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The Silver Swan (Quirke Mysteries)

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The Silver Swan

Quirke Mysteries

By Benjamin Black

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Format: Paperback, 368 pages, Media tie-in Edition
Published In: United Kingdom, 03 October 2008
Time has moved on for Quirke, the world-weary pathologist first encountered in Christine Falls. It is the middle of the 1950s, that low, dishonourable decade; a woman he loved has died, a man he once admired is dying, while the daughter he for so long denied is still finding it hard to accept him as her father. When an old acquaintance approaches him about his wife's apparent suicide, Quirke recognizes trouble but, as always, trouble is something he cannot resist. `Drug addiction, morbid sexual obsession, blackmail and murder, as well as prose as crisp as a winter's morning by the Liffey . . . Quirke is human enough to swell the hardest of hearts' GQ `A neat whodunit plot and a delightful command of suspense' Independent on Sunday `The death of Michael Dibdin left a huge hole in crime fiction. Black and Quirke are filling that gap with this wholly gripping account for the shady, priest-ridden and blithely corrupt society of mid-twentieth-century Dublin' Daily Mail `A romp of a read, a compelling fix' Scotsman `Dublin's clammy atmosphere and its oppressive social and religious mores are a convincing backdrop to a moving drama conveyed by a master writer' The Times

About the Author

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, including the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.


His lover dead, his daughter sullen, and his father seriously ill, Quirke distracts himself by investigating the suicide of a best friend's young and beautiful wife. With a national tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Black is better known as the Booker Prize-winning author John Banville. Timothy Dalton is better known as the guy who used to play James Bond. Their collaboration on this mystery novel, the second in Black's Quirke series, offers an excellent opportunity for Dalton to flash his acting chops. Dalton's reading is hushed, intense and dramatic, read as if being performed onstage. This risky approach ends up melding perfectly with Black's atmospheric whodunit, with Dalton underscoring the literary quality of the prose. Dalton drops to a whisper nearly every other sentence, but it is the kind of whisper that penetrates the eardrums of even the duffers in the back row of the theater. The acted approach--Dalton playing every role, embodying every voice--is not always perfect, but the partnership between author and narrator is a definite success. Simultaneous release with the Henry Holt hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 7). (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780330454087
ISBN: 0330454080
Publisher: Picador
Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.2 centimetres (0.22 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
All Reviews
Neil Smith on
This is a rewarding series of novels. Set in Ireland in the fifties, it's both evocative and enthralling, as the enigmatic Quirke struggles with his personal life and weaves his way through the crimes that confront him. It's worth reading them in order. Take your time and enjoy.

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