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Christine Falls (Quirke #1)

Christine Falls (Quirke #1) Description:

In the debut crime novel from the Booker winning author a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city s high Catholic society br br It s not the dead that seem strange to Quirke It s the living One night after a few drinks at an office party Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother in law Malachy altering a file he has no business even reading Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there but the next morning when the haze has lifted it looks an awful lot like his brother in law the esteemed doctor was in fact tampering with a corpse and concealing the cause of death br br It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death he comes up against some insidious and very well guarded secrets of Dublin s high Catholic society among them members of his own family br br Set in Dublin and Boston in the s the first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of Booker Prize winner John Banville s fiction to a thrilling atmospheric crime story Quirke is a fascinating and subtly drawn hero Christine Falls is a classic tale of suspense and Benjamin Black s debut marks him as a true master of the form

Rating: 3.32 out of 5

The Silver Swan (Quirke #2)

The Silver Swan (Quirke #2) Description:

The inimitable Quirke returns in another spellbinding crime novel in which a young woman s dubious suicide sets off a new string of hazards and deceptions br br Two years have passed since the events of the bestselling Christine Falls and much has changed for Quirke the irascible formerly hard drinking Dublin pathologist His beloved Sarah is dead his surrogate father lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke and Phoebe Quirke s long denied daughter has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated br br With much to regret from his last inquisitive foray Quirke ought to know better than to let his curiosity get the best of him Yet when an almost forgotten acquaintance comes to him about his beautiful young wife s apparent suicide Quirke s old itch to cut into the quick of things to delve into the dark of what was hidden is roused again As he begins to probe further into the shadowy circumstances of Deirdre Hunt s death he discovers many things that might better have remained hidden as well as grave danger to those he loves br br Haunting masterfully written and utterly mesmerizing in its nuance The Silver Swan fully lives up to the promise of Christine Falls and firmly establishes Benjamin Black a k a John Banville among the greatest of crime writers

Rating: 3.37 out of 5

The Black-Eyed Blonde

The Black-Eyed Blonde Description:

b Raymond Chandler s incomparable private eye is back pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career b br br It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it s being watched Traffic trickled by in the street below and there were a few pedestrians too men in hats going nowhere br br So begins i The Black Eyed Blonde i a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe yes that Philip Marlowe Channeling Raymond Chandler Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City California It is the early s Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever and business is a little slow Then a new client is shown in young beautiful and expensively dressed she wants Marlowe to find her former lover a man named Nico Peterson Marlowe sets off on his search but almost immediately discovers that Peterson s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City s richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune br br Only Benjamin Black a modern master of the genre could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today s best crime fiction

Rating: 3.43 out of 5

Elegy for April (Quirke #3)

Elegy for April (Quirke #3) Description:

p b Quirke the hard drinking insatiably curious Dublin pathologist is back and he s determined to find his daughter s best friend a well connected young doctor b p p April Latimer has vanished A junior doctor at a local hospital she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of s Dublin Though her family is one of the most respected in the city she is known for being independent minded her taste in men for instance is decidedly unconventional p p Now April has disappeared and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst Frantic Phoebe seeks out Quirke her brilliant but erratic father and asks him for help Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism Quirke enlists his old sparring partner Detective Inspector Hackett in the search for the missing young woman In their separate ways the two men follow April s trail through some of the darker byways of the city to uncover crucial information on her whereabouts And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April s murky story he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery Catholic ruthlessness and race hatred p p Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best p

Rating: 3.32 out of 5

A Death in Summer (Quirke #4)

A Death in Summer (Quirke #4) Description:

b One of The i Chicago Tribune i s Best Reads of b br br b One of Dublin s most powerful men meets a violent end and an acknowledged master of crime fiction delivers his most gripping novel yet b br br On a sweltering summer afternoon newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast But is it suicide or murder For help with the investigation Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke who has unusual access to Dublin s elite br br Jewell s coolly elegant French wife Fran oise seems less than shocked by her husband s death But Dannie Jewell s high strung sister is devastated and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend David Sinclair Quirke s ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family Further Sinclair has been seeing Quirke s fractious daughter Phoebe and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick s empire begin to be revealed Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster br br Tightly plotted and gorgeously written i A Death in Summer i proves to the brilliant but sometimes reckless Quirke that in a city where old money and the right bloodlines rule he is by no means safe from mortal danger

Rating: 3.50 out of 5

Vengeance (Quirke #5)

