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Un giorno d'estate (Quirke #4)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  1,623 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews

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

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Paperback, Narratori della Fenice, 294 pages
Published February 23rd 2012 by Guanda (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mwanamali Mari
Lost access to the book. Will continue soon as I get me own copy. Had loved it this far. Who doesn't love a whodunit that starts with a head blown off by a shotgun?
Fionnuala
Oct 21, 2012 Fionnuala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Benjamin Black is the name under which John Banville has chosen to write a series of detective stories, of which this is the fifth. The stories all feature a likeable duo called Hackett and Quirke, a police detective and a pathologist respectively, and are set in 1950's Dublin, a time and place John Banville knows well.
I read the second in the series a couple of years ago, and was impressed enough to plan to go back and read the first before moving on to the later ones as there are backstory ele
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Tony
Aug 05, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Black, Benjamin. A DEATH IN SUMMER. (2011). ****.
Benjamin Black is the pseudonym of John Banville, the Booker Prize-winning author of “The Sea,” and many other fine novels. He writes these crime novels under the name Black as a “diversion.” His voice as a crime writer is totally different from his voice and style as Banville. In an interview, he admitted that his serious literary books under his real name come slowly. He writes only about 100-200 words per day. His crime novels as Black, howev
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Larraine
Sep 05, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is summer in Dublin, 1956, and it is hot, very hot - a very unusual summer for a country accustomed to cool green and a fair amount of rain. Quirk, the morose Dublin pathologist, is in the midst of a love affair with Isabel, a local actress and friend of his daughter, Phoebe. He is called in to view the body of Richard Jewell, a wealthy businessman because the coroner is ill. At first glance it seems as if Jewell committed suicide.(A warning here: the scene is described rather graphically. I ...more
Sid Nuncius
Jan 04, 2016 Sid Nuncius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a consciously "literary" crime novel. How you respond to it will depend upon whether you like the sort of heightened language employed by Benjamin Black (the Man Booker winner John Banville writing under a well-publicised pseudonym). I do like it and so I did enjoy the book, although I thought it had its flaws.

To illustrate the style of the book, Banville describes a buffet table which has "at its centre, a mighty salmon, succulently, indecently pink, arranged on a silver salver..." Or a
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Eyehavenofilter
Quirke, Dublin's pathologist is called in to investigate the supposed murder of one of the cities most infamous 'rich folk' named Jewell. With a history of violence and a secret intrenched in the vile goings on at St. Christopher's home for boys with certain vulnerabilities, orphans, the unwanted, troublesome, from overburdened families, petty thieves, victims of incest, etc.
both the victim of this most recent crime and his closest enemy named Sumner, seemed to have a lurid interest in St. Chri
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Maddy
May 24, 2015 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
PROTAGONIST: Doctor Quirke, pathologist, and DI Hackett
SETTING: Dublin
SERIES: #4 of 6
RATING: 3.5
WHY: Newspaper tycoon Richard "Diamond Dick" Jewell is found in his study with his head blown off. At first, it is labeled a suicide; however, pathologist Dr. Quirke soon concludes it is murder. He finds himself involved in the investigation, sometimes working with DI Hackett. Things get complicated when Quirke falls in love with the widow, an enigmatic French woman. At the same time, someone is warni
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Gala
3.5/5
El género policial, ya desde sus inicios, ha sido constantemente considerado un género menor. Que era sólo para entretener, que no iba más allá de eso; de hecho, se podía comprar por apenas unos pocos centavos y, por ende, se convertía en accesible para casi todo el mundo. Sin embargo, con libros, y más específicamente prosas como las de Black/Banville ese prejuicio sobre el género policíaco empieza a resquebrajarse.

Muerte en verano no es, estrictamente una novela policial. ¿Por qué? Simpl
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Aoife
Oct 25, 2013 Aoife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-completion
Another great Quirke story. Unlike other mystery novels it doesn't matter if you figure out part what's going on as there'll be always be something that you didn't figure on and the writing itself is still always the joy with these books. Looking forward to my next Benjamin Black read!
Frances
Oct 08, 2016 Frances rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A holiday read that didn't absorb....Black/Banville ran out of space or steam at the end and attempted to tie up everything very quickly while leaving unfinished stories for his next Quirke adventure. Annoying incorrect facts - pink tulips in a vase during hay-making?!
Nancy Oakes
If you haven't read the three books prior to this one, click here to find out what you've missed.

