Elegy for April
By Benjamin Black
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312680732, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
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The New York Times Bestselling Author of Christine Falls
April Latimer, a junior doctor at a local hospital, is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. She’s known for being independent, and her taste in men is decidedly unconventional. Now April has vanished, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke follows April’s trail through some of the darker byways of the city, and finds himself deeply involved in April’s murky story, facing ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred. Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.
Benjamin Black, the pen name of acclaimed novelist John Banville, is the author of Christine Falls and The Silver Swan. Christine Falls was nominated for both the Edgar Award and Macavity Award for Best Novel; both Christine Falls and Silver Swan were national bestsellers. Banville lives in Dublin.
“Methodical, detailed, and always gripping.” —USA Today
“Elegant...[Black/Banville’s] sinuous prose, subtle eroticism, and 1950s period detail do more than enough to put [his] series on the map.” —The New York Times
“In Elegy for April, Black’s nailed down the recipe, the style and pace, that allows him to craft a story of suspense while filling it with sharp-eyed, bigger-picture observations.” —Time Out (Chicago)
“Mr. Black/Banville has raised the bar for the soul’s-night genre....Cool, atmospheric…memorably etched.” —The Dallas Morning News
“The writing has an elegance and nimbleness that surpass almost all other genre fiction….[He] evokes Dublin—which he knows inside out—with an almost bitter love, and his feeling for the city’s class and religious divisions and its urgent, albeit repressed, sexual atmospheres helps his characters spring from the page.” —Los Angeles Times
“Quirke, the haunted Dublin pathologist and haphazard sleuth, returns in the third novel in Black’s superb series of sharply etched, nearly Jamesian mysteries....In Black’s atmospheric and penetrating works of Irish noir, pain, prejudice, greed, and violence brew behind lace curtains.” —Booklist (starred review)