The Silver Swan (Quirke #2)
Two years have passed since the events of the bestselling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, his surrogate father lies...more
More lists with this book...
I was disappointed. I truly enjoyed my visit to Dublin that Black/Banville provided (it's one of my favorite towns) but notwithstanding that, I thought the characters acted in ways that were not in harmony with their natures.
I won't make th...more
The Silver Swan raises two major questions: First, is Black-the-crime-novelist as good as Banville-the-novelist? Second, does The Silver Swan live up to expectations raised by Christine Falls? Not surprisingly, critics diverge on both questions. A few think that Black's crime novels don't stand up to Banville's best work. "This distracting mediocrity doesn't suit him at all," notes The Globe and Mail. Others cite Black as a genre-bending novelist intent on using the noir framework to successfull...more
This raises Quirkes interest. Remember, he is a pathologist rather than a policeman so Black has the job of credibly getting him to investigate the story.
First a little background inforomation. His friends wife is Deidree but she has a professional name of Laura Swan - a beautician...more
The Booker Prize-winning Irish author John Banfield, aka Benjamin Black, writes a series of offbeat crime stories about a Dublin-based pathologist named Quirke. The Silver Swan is the second of the five novels he’s written to date. It’s also the first that I’ve read — and it won’t be the last.
Like many of the best crime writers, Black focuses on character, atmosphere, and language as much as on plot. The sure hand of a ma...more
The main detective, Quirke, who is actually a coroner for the city of Dublin, is a conflicted man, haunted by his past (blah blah blah) so much so that he is really ineffectual and mostly a non-character through out the book. This makes me wonder how you build a series around such a man?? The other characters are only slightly more intriguing. There is Diedre Hunt who discove...more
In this second novel in the series, Quirke is back - still obsessive, still curious. He's...more
This is a novel of 1950s-era sexual predators and con men, but without church involvement. Their prey are women: women with money, women with access to drugs, women who long for spiritual fulfillment, women of diminished hopes, lonel...more
This is the problem when you put your book reviewing off and all of a sudden you have three, almost four, books to review in a row. Let's see... I picked this book on LibraryThing Early Reviewers because it was a foreign-published book originally and I've had more luck with those lately. That said, it was not in the same league as the latest one I chose that way.
I'm sorta phasing out on murder mysteries, unless they're absolute classics or I adore the writing. Reason bei...more
The writing is indeed compelling, and the story moves along quickly, with a murdered woman and an amateur investigator at the center. I got the feeling, however, that I might get more out of it if I had read the previous book and gained more insight into the main character, a Mr. Quirke, ME.
While the book was enjoyable to read, the one downside is that I felt like there was a little too muc...more
A murder mystery to be solved by an inept pathologist who does a bad job of trying to be an amateur detective. Quirke should stick to being a pathologist, report his complete and truthful findings at the coroner's inquest and walk away from the case. His detecting instincts are awful, causing more issues than he resolves. In this one he just gets it all wrong.
Characters seemed flat and engendered no feelings of empathy. Female characters remain the same helpless, undirected, sex objects they we...more
Characters such as populate this book do not exist in our day to day world. Perhaps that is part of the appeal of an escapist novel....more
I loved the first Benjamin Black book. This is the second and it didn't take me the same way at all. Some of the problem was that I read it really slowly, I've mentioned before that dragging through a chapter before sleep is not the way to enjoy a book. But, inversely, the rest of the problem was that I couldn't be bothered to pick the book up to read it any other time. Catch 22, maybe.
Quirke is a pathologist in 1950s Dublin. He's asked by an old acquaintance not to perform a post mortem on his...more
I do have two minor reservations which mean my review is 4 (and a half stars) rather than five. The first is that the concept is so parallel to the Man...more
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...more