Very often when an author changes genre and picks a pseudonym so not to confuse his existing fans, he makes a secret of it and the publishers sell it into the trade as a first novel and only sometimes acknowledges it as being from an established ‘bestselling’ name. Well, here there is no secret. We know that Benjamin Black is John Banville, winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2005 with The Sea, so we know the quality of writing is going to be good but can a literary prize winner write crime? Oh yes … this is startlingly disturbing, gripping stuff introducing an aptly named series character, Quirke, in a complex, absorbing plot centred around a secret society within the Catholic Church in Dublin. It’s first-rate.
Quirke’s pathology department, set deep beneath the city, is his own gloomy realm: always quiet, always night, and always under his control. Until late one evening after a party he stumbles across a body that should not be there – and his brother-in-law falsifying the corpse’s cause of death.
This is the first time Quirke has encountered Christine Falls, but the investigation he decides to lead into the way she lived and died uncovers a dark secret at the heart of Dublin’s high Catholic network; one with the power to shake his own family and everything he holds dear.
‘A superb stylist . . . His control and pacing cannot be faulted, and the final outcome is almost unbearably moving . . .You’re in for a treat’ Guardian
‘Succeeds sensationally . . . An absorbing plot, beguiling characters and evocative settings . . . His pacing is impeccable’ The Times
‘A gripping, beautifully crafted thriller . . . A one sitting-read, an all-night enticement’ Scotsman
Publication date: 19/10/2007
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||19th October 2007|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Crime & mystery,|
Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin. Author photo © D. BanvilleMore About Benjamin Black