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Christine Falls Audiobook

Christine Falls: A Novel

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Whenever I'm asked for an example of the perfect marriage of a story's characters, language, and pacing and a narrator's talent and presence, this is my first recommendation. Timothy Dalton's smoky, boozy, world-weary Irish brogue is truly haunting. He is so convincing as the fictional lead that I felt as if he was Quirke, sharing a story as he lived it. —Steve Feldberg

Publisher's Summary

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, including 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.

©2006 Benjamin Black; (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC

What the Critics Say

"In this expertly paced debut thriller from Irish author Black (the pseudonym of Booker Prize-winner John Banville), pathologist Garret Quirke uncovers a web of corruption in 1950s Dublin surrounding the death in childbirth of a young maid, Christine Falls." (Publishers Weekly)
"Christine Falls is deeply atmospheric. Clydesdales drag drays through the streets of 1950s Dublin, and the pubs are 'fuggy with turf smoke'. Nearly all the characters are painstakingly detailed and developed - even though they're likely to be morally mysterious." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (1063 )
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3.9 (585 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steven Colorado Springs, CO, USA 01-03-08
    Steven Colorado Springs, CO, USA 01-03-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Listen"

    I received much enjoyment from listening to this book. It has a very different setting from my midwestern US life, and the character development is outstanding. Hats off to T. Dalton who narrated superbly. While he is not in the class with Scott Brick and others, he is easy to listen to. The book itself has dark and brooding tones. If you are looking for an uplifting and enlightening book, look elsewhere. But if you want your imagination to be stimulated, as well as your intellect, this book is a good choice.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 05-03-08
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 05-03-08 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Powerful and Seductive Narration!"

    This is one of the best narrated audiobooks I have heard in years. The atmosphere of the novel and its setting were perfectly enhanced by Timothy Dalton's rich deep voice which almost hypnotised me, it kept me so focused on the story.

    Although the story is a mystery there is a feeling of foreboding throughout that makes events much less shocking and more inevitable than might be usual for this genre. THe writing is beautiful and much better than one is likely to expect from a conventional mystery story.

    THe story is also deep and complex and composed of many interwoven strands--it's really quite a stunning performance when you take apart the simple and direct pieces of which it is made and see the complexity of the outcome.

    Very much enjoyed, very highly recommended. Will look forward to hearing the SILVER SWAN with great anticipation and pleasure.





    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Woodville, TX, United States 04-28-07
    Marie Woodville, TX, United States 04-28-07 Member Since 2013

    I love mysteries in the style of P.D. James, Rex Stout, Elizabeth Peters, Dave Duncan, etc. I love sci fi written by Issac Asimov (the robot books), Douglas Adams, Jack McDevitt (Alex Benedict series) and Susan Collins. I love fantasy written by Terry Pratchett, and Kim Harrison. I love Kate Morton. I don't like graphic descriptions of violence.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The narrator makes this one a winner!"

    I try to avoid books that include the murder of infants, spousal abuse, and rape as part of the plot since reading is escapism for me and I want to escape to a better world this this one. However, there was no hint of those themes in the snyopsis or other reviews. But I am not sorry I chose it. In spite of those painful passages, this is a good book. But I am not recommending it for that reason -- it is for the narrator. Timothy Dalton took my breath away. What a disspointment that there are no other Audible books narrated by him. Wish I could listen to this one again, but I will have to wait for his next one.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AmazonShoppingQueen Chicago, IL 04-02-07
    AmazonShoppingQueen Chicago, IL 04-02-07 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "go for it!"

    Great story, excellent narration. Reminded me of Ruth Rendell.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Woodstock, NY, USA 06-02-07
    Happy Woodstock, NY, USA 06-02-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A literary tour de force"

    I have listened to dozens of books in the past few years, and "Christine Falls" ranks high on my list of the best of them. It is well plotted, with breathtaking descriptions and rich atmosphere, and the reader, Timothy Dalton, is superb. I was engrossed from its dark, moody beginning to its surprising and twisted ending. I love mysteries that combine a strong story line with good characters and a smart, literary sensibility - Le Carre is one of my favorite writers - and this book didn't disappoint me in any way. I highly recommend it.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon in Surrey Vancouver, Canada 04-08-15
    Sharon in Surrey Vancouver, Canada 04-08-15 Member Since 2006

    Old Broad with Keyboard

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Really wanted to like this story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I do like British Detective novels, it's all I seem to be buying these days. But this one took a lot of trying to like before I finally turned it off. The story was good enough. It had more twists & turns & evil with a little religion, some politics & corruption most high, but alas, it was too detailed, to wordy & put me to sleep too many times. Maybe it was the darkness of Quirk's character or the 'noir' of the atmosphere or maybe the tone of the Reader's voice?? I am done. I don't want to have to struggle through a book & this one was a struggle even though the story was a good one.


    Any additional comments?

    If you loved 'Death in Holy Orders' you will love this book. Same style of extreme detail.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-15-14
    Polly Philadelphia, PA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2010

    An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dreary and Pointless"

    I like "dark" books. Stories do not have to have unrealistically happy endings for me to enjoy them. But ... this book had nothing positive in it, from beginning to end. Dreary, depressing and hopeless are words I would use to describe the plot and the characters.

    The narrator is excellent. But the book is absolutely not worth reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 05-11-13
    HIII 05-11-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Quirkie Quark"

    Even with Timothy Dalton narrating this story was hard for me to continue listening. People with 'sick' behavior are always distressing. In Christine Falls to right the wrong Quark must destroy a close family member and the book becomes dark and sad. Dark and sad is the case here. I cannot recommend this listen only tell you the situation and let you decide for yourself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, United States 08-07-08
    Amazon Customer INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, United States 08-07-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a good listen"

    I think this is a very good book. I had to listen to the first half hour twice as I found it hard to "get into" the story. After I did that, I really liked it. (Read the NYT book review before you buy it - helps you to know if you are going to like it.)

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BeckyC 08-23-07
    BeckyC 08-23-07 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A disappointment"

    This book had gotten great reviews, so I was very surprised at my negative reaction. I wonder if this is the first book in my experience that is worse in the audio version than the print version. I usually love atmospheric mysteries, and these get points if set in the UK or Ireland (William Boyd's Restless is excellent). But I just could not get into this one--the characters did not seem at all believable and they all just became annoying after awhile. There were no shades of gray; even the villain was so villainous as to be tedious. A major problem for me may have been the narration--it was really overwrought. And as someone who grew up in Boston, I found the southern (?!) accents of the characters living there to be very jarring. In fairness, I should say that I did finish the book and was curious to see how it turned out. But I'm not eager to try another book by Banville/Black or one narrated by Timothy Dalton!

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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