It was a drowsy day in summer, a perfect day for a death:

"When word got about that Richard Jewell had been found with the greater part of his head blown off and clutching a shotgun in his bloodless hands, few outside the family circle and few inside it, either, considered his demise a cause for sorrow."

Thus begins A Death in Summer, the fourth novel of this series. As Richard "Diamond Dick" Jewell
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John Hood
Jul 30, 2011 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing says Summer like a good murder story. Maybe it’s the cold-bloodedness of it all that helps to beat the heat; perhaps it’s simply that sweat is easier to endure when it’s shared with someone who’s sweating death. Whatever it is, there are few things more refreshing when the temperature rises than witnessing somebody fall.

When you make that a few somebodies, well, even Miami’s steamy, sultry dog days can become almost pleasant, unless of course you’re on the receiving end of a shotgun, a g
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Irene
Jun 18, 2011 Irene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Despite his endearing character imperfections, Quirke truly is an engaging and fascinating man easily capable of stealing your heart, even if only for 320 pages. He readily admits his self-indulgent life's missteps with earnest introspection. Garret Quirke steadfastly remains not only a prominent (not always in the best sense) pathologist, but also fittingly quite adept in discerning the villain, as Detective Inspector Hackett is unhesitatingly aware. Quirke's exceptionally notable and preeminen ...more
Janet
Dec 31, 2012 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By day, he is John Banville, Man Booker prize-winning author of highly acclaimed works of literary fiction (The Sea, The Infinities). By night, (can we say “by noir”?) he goes by the name of Benjamin Black and is a best-selling author of the Dr. Quirke series of very dark mysteries set in Dublin in the 1950s and sixties, a Dublin that is “a faded little city with a past that felt far more immediate than its present.” If Ireland is, as Joyce famously said, the “old sow that eats her farrow” then ...more
Graham P
Quirke and Hackett are knee deep in solving another mystery within the ranks of the wealthy and the powerful Dublin elite. Unfortunately, fleeting moments of tension tease the rather dull narrative; stylistic flourishes blossom and at times, drop the jaw, but in the end don't provide much steam to propel the story along. This fourth installment to the Quirke series loses some of its luster, the magnetic allure of Dublin weakened by a lack of mystery and menace. Tension takes a back seat, and whi ...more
Sam
Jul 30, 2011 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prose to die for. But seriously, the Quirke series gets better and better. To my surprise, the plot in A Death in Summer was the cleanest "crime" plot of all the books. The ending is tidy, and leaves few staggering questions(unlike Silver Swan). The new characters are original and intriguing and the new developments in old characters is natural and satisfying. I took off 2 stars because the value of this book is clearly diminished in the absence of the previous 3, and 4 books in the same series ...more
coccinella felice
Mar 25, 2014 coccinella felice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
un giallo ambientato in irlanda che, in quanto giallo, mi ha attirato come il miele le mosche. e invece, é rimasto un po’ cosí, insipido. perché a me dei gialli piace l’indagine, il percorso mentale che l’investigatore fa per giungere alla soluzione ~ che poi immagino sia la sola ragione per cui i gialli piacciono, in generale. questo, invece, é la descrizione di un mondo, dei suoi personaggi, dei loro legami sociali, della loro vita privata. poi ad un certo punto si scopre chi é l’assassino. e ...more
Elaine Stevens
Feb 18, 2012 Elaine Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Irish, beautiful character development, The author's ability to create characters whom you can clearly see and hear, reflects his skill, as he is actually John Banville, the Booker Prize winner.
That he chooses to write mysteries is a gift to readers/listeners b/c his voice is so clear
and he paints remarkable pictures with his words. A treat.

