This is a dark and depressing mystery where the main character seems to be constantly either drinking or recovering from a fight. Dark and depressing nature aside, it's very good. It's portrays a different side of Ireland than I've seen in fiction...neither feel-good family drama nor straight up political tale. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
it was the best mystery book I have read in a long time. the characters are alive , little mysteries are divulged along the story line to keep you captive, the prose is beautiful and the story itself is marvelous
There is one flaw in this book: It is too much like real life. Things happen in this well-written book, but in the end, little or nothing is resolved. Which is why it is too much like real life. The characters make decisions, learn secrets, try to right wrongs, but, in truth, they are bound to the customs and proprieties of their world, their lives, and they are unable and unwilling to break the rules, upset things, question right and wrong, seek justice, insist on love. They are, to put it finely, hide bound to continue the status quo, for the most part. So while the book itself is remarkably well written, the conclusion left me wanting something more dramatic, something less like my real life. I wanted the main character to choose the woman he loves and to make a statement by insisting on bringing all of the villains to justice. But that's not what happens in real life, is it?
Very interesting story set in Dublin and Boston in the 50's, resonating with the power of the Catholic church and the foibles of the faithful, some of whom tried to live up to its teachings, and some of whom made very little effort to do so. It's a compelling portrayal of three generations in one family and the secrets and lies which destroyed them.
I enjoyed this a lot. Banville writes very well - not your typical crime novel writing. His characters drive the novel, not the plot. Quirke is a pathologist - his brother Malachy is an OB surgeon. This is only one of the many differences between these two. Quirke works with the dead, Malachy the living. Recommended for anyone looking for a "literary" crime novel.
Another Irish mystery thriller - and another literary one, too. This one revolved more around the Catholic Church than the others. It wasn't as exciting , but it was interesting and it did have some unexpected plot twists. All in all, I enjoyed it, but it could have been a bit more thrilling. Also, some of the back-story of the four main characters would have been nice to have a little more of. There is a sequel, but I'm not in any great rush to read it, though I do want to. I can wait for paperback though, for sure.
This is the first in a series of four at this point. I can't wait to read the next, "The Silver Swan," based on how much I loved this. The main character is a pathologist, Quirke, in Ireland. In this story, he is confronted with a dead young woman who had just given birth, and with what appears to be dishonesty in his own family. Quirke is a depressed sort of character who has taken some lumps in his life, and as the story progresses we find out what some of those lumps have been. The story moves between Ireland and the Irish side of Boston, and the locales are always beautifully described. Black, who is really John Banville, a Booker prize winner, is a fantastic writer and his descriptions of the scenes are amazing. In fact, this is the only thing that would draw me away from the story -- occasionally I had I go back to reread a passage because it was just so beautifully written. And, in a mystery, this would jar me out of the story a bit. It was easy to jump back in, however. This was a great book, and I look forward to reading the next three in the series.
I listened to this book on audio and I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had read it. The storyline was very interesting and moved quickly. The reader was so monotone I felt like I was being hypnotized - so I am going to try reading the sequel and see if that works. If you like mysteries I would recommend giving this a try