Why would suicide need a witness? On the east coast of Ireland, Victor Delahaye, one of the country's most prominent citizens, takes his business partner's son out sailing. But once at sea, Davy Clancy is horrified to witness Delahaye take out a gun and shoot himself dead. This strange event captures the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett ...
Why would suicide need a witness? On the east coast of Ireland, Victor Delahaye, one of the country's most prominent citizens, takes his business partner's son out sailing. But once at sea, Davy Clancy is horrified to witness Delahaye take out a gun and shoot himself dead. This strange event captures the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett and his friend Pathologist Doctor Quirke. The Delahayes and Clancys have been rivals for generations and the suicide lays bare the perplexing characters at the heart of the mystery, from Mona, Delahaye's toxic young widow, to Jonas and James, his strange, enigmatic twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his down-trodden, womanizing partner. And when a second death occurs, one even more shocking than the first, Quirke begins to realise that terrible secrets lie buried within these entangled families; and that in this world of jealousy, ruthless ambition and pride -- nothing is quite as it seems ...
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-06-25 Bestseller Black's understated but highly effective fifth crime novel featuring 1950s Dublin pathologist Quirke (after 2011's A Death in Summer) offers a provocative whydunit. One sunny June day, Victor Delahaye takes Davy Clancy, the 24-year-old son of his garage business partner, out for a sail in his yacht off the Irish coast. Delahaye tells Davy a story of his childhood involving a lesson in self-reliance, then pulls out a pistol and shoots himself in the chest. In a panic, Davy picks up the gun and tosses it overboard as Delahaye expires. Later, once Davy's safely ashore, the authorities readily accept his account of the suicide. Less clear is the motive, given Delahaye's financial success, a question that becomes more urgent when someone else connected with the garage partnership turns up dead. Superior prose ("Spoiled children had that look, of knowing deep down that all the petting and the pampering might at any moment just stop, without the slightest warning") and a subtle mystery ensure another winner for Black (the pseudonym of Booker-winner John Banville). Agent: Ed Victor. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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