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A Death in Summer: A Novel | [Benjamin Black]

A Death in Summer: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

In this tightly plotted and gorgeously written novel, the brilliant but sometimes reckless Quirke learns that, in a city where old money and the right bloodlines rule, he is by no means safe from mortal danger.

©2011 Benjamin Black (P)2011 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (80 )
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3.8 (49 )
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3.5 (51 )
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  •  
    Aun Aprendiendo 07-12-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    Bought and enjoyed the previous Dr. Quirk books, esp. Christine Falls, but having a hard time with this due to the change in narrator. The cadence gets very tiresome, and the "acting", if you can call it that, isn't good. The character of Dr. Quirk is entirely different. Too bad.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth LA, USA 08-10-11
    Ruth LA, USA 08-10-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
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    990
    24
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    "agree with "disappointing" based on narrator"

    here is one of those unfortunate situations where the book may be wonderful but the narrator doesn't work with the book. i've listened to john keating's narrations before and don't recall him getting in the way of the story. i could only listen for 5 or 6 minutes. will try again. but this pairing doesn't work. have no idea why not. wish it could be redone with Timothy Dalton. perhaps its a case of changing narrators in the middle of a series.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 10-10-11
    Mary 10-10-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration poor."

    I have enjoyed previous Benjamin Black novels with Timmothy Dalton as narrator but was not able to finish this one. The narrator completely changed my perception of the Dr. Quirke character, and not to the positive.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marilynne 12-16-12
    marilynne 12-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This narrator stinks"
    If you could sum up A Death in Summer in three words, what would they be?

    So the darkness of Timothy Dalton is gone and instead the narrator sounds about eleven years old. I don't know about the story because I couldnt listen past the first chapter.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I couldn't listen to it, but I love Benjamin Black so I gave his part of this 5 stars.


    What didn’t you like about John Keating’s performance?

    He puts the emphasis on the wrong places in the sentences. He does not convey any meaning to what he says. He has an annoying voice. He isn't a good actor and it's an incredible disappointment after Timothy Dalton. What happened to him?


    Any additional comments?

    That's about it. Isn't that enough?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mara EUREKA, CA, United States 08-02-12
    Mara EUREKA, CA, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2010

    I love audiobooks. They are so convenient.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator Sounds a Bit Jaunty"

    I am just now listening to this audiobook, and after reading the opinions of the other listeners of this audiobook and I have to agree with them that after listening to listening to Timothy Dalton read the first 2 Quirke books, I wish they would have let Mr. Dalton do the narration rather than John Keating do it.

    I'm sure that Mr. Keating is a good narrator for different type of Irish books, but to me he sounds a bit to jaunty for Quirke. It needs the moodiness of Mr. Dalton's voice to make Quirke sound more believable and moody as it was portrayed in the first two books.

    Hopefully Mr. Dalton will be asked to narrate the next "Quirke" book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralene 10-18-13
    Ralene 10-18-13 Member Since 2010

    ralene

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I miss Timothy Dalton"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If the friend really liked the Quirke series, I would recommend it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Is everyone in Ireland this grim? Was every institution in the mid-20th century in Ireland this corrupt? It's getting old - maybe Quirke needs to go to the Bahamas on vacation.


    Did John Keating do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The characters are interesting, and Phoebe is becoming more of a real person.


    Do you think A Death in Summer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Maybe if we spend more time with Phoebe.


    Any additional comments?

    I really miss Timothy Dalton as the narrator. He gave a real sense of danger and menace that was missing with the narration by John Keating. Keating did a decent job, but either this particular book is a lackluster followup or Dalton was giving some extra spice to the previous books that is now missing. Maybe I'm getting tired of the grim corruption that pervades these stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Arlington, TX, United States 09-29-13
    Carolyn Arlington, TX, United States 09-29-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    After listening to the superb narration of Timothy Dalton in three previous Benjamin Black novels, John Keating's reading was intolerable.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I could not get beyond the first few chapters.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The performance was dismal, sing-song. I was unable to detect when a character was speaking.


    Any additional comments?

    PLEASE bring Timothy Dalton back. I was looking forward to the remainder of Banjamin Black's novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hill Tennessee 04-24-14
    J. Hill Tennessee 04-24-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It was hard to like anyone, including Quirke"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Some one who likes characters that do more to destroy themselves than anyone else can.


    Has A Death in Summer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Probably


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Narrator did everything that could be done.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It ended.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Shaker Heights, OH, United States 10-26-11
    Elaine Shaker Heights, OH, United States 10-26-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic writing"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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