Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312426323, 369pp.
Publication Date: January 22, 2008
The hero of Christine Falls, Quirke, is a surly pathologist living in 1950s Dublin. One night, after having a few drinks at a party, he returns to the morgue to find his brother-in-law tampering with the records on a young woman's corpse. The next morning, when his hangover has worn off, Quirke reluctantly begins looking into the woman's history. He discovers a plot that spans two continents, implicates the Catholic Church, and may just involve members of his own family. He is warned--first subtly, then with violence--to lay off, but Quirke is a stubborn man. The first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of John Banville's writing to the dark, menacing atmosphere of a first-class thriller.
"A page-turner told in prose so beautiful you'll want to read some passages repeatedly. Intricately plotted, beautifully written."--The Boston Globe
"Measured, taut, and transfixing . . . Benjamin Black's plotting is methodical, detailed, and always gripping. You can smell the smoke in Quirke's favorite pub and touch the cool walls in a Boston convent he later visits."--USA Today "Swirling, elegant noir . . . Crossover fiction of a very high order . . . Rolls forward with haunting, sultry exoticism . . . toward the best kind of denouement under these circumstances: a half inconclusive one."--The New York Times
"Offers a subtler, deeper satisfaction than just finding out whodunit. . . . What's most disconcerting of all about Christine Falls is the atmosphere of moral claustrophobia enveloping it."--The Philadelphia Inquirer
"A dark, ambitious crime novel . . . It’s going to make more than a few readers flip the book over to look at the author photo to make sure Banville’s really pulling the strings."--Newsday
"Crime fiction rarely lives up to the term 'literary,' but [Christine Falls] is the happy exception."--Entertainment Weekly