This work is a compelling new crime series from the pen of Booker Prize winner John Banville. In the Pathology Department, it was always night. This was one of the things Quirke liked about his job...it was restful, cosy, one might almost say, down in these depths nearly two floors beneath the city's busy pavements. There was too a sense here of ...Read MoreThis work is a compelling new crime series from the pen of Booker Prize winner John Banville. In the Pathology Department, it was always night. This was one of the things Quirke liked about his job...it was restful, cosy, one might almost say, down in these depths nearly two floors beneath the city's busy pavements. There was too a sense here of being part of the continuance of ancient practices, secret skills, of work too dark to be carried on up in the light. But one night, late after a party, Quirke stumbles across a body that shouldn't have been there...and his brother-in-law, eminent paediatrician Malachy Griffin - a rare sight in Quirke's gloomy domain - altering a file to cover up the corpse's cause of death. It is the first time Quirke encounters Christine Falls, but the investigation he decides to lead into the way she lived - and the reason she died - disturbs a dark secret that has been festering at the core of Dublin's high Catholic society, a secret ready to destablize the very heart and soul of Quirke's own family...Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-04-30 Dalton uses all his pacing and vocal skills and his wonderful, deep Welsh tones to keep listeners engaged and on edge through this mystery set in 1950s Dublin and Boston. He skillfully sustains our empathy for widowed Dublin coroner Quirke, the alcoholic, angry and acerbic narrator who drags himself into solving the mystery of Christine Falls's death in childbirth and the disappearance of her newborn-a scenario that parallels Quirke's own experience. Black (pseudonym of Booker Prize-winner John Banville) is a fine writer, reminiscent of P.D. James in his care for language and his emphasis on psychologically complex characters, including Mel, Quirke's obstetrician stepbrother; Sarah, Mel's wife (and sister of Quirke's dead wife), whose love for Quirke is reciprocated; and Mel and Sarah's confused daughter, Phoebe. Black weaves his characters through a neat and original plot that descends into the dark depths of Quirke's family history and rises to the highest ranks of the Catholic church. Detective fiction readers will love Black's writing and Dalton's reading, and look forward to more from both. Simultaneous release with the Henry Holt hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 27). (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-01-15 In this expertly paced debut thriller from Irish author Black (the pseudonym of Booker Prize-winner John Banville), pathologist Garret Quirke uncovers a web of corruption in 1950s Dublin surrounding the death in childbirth of a young maid, Christine Falls. Quirke is pulled into the case when he confronts his stepbrother, physician Malachy Griffin, who's altering Christine's file at the city morgue. Soon it appears the entire establishment is in denial over Christine's mysterious demise and in a conspiracy that recalls the classic film Chinatown. And the deeper Quirke delves into the mystery, the more it seems to implicate his own family and the Catholic church. At the start, the novel has the spare melancholy of early James Joyce, describing a Dublin of private clubs, Merrion Square townhouses and the occasional horse-drawn cart; as the plot heats up and the action shifts to Boston, Mass., it becomes more of a standard detective story. Though Black makes an occasional American cultural blooper, he keeps divulging surprises to the last page so that the reader is simultaneously shocked and satisfied. Author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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