I had read Christine Falls (Quirke,Bk 1) and enjoyed it enough to want to read The Silver Swan..Both were darkish, depressing subject matter..The Silver Swan isn't a light read for the beach..but it is interesting and well written. Of the two books I'd say Christine Falls was the better book. There's something missing in this one.
Wonderful writer. A great serious novelist turns to crime.
Benjamin Black cannot write a bad book.
From the standpoint of the story, I think this second Quirke novel is more successful than the first. I was quite intrigued by Christine Falls and, of course, admired the fine writing. But the plot was a bit out of control with so many unraveling threads, sadness heaped upon scandal, and none of it having a very satisfactory resolution, which was no doubt the author's point about life. The Silver Swan seems to me to be a more successful representation of its genre. It contains the many admirable qualities of the first Banville's fierce analysis of the Irish, his fine character studies, the elegiac descriptions of Dublin but presents the plot with more control and power.
I love the way this author writes! Deep, dark, full of the texture of different characters' experience, a relatively simple plot with complex people who do not understand their own motivations. Characters with, to quote one of them, "cold hearts, hot souls." The novel is set in Dublin and the main character is a pathologist who gets much too curious for his own good. I recommend you read the same author's "Christine Falls" before this one.
I really enjoyed this book, the characters are great and the storyline is full of twists and turns. If you read his previous book, Christine Falls, this is the sequel. I liked this one better than the first. Unlike other murder mystery writers, Black does not rely on using lot of gruesome details rather he sets an interesting stage and then lets the events slowly unfold. I am wondering if there is going to be book 3?
This series of mysteries by Benjamin Black about a pathologist in Dublin, in 1950s is a great read. Quirke, the pathologist struggles with drinking and trying to build a family relationship with his daughter. He is A very likeable guy who is curious and wants to find the solutions to the murders. In this story, an old school mate asks him not to do a post mortem on his dead wife and Quirke agrees but sees something suspicious so does one anyway and things start snowballing. It is a great picture of Dublin during this time period. You can just picture and feel along with Quirke what he is feeling, what the weather is like, etc.