accept him as her father. When Billy Hunt, an acquaintance from college days, approaches him about his wife's apparent suicide, Quirke recognises trouble but, as always, trouble is something he cannot resist. Slowly he is drawn into a twilight world of drug addiction, sexual obsession, blackmail and murder, a world in which even the redoubtable Inspector Hackett can offer him few directions.
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The second in a series starring the alcoholic pathologist Quirk is a smoothly written and full of twists and turns. It delves deeply into the lives of the characters and makes them come to life on the page. Quirk has complex struggles with his conscience. the conflict between justice and vengeance and finally , his unending cravings to relieve life's disappointments at the botttom of a glass. A double whammy of an ending completes this superior novel.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-04-28 Black is better known as the Booker Prize-winning author John Banville. Timothy Dalton is better known as the guy who used to play James Bond. Their collaboration on this mystery novel, the second in Black's Quirke series, offers an excellent opportunity for Dalton to flash his acting chops. Dalton's reading is hushed, intense and dramatic, read as if being performed onstage. This risky approach ends up melding perfectly with Black's atmospheric whodunit, with Dalton underscoring the literary quality of the prose. Dalton drops to a whisper nearly every other sentence, but it is the kind of whisper that penetrates the eardrums of even the duffers in the back row of the theater. The acted approach--Dalton playing every role, embodying every voice--is not always perfect, but the partnership between author and narrator is a definite success. Simultaneous release with the Henry Holt hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 7). (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2008-01-07 In this stunning follow-up to 2007's Christine Falls, Black (pseudonym of Booker Prize-winner John Banville) spins a complex tale of murder and deception in 1950s Ireland. Pathologist Garret Quirke, surprised by a visit from a college acquaintance, Billy Hunt, is even more surprised when Billy begs Quirke not to perform an autopsy on his wife, Deirdre, whose naked body was recently retrieved from Dublin Bay. Though everything points to suicide, Quirke knows something's amiss and begins to retrace Deirdre's steps. Black expertly balances Quirke's investigation with chapters detailing Deidre's past, from her marriage to Billy to her shady business deal with Leslie White, an enigmatic Englishman who knew Deidre as Laura Swan, the proprietress of their joint venture, a beauty salon called the Silver Swan. As Quirke digs deeper, he discovers a web of lies and blackmail that threatens to envelop even his own estranged daughter, Phoebe. Laconic, stubborn Quirke makes an appealing hero as the pieces of this unsettling crime come together in a shocking conclusion. Author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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