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The Silver Swanby Benjamin Black
Synopses & Reviews
The inimitable Quirke returns in another spellbinding crime novel, in which a young woman's dubious suicide sets off a new string of hazards and deceptions.
Two years have passed since the events of the bestselling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, his surrogate father lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.
With much to regret from his last inquisitive foray, Quirke ought to know better than to let his curiosity get the best of him. Yet when an almost forgotten acquaintance comes to him about his beautiful young wife's apparent suicide, Quirke's "old itch to cut into the quick of things, to delve into the dark of what was hidden" is roused again. As he begins to probe further into the shadowy circumstances of Deirdre Hunt's death, he discovers many things that might better have remained hidden, as well as grave danger to those he loves.
Haunting, masterfully written, and utterly mesmerizing in its nuance, The Silver Swan fully lives up to the promise of Christine Falls and firmly establishes Benjamin Black (a.k.a. John Banville) among the greatest of crime writers.
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, most recently the Man Booker prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.
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