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
"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)
I gave up on this book about 2 hours from the end. Like another reviewer here, I realized I just didn't care about any of the characters and I wasn't curious to see what happened to them.
This book has some interesting twists, but it does give you pause to think about what people did to others in the name of "what is best for them", not taking into consideration what the consequences might be for those they were "helping"
While the writing style was acceptable and the reader did a good job with all the characters, the plot twisted and turned. This could be good, but these twists seemed to go on and on. I didn't even care to finish it to find out the resolution. Too bad, I really wanted to like it.
The story had an interesting premise, but went nowhere. The character development was fair. Timothy Dalton is an excellent reader.
Not that it has to be, but this book dragged on in endless boring detail with every character, no matter who they were, thinking and seeing things in the same poetic way.
But that was only one of the difficulties that I had with this book. Other reviewers said it as well---the characters were so unlikeable and every one of them utterly depressed that it was impossible to care. And not even one moment of lightness or humor!
And to make matters worse, Timothy Dalton, whom I adore, read this so morosely, so heavily with every single character sounding the same utterly depressing tone, even if they were saying "Do you want fries with that?" It made me want to take to my bed.
So I slogged through this downer with intrepid resolve only to reach the unsatisfying ending. Whereupon, I immediately started listening to a nice, fun romance novel.
I read like a madwoman all my life but now I have bad eyes. Thank goodness for audio books
This book did not get me going at all. It had too many un-redeeming characters I did not like any of them and therefore they were not interesting. Some like it but it was not for me.
Mystery lover from waaaay back when.... Especially love those dark police/detective procedurals and the comic caper. I'm pretty tough as a reviewer. Writing must be smart and well-edited. Plots must be credible and a bit of twistiness and surprises are always welcome. Favorite authors [partial list]: Donald Westlake, Tana French, David Rosenfelt, Ruth Rendell, Ed McBain,
Predictable plot that took a very, very long time to unfold. I can't think of a single main character who was interesting or attractive in any way. Waste of time and a credit.
It's complete lack of plot is probably the first problem. I kept waiting for something to happen that I could wonder about: "how will Quirk figure this out?" But there were just things that happened that you knew must have something to do with the story but it could have just as easily been some boring persons diary (went to work today. Had lunch with John. Wondered about a dead woman. Got told to quit wondering. Didn't. Got beat up.) I mean, really? We never do find out why Quirk cares so much.
No, but Timothy was the only thing that kept me listening. He could make a shopping list sound sexy (but NOT a boring persons diary, obviously).
In the end I was just happy the whole gloomy mess was over.
Even the big reveal at the end was ruined by the authors clumsy, boring, gloomy meandering. Instead of owning this twist the reader finds that it really isn't a twist at all. Just some bit of offhand information that most everyone, but the reader, already knew.
Someone recommended Benjamin Black. I wish I remembered who it was so I would know to ignore them next time round. The atmosphere is dark. The characters, all of them, are unattractive people. The protagonist is by far the most unpleasant, with snide remarks and axes to grind; he is unnecessarily obtuse with his family, making driving everyone nuts. A depressed alcoholic. His only arguably redeeming quality is his book long effort to discover what happened to the baby Christine. But, it's an obsession that seems out of character.
The narrator is a famous actor with a beautiful deep voice. But his narration, which fits the book's style, is harsh and, for me, it became tiresome, almost oppressive.
Why did I persist in listening to the whole book. Well, I'm rather ashamed of myself for thinking so little of the value of my time. But, I'm retired.
Timothy Dalton's voice is why I listened to this. The story wasn't awful but I would say it was mediocre. But I listened to very word of it because it was so masterly narrated. If you are looking for more of an "audio experience" this would be a good choice.
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