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A Death in Summer

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This is the new Quirke Dublin mystery from John Banville writing as Benjamin Black. When newspaper magnate Richard Jewell is found dead at his ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of A Death in Summer

Overall customer rating: 2.000
jjares

A Stylish Novel With No Heart

by jjares on Jun 19, 2014

Benjamin Black is the pen name of Irish novelist John Banville. This is the fourth installment in the Quirke series. Quirke is a deeply-flawed medical pathologist in 1950?s Ireland. Quirke has been called to examine the body of publisher Richard ?Diamond Dick? Jewell at his country estate, by DCI Hackett. There, Quirke meets the family of the deceased, especially Jewell?s widow, Françoise d'Aubigny. She is insular and detached, although amazingly beautiful. Quirke is in a relationship with Isobel Galloway but is immediately captivated by the young widow. This story feels like a noir film: a stylish crime drama with expressed cynical attitudes and sexual desires. Actually, this seems to be more of a complex character study than a traditional mystery. I believe that I could pick out the characters from a group of strangers in a room, the characters are so well-written. Black has plumbed the psychological depths of the main characters in this drama; the reader understands the troubles of these characters. Because I?d so enjoyed THE BLACK-EYED BLOND, Benjamin Black?s clever rendition of a Raymond Chandler novel, I wasn?t immediately put off by the cold, distant characters. By the book?s half-way point, however, I was laboring to finish this story. The characters were generally unlikeable ? few had any redeeming features. I really did not enjoy this book; it was stylishly written but had no heart. 2 stars Quirke 1. Christine Falls (2006) 2. The Silver Swan (2007) 3. Elegy for April (2010) 4. A Death in Summer (2011) 5. Vengeance (2012) 6. Holy Orders (2013)

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