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
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.
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.
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.
After listening to the superb narration of Timothy Dalton in three previous Benjamin Black novels, John Keating's reading was intolerable.
I could not get beyond the first few chapters.
The performance was dismal, sing-song. I was unable to detect when a character was speaking.
PLEASE bring Timothy Dalton back. I was looking forward to the remainder of Banjamin Black's novels.
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.
I couldn't listen to it, but I love Benjamin Black so I gave his part of this 5 stars.
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?
That's about it. Isn't that enough?
If the friend really liked the Quirke series, I would recommend it.
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.
The characters are interesting, and Phoebe is becoming more of a real person.
Maybe if we spend more time with Phoebe.
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.
I love audiobooks. They are so convenient.
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.
John Banville/Benjamin Black is a brilliant writer. Passages are often more like prose poems. This book is very good and the writing sublime. But the narrator was so bad I had to turn it off sometimes and so bad that it spoilt the book for me.
I'm going to listen to it again immediately to study Black's construction of scenes, his graceful transition from one point of view to the next, his prose and his dialogue.
It was the blossoming revelations of the characters and their interactions that was most compelling.
John Keating is one of the best male narrators at performing female voices. He also has an ability to differentiate clearly different Irish accents without making them cartoonish which helps to differentiate the characters.
There was one laugh-out-loud moment but I don't recall where it was.
The student of writing mysteries could do well to study this book.
My wife & I have greatly enjoyed the Quirke series-until the change of narrators. Who made this decision?! What were they thinking (hearing?).Timothy Dalton was the perfect narrator for this series. The atmosphere he produced was ideal, his characterizations were spot on! The new narrator (John Keating) is the polar opposite. He has a fine Irish accent, but he sounds like he's reading a grocery list. No atmosphere. We almost stopped after the first half hour or so, but decided to stick it out. His bizarre phrasing and inflections were distracting to say the least. It was sometimes difficult to tell who was speaking (especially between Hacket and Quirke). We thought the characterization of Rose was especially off. It's a shame, but though we enjoy the series, I doubt we will continue. This is not to say Mr. Keating would not be successful in other genres or stories. We just feel he was not right for the Quirke books.
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