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Christine Falls: A Novel | [Benjamin Black]

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 (763 )
5 star
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3.9 (327 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sondra Marlboro, NJ, United States 01-02-13
    Sondra Marlboro, NJ, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Mystery of Interest"

    The title fooled me at first. I greatlly enjoyed Timothy Dalton's narration. The story was a little difficult to get into at first, but once I did, I truly enjoyed the book. It took me a short time to figure out the characters and to put everything into place. I do recommend this book .

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Plymouth, Morocco 11-01-12
    S. Plymouth, Morocco 11-01-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Intriguing and dark, but I'm not sorry I read it!"
    What made the experience of listening to Christine Falls the most enjoyable?

    I don't know that I would call this book "enjoyable". The story was compelling and kept me drawn in. It took me awhile to listen to it because some days I needed to hear a story that was less intense, happier, if you will. This story was all in blacks, grays, and slate greens in my mind.

    The writing was very good. Timothy Dalton's performance was at times a little too dramatic.


    What three words best describe Timothy Dalton’s voice?

    I can't describe it in 3 words. Great accent, nice characterizations, at times over-the-top dramatic.


    Any additional comments?

    I will read Benjamin Black again. But only when I'm in a certain mood.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cory Beeville, TX, United States 05-22-12
    Cory Beeville, TX, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2006

    I'm a 36 yr. old master of no paticular trade, but currently working in the oil patch. I'm not very critical and love to consume audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wish I could forget it so I could read it AGAIN!"

    I absolutely was taken in by this book. I struggled at first with the place and culture, but very quickly I was drawn in and transported. I'm not very critical and generally enjoy what I consume, but this book went so very quickly. I enjoyed the characters, the dilemmas, and the conflict faced by these truly magnificent characters. Don’t pass it up.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Raynham, MA, United States 12-02-10
    John Raynham, MA, United States 12-02-10 Member Since 2007
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    "A novel by any other name...."

    Black, Banville... no matter. He's a master. The man can't write an uninteresting sentence. This story sparkles as does the prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat NY 10-10-10
    Pat NY 10-10-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great Series, Excellent Narration"

    This is the first in a trilogy (so far) of Quirke mysteries. The stories are compelling, the characters very real and Timothy Dalton's eloquent narration is spot on. I've listened to all three novels and he enunciates so well I haven't missed a word. Best narration I've heard of the twenty books I've purchased from Audible so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Oklahoma City, OK, USA 12-25-08
    Lori Oklahoma City, OK, USA 12-25-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome"

    I am partial to dark, atmospheric books... especially when they are set in Ireland. I loved Timothy Dalton's reading. His voice is perfect for the role of Quirke. I will eagerly await other cases for Quirke to investigate.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fairfieldwizard Jacksonville 11-10-07
    Fairfieldwizard Jacksonville 11-10-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Not Reccomended"

    I have been an avid Audible listener for three years now. Having paid for this book, I tried to force myself through listening to it, but finally had to give up. This is a first for me and felt like sheer punishment to hear.
    I suggest listening to the sample. If you think you can tolerate the monotonous reader and colloquial language, you’ve still yet to get through meticulous detail described in all the live-action color of someone reading a phone book. I do not recommend this book.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 05-28-07
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 05-28-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    44
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    "Dismal story"

    I almost always finish a book unless it is so annoying that I get to a point when I prefer silence. That is what happened with this book. None of the characters were likeable and I felt like I was wading around in a tar pit. I finally set myself free and turned it off. If you are looking for inspiration or pleasure look for another book.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-06-09
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-06-09 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1110
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    "Too dreary"

    It's funny how some listeners loved Timothy Daltons reading and others didnt. I found it to be way too monotone. I felt like I should have read this one myself and then I could have decided if indeed the book was as dark and dreary as it seemed while I was listening. I am going to try another book of his and see, because I think the author has potential.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Hamilton, OH, USA 04-24-09
    Gail Hamilton, OH, USA 04-24-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrating ruined the book."

    I looked forward to listening to this book. I had heard wonderful things about the story. Unfortunately, Timothy Dalton's narrating ruined the experience.

    He read it entirely too fast. There were no pauses to indicate sentances, no inflections to indicate a new speaker and to be honest I would get a migraine listening. I finally had to cut my losses and delete it from my iPod.

    I will check it out of my local library as I do want to give the author his due and not pass judgement on him because of the poor job done by the narrator.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
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