Christine Falls - Quirke, Bk 1 Author:Benjamin Black, John Banville 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 — 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 m... more »orgue 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.
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.
Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s, 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.« less
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
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.
Excellent mystery, but even more , a devastating critique of the hypocrisy of the Catholic church in Ireland and the United states.
Christine Falls is an eminently worthy debut for the Quirke series. I found it thoroughly enjoyable.
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.