Christine Falls

A Novel

Christine Falls

In the debut crime novel from the Booker-winning author, a Dublin pathologist follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city's high Catholic society It's not the dead that seem strange to Quirke. It's the living. One night, after a few drinks at an office party, Quirke shuffles down into the morgue where he works and finds his brother-in-law, Malachy, altering a file he has no business even reading. Odd enough in itself to find Malachy there, but the next morning, when the haze has lifted, it looks an awful lot like his brother-in-law, the esteemed doctor, was in fact tampering with a corpse—and concealing the cause of death. It turns out the body belonged to a young woman named Christine Falls. And as Quirke reluctantly presses on toward the true facts behind her death, he comes up against some insidious—and very well-guarded—secrets of Dublin's high Catholic society, among them members of his own family. Set in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s, the first novel in the Quirke series brings all the vividness and psychological insight of Booker Prize winner John Banville's fiction to a thrilling, atmospheric crime story. Quirke is a fascinating and subtly drawn hero, Christine Falls is a classic tale of suspense, and Benjamin Black's debut marks him as a true master of the form.

A Death in Summer

A Novel

A Death in Summer

One of The Chicago Tribune's Best Reads of 2011 One of Dublin's most powerful men meets a violent end— and an acknowledged master of crime fiction delivers his most gripping novel yet On a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell—known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick—is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast. But is it suicide or murder? For help with the investigation, Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke, who has unusual access to Dublin's elite. Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Françoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death. But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster. Tightly plotted and gorgeously written, A Death in Summer proves to the brilliant but sometimes reckless Quirke that in a city where old money and the right bloodlines rule, he is by no means safe from mortal danger.

Holy Orders

A Quirke Novel

Holy Orders

When the body of his daughter's friend is brought to his autopsy table in 1950s Ireland, Quirke, refusing to play by the Catholic Church's rules, investigates the boy's murder and discovers just how far the Church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.

Vengeance

A Novel

Vengeance

A bizarre suicide leads to a scandal and then still more blood, as one of our most brilliant crime novelists reveals a world where money and sex trump everything It's a fine day for a sail, and Victor Delahaye, one of Ireland's most successful businessmen, takes his boat far out to sea. With him is his partner's son—who becomes the sole witness when Delahaye produces a pistol, points it at his own chest, and fires. This mysterious death immediately engages the attention of Detective Inspector Hackett, who in turn calls upon the services of his sometime partner Quirke, consultant pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family. The stakes are high: Delahaye's prominence in business circles means that Hackett and Quirke must proceed very carefully. Among others, they interview Mona Delahaye, the dead man's young and very beautiful wife; James and Jonas Delahaye, his identical twin sons; and Jack Clancy, his ambitious, womanizing partner. But then a second death occurs, this one even more shocking than the first, and quickly it becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of several members of Dublin's elite. Why did Victor Delahaye kill himself, and who is intent upon wreaking vengeance on so many of those who knew him?

Elegy for April

A Novel

Elegy for April

Quirke—the hard-drinking, insatiably curious Dublin pathologist—is back, and he's determined to find his daughter's best friend, a well-connected young doctor April Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional. Now April has disappeared, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke enlists his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, in the search for the missing young woman. In their separate ways the two men follow April's trail through some of the darker byways of the city to uncover crucial information on her whereabouts. And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April's murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred. Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.

The Silver Swan

A Novel

The Silver Swan

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 Black-Eyed Blonde

A Philip Marlowe Novel

The Black-Eyed Blonde

Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career "It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere." So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe—yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson's disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City's richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune. Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today's best crime fiction.

The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction

The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction

This Encyclopedia is an indispensible reference guide to twentieth-century fiction in the English-language. With nearly 500 contributors and over 1 million words, it is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference guide to twentieth-century fiction in the English language. Contains over 500 entries of 1000-3000 words written in lucid, jargon-free prose, by an international cast of leading scholars Arranged in 3 volumes covering British and Irish Fiction, American Fiction, and World Fiction, with each volume edited by a leading scholar in the field Entries cover major writers (such as Saul Bellow, Raymond Chandler, John Steinbeck, Virginia Woolf, A.S Byatt, Samual Beckett, D.H. Lawrence, Zadie Smith, Salman Rushdie, V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Alice Munro, Chinua Achebe, J.M. Coetzee, and Ngūgī Wa Thiong’o) and their key works Covers the genres and sub-genres of fiction in English across the twentieth century (including crime fiction, sci fi, chick lit, the noir novel, and the avante garde novel) as well as the major movements, debates, and rubrics within the field (censorship, globalization, modernist fiction, fiction and the film industry, and the fiction of migration, Diaspora, and exile)

The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel

The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel

Irish detective fiction has enjoyed an international readership for over a decade, appearing on best-seller lists across the globe. But its breadth of hard-boiled and amateur detectives, historical fiction, and police procedurals has remained somewhat marginalized in academic scholarship. Exploring the work of some of its leading writers—including Peter Tremayne, John Connolly, Declan Hughes, Ken Bruen, Brian McGilloway, Stuart Neville, Tana French, Jane Casey, and Benjamin Black—The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel opens new ground in Irish literary criticism and genre studies. It considers the detective genre’s position in Irish Studies and the standing of Irish authors within the detective novel tradition. Contributors: Carol Baraniuk, Nancy Marck Cantwell, Brian Cliff, Fiona Coffey, Charlotte J. Headrick, Andrew Kincaid, Audrey McNamara, and Shirley Peterson.