It has been two years since the events of "Christine Falls," the bestselling novel that introduced the world to an irascible Dublin pathologist named Quirke. Quirke's beloved Sarah has died, his surrogate father lies paralyzed by a stroke, and he's been sober for half a year.Read more...
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It has been two years since the events of "Christine Falls," the bestselling novel that introduced the world to an irascible Dublin pathologist named Quirke. Quirke's beloved Sarah has died, his surrogate father lies paralyzed by a stroke, and he's been sober for half a year. When a near-forgotten acquaintance asks him to cover up his beautiful young wife's apparent suicide, Quirke knows he should stay clear, for the sake of his sobriety and his peace of mind. But his old itch is irresistible, and before long he is probing further into the circumstances of Deidre Hunt's death, into a web of drugs and illicit sex that may have snared his own daughter, Phoebe. With its vivid, intense evocation of 1950s Dublin, and intricate, psychologically complex storyline, "The Silver Swan "is "even more engrossing than last year's "Christine Falls"" ("Entertainment Weekly").
The Silver Swan
Benjamin Black (the pen name of award-winning Irish author John Banville) delivers another captivating noir narrative featuring pathologist Garret Quirke. Set in Dublin in the 1950s, The Silver Swan is the sequel to Black's best-selling mystery, Christine Falls (2007). When Quirke is unexpectedly reunited with an old college chum named Billy Hunt, the encounter is hardly a lighthearted one. The body of Billy's wife, Deirdreapparently a suicidehas been found in Dublin Bay, yet Billy asks Quirke not to do an autopsy on her. Suspecting that there's more to the case than meets the eye, Quirke looks into Deirdre's past only to find that she led something of a double life. Under the name Laura Swan, she ran a beauty salon called The Silver Swan. Her involvement with the establishment came as the result of a business deal made with a mysterious Englishman named Leslie White. As Quirke learns more about the beautiful Deirdre, he finds that she was caught in a net of drugs and illegal sexa net that threatens to entrap his own young daughter, Phoebe. This is a disturbing tale, cannily constructed by Black, in which the suspense is perfectly modulated. Brilliant, sensitive and a bit melancholy, Quirke himself proves a fascinating and worthy protagonist. He's a quiet hero the reader naturally takes to, and a formidable match for Dublin's criminal element.
A reading group guide is included in the book.