Vengeance (Quirke #5) Description:

b A bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood as one of our most brilliant crime novelists reveals a world where money and sex trump everything b br br It s a fine day for a sail and Victor Delahaye one of Ireland s most successful businessmen takes his boat far out to sea With him is his partner s son who becomes the sole witness when Delahaye produces a pistol points it at his own chest and fires br br This mysterious death immediately engages the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett who in turn calls upon the services of his sometime partner Quirke consultant pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family The stakes are high Delahaye s prominence in business circles means that Hackett and Quirke must proceed very carefully Among others they interview Mona Delahaye the dead man s young and very beautiful wife James and Jonas Delahaye his identical twin sons and Jack Clancy his ambitious womanizing partner But then a second death occurs this one even more shocking than the first and quickly it becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of several members of Dublin s elite br br Why did Victor Delahaye kill himself and who is intent upon wreaking vengeance on so many of those who knew him

Rating: 3.38 out of 5

Holy Orders (Quirke #6)

Holy Orders (Quirke #6) Description:

She looked at him and smiled sadly You ve lived too long among the dead Quirke she said He nodded Yes I suppose I have She was not the first one to have told him that and she would not be the last s Dublin When a body is found in the canal pathologist Quirke and his detective friend Inspector Hackett must find the truth behind this brutal murder But in a world where the police are not trusted and secrets often remain buried there is perhaps little hope of bringing the perpetrator to justice As spring storms descend on Dublin Quirke and Hackett s investigation will lead them into the dark heart of the organisation that really runs this troubled city the church Meanwhile Quirke s daughter Phoebe realises she is being followed and when Quirke s terrible childhood in a priest run orphanage returns to haunt him he will face his greatest trial yet

Rating: 3.60 out of 5

The Lemur

The Lemur Description:

A new thriller from the Booker Prize winning and Edgar nominated author of Christine Falls and The Silver Swan br br John Glass s life in New York should be plenty comfortable He s given up his career as a journalist to write an authorized biography of his father in law communications magnate and former CIA agent Big Bill Mulholland He works in a big office in Mulholland Tower rent free and goes home most nights to his wealthy and well preserved wife Wild Bill s daughter He misses his old life sometimes but all in all things have turned out well br br But when his shifty young researcher a man he calls The Lemur turns up some unflattering information about the family Glass s whole easy existence is threatened Then the young man is murdered and it s up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew and who killed him before any secrets come out and before any other bodies appear Shifting from s Dublin to contemporary New York the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller a story of family secrets so deep and so dangerous that anyone might kill to keep them hidden br br

Rating: 3.62 out of 5

Even the Dead (Quirke #7)

Even the Dead (Quirke #7) Description:

b A suspicious death a pregnant woman suddenly gone missing Quirke s latest case leads him inexorably toward the dark machinations of an old foe b br br Perhaps Quirke has been down among the dead too long Lately the Irish pathologist has suffered hallucinations and blackouts and he fears the cause is a brain tumor A specialist diagnoses an old head injury caused by a savage beating all that s needed the doctor declares is an extended rest But Quirke ever intent on finding his place among the living is not about to retire br br One night during a June heat wave a car crashes into a tree in central Dublin and bursts into flames The police assume the driver s death was either an accident or a suicide but Quirke s examination of the body leads him to believe otherwise Then his daughter Phoebe gets a mysterious visit from an acquaintance the woman who admits to being pregnant says she fears for her life though she won t say why When the woman later disappears Phoebe asks her father for help and Quirke in turn seeks the assistance of his old friend Inspector Hackett Before long the two men find themselves untangling a twisted string of events that takes them deep into a shadowy world where one of the city s most powerful men uses the cover of politics and religion to make obscene profits i i br i i br i Even the Dead i Benjamin Black s seventh novel featuring the endlessly fascinating Quirke is a story of surpassing intensity and surprising beauty

Rating: 3.80 out of 5

Wolf on a String

Wolf on a String Description:

b Bestselling author Benjamin Black turns his eye to sixteenth century Prague and a story of murder magic and the dark art of wielding extraordinary power b br br Christian Stern an ambitious young scholar and alchemist arrives in Prague in the bitter winter of intent on making his fortune at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor the eccentric Rudolf II The night of his arrival drunk and lost Christian stumbles upon the body of a young woman in Golden Lane an alley hard by Rudolf s great castle Dressed in a velvet gown wearing a large gold medallion around her neck the woman is clearly well born or was for her throat has been slashed br br A lesser man would smell danger but Christian is determined to follow his fortunes wherever they may lead He quickly finds himself entangled in the machinations of several ruthless courtiers and before long he comes to the attention of the Emperor himself Rudolf deciding that Christian is that rare thing a person he can trust sets him the task of solving the mystery of the woman s murder But Christian soon realizes that he has blundered into the midst of a power struggle that threatens to subvert the throne itself And as he gets ever nearer to the truth of what happened that night in Golden Lane he finally sees that his own life is in grave danger br br From the spectacularly inventive Benjamin Black here is a historical crime novel that delivers both a mesmerizing portrait of a lost world and a riveting tale of intrigue and suspense

Rating: 3.42 out of 5