Sheila
Aug 10, 2012 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been slowly working my way through this series. (This book being #5) in the Quirke series. I like them mainly for their setting which is 1950's Dublin. This time Dr. Quirke who is an early forensic pathologist is asked to do a favor for his old friend Inspector Hackett. He gets sucked into a bizarre murder mystery that has an infinite number of possibilities. I give this one 3 stars.
Carolyn Bitetti
MUST READ series of mysteries with the inimitable Dr. Quirk, Irish pathologist, as the protagonist. Benjamin Black is the pseudonym for the Booker Prize author John Banville so these aren't your ordinary mysteries. Do read - and read in order. The plots are excellent but are not the main strength; it is the wonderful Dr. Quirk and associated characters that make this series well worth reading.
Nino Frewat
Aug 20, 2015 Nino Frewat rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
What a waste of time. I wasn't interested by the characters, the plot is ridiculous, the ending bland. I waited almost 4 years to read Benjamin Black and the result is a meager star out of five. The problem that I now face is that I'm hesitating to try Banville!
Lee Thompson
Jun 29, 2012 Lee Thompson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lee by: Shaun Ryan
Damn, loved this book up to the shitty ending.
Keenan Powell
Jan 28, 2017 Keenan Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
I listened to this book on audio. John Keating is one of my favorite narrators. He can do several Irish accents without sound cartoonish and does a female voice beautifully. As for the story, it is elegantly constructed and I plan to study this book paying attention to the character development, dialogue, plot development and scene construction in particular while I soak up the gorgeous prose. So for the mystery, it isn't very mysterious if you've read a few Benjamin Black books but there is eno ...more
Beth
Jun 26, 2011 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


A DEATH IN SUMMER is the most accessible of the four Quirke books by Benjamin Black but that is not to say that the characters are not as dedicated to understanding that which cannot be understood as they are in the other books.

Quirke is brought to the home of Richard Jewell, Diamond Dick, the very wealthy and very powerful owner of a chain of newspapers that he had inherited from his father, who had been Lord Mayor of Dublin, an outstanding achievement for a man of his background in the Dublin
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Amy
Good old Quirke. The coroner/sleuth/ladies man is back to solve another puzzle. I've read the other Dr. Quirke books by Benjamin Black, and there's just something so appealing about the Dublin city life and Dr. Quirke in it: his mournful boozing, the earnest but misguided attempts at parenting his adult daughter, and the stream of ladies that nevers ends, despite no apparent effort on his part to attract them. In fact, I picture him much as the detective George Gently played by Martin Shaw on th ...more
Larissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mal Warwick
Jul 04, 2014 Mal Warwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is Quirke, a middle-aged Dublin pathologist in 1956, contemplating the beautiful French widow he has fallen for, hard:

“They had made no plan to meet again, he and Francoise, but it did not matter, he knew they would meet again, that the fates would arrange it. The fates would arrange everything; there was nothing he need do but wait. And all the time, while that young Lothario gamboled in the meadows of his fancy, plucking nosegays and ecstatically calling out his beloved’s name, in another
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Heidi
Mar 21, 2012 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edgar
Sep 05, 2014 Edgar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The chain smoking of the main protagonists in this novel tells us it takes place a few decades ago. The setting is Dublin in the fifties, a soiled sort of city – what I recall most vividly of Dublin long ago was the smell of the Liffey and (I have an abiding memory of) noisy bus brakes in need of a good oiling. The book’s plot, however, centre’s mainly on the posher south side, around and to the east of Stephen’s Green, even then quite genteel, and with its lovely Georgian architecture.
The aut
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Diane
May 04, 2012 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book has an amazing image in it. One of the villains of the book says: "how different things are from the way they seem. Take the canal, there. Smooth as glass, with those ducks or whatever they are, and the reflection of that white cloud, and the midges going up and down like the bubbles in a bottle of soda water--picture of peace and tranquility, you'd say. But think what's going on beneath the surface, the big fish eating the little ones, and the bugs on the bottom fighting over the bits ...more
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Pen name for John Banville

Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife. He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own. His sister Vonnie Banville-Evans has written both a children's novel and a r
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More about Benjamin Black...

Other Books in the Series

Quirke (7 books)
  • Christine Falls (Quirke #1)
  • The Silver Swan (Quirke #2)
  • Elegy for April (Quirke #3)
  • Vengeance (Quirke #5)
  • Holy Orders (Quirke #6)
  • Even the Dead (Quirke #7)

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