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Elegy for April: A Novel | [Benjamin Black]

Elegy for April: A Novel

April Lavery has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a trail-blazer in the deeply conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional, as evidenced by her current boyfriend, a handsome and charismatic medical student from Nigeria.
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Publisher's Summary

April Lavery has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a trail-blazer in the deeply conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional, as evidenced by her current boyfriend, a handsome and charismatic medical student from Nigeria.

Then April disappears, and Phoebe Griffin, her best friend, immediately suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke soon learns that his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, has been assigned to the high-profile case. This time, Hackett welcomes Quirke’s help—the pathologist’s knowledge of the darker byways of the city may allow him to uncover crucial information about April’s whereabouts. And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April’s murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about race-hatred, Catholic ruthlessness, and family savagery.

Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.

©2010 Benjamin Black (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Quirke, the haunted Dublin pathologist and haphazard sleuth, returns in the third in Black's superb series of sharply etched, nearly Jamesian mysteries.... In Black's atmospheric and penetrating works of Irish noir, pain, prejudice, greed, and violence brew behind lace curtains." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (136 )
5 star
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3.8 (73 )
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4.3 (76 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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 third 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Philadelphia, PA, USA 05-18-10
    Kathleen Philadelphia, PA, USA 05-18-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Excellent"

    Very enjoyable and absorbing novel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat La Mesa, CA, United States 10-28-10
    Pat La Mesa, CA, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2003
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    "Struggling Dad Comes Through"

    Quirk's daughter, Phoebe, hasn't heard from her friend, April, who usually called her once a day. She asks her father to help her check into April's "disappearance." Along the way, Quirk struggles with alcohol and, although not stated outright, depression. Timothy Dalton's narration is wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Berwyn, PA, United States 12-19-11
    Teresa Berwyn, PA, United States 12-19-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Darkest Quirke Story Yet!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Elegy for April to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version of this story, but I believe the narration gives the reader such a feeling of


    What did you like best about this story?

    The last sentence in the book when Quirke actually laughed was my favorite part of the book.


    Have you listened to any of Timothy Dalton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to all of the Quirke novels and I really enjoy Timothy Dalton's performance. He gives such life and depth to the characters, and teaches me the correct pronunciations of names like St. John.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Death, treachery, and the corruption of innocence


    Any additional comments?

    This is, by far, the darkest and most disturbing Quirke novel yet. Each character seems to fall in to an abyss somewhere along the way and they don't always find their way out. I will be listening to the fourth book soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Siri-Mette Amble Norway 08-03-10
    Siri-Mette Amble Norway 08-03-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Good enough"

    ... but please, get the narrator off the playing field! Even in British English you don't need to drag out the last syllable of each and every word! It was extremely annoying and terribly over-dramatized. The plot was decent enough with a slightly surprising end.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Monroe, CT, United States 06-30-14
    Ronald Monroe, CT, United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Mr. Black seems to get better with each story,"

    The overall development of plot and characters demonstrates the author's ability to draw in the audience and capture their interset. When uou combine this with Mr. Dalton's magnificient narration, you have an excellent listen of a fine drama.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Galadriel 07-11-13
    Galadriel 07-11-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No one but Dalton will do . . ."
    What about Timothy Dalton’s performance did you like?

    This writer gives us such sharply delineated descriptions of his character's moment by moment experiences, and Timothy Dalton makes the most of each and every moment. As before, this reader brings a Shakespearian brilliance to every word of his narration. I'm afraid he's ruined me for most other readers. I'm so bummed to see that this is the last of the series read by T.D. Judging by the sample of the next book's reader I'm afraid I can't continue, and I so wanted to. Wasn't Simon Vance or Gerard Doyle available?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy iPad User 05-07-12 Member Since 2010
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    4
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    "Perfect narration!"
    Any additional comments?

    First of all, I could listen to Timothy Dalton read the phone book! That aside, he does a masterful job bringing this book to life. Benjamin Black weaves a multi-layed tale reflecting the woes of life and its effects on the characters involved. I downloaded The Silver Swan first because of the narrator and liked the author's work so much I downloaded this book as soon as it became available. The Black/Dalton team is fabulous!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guido Beverly, MA, United States 03-31-12
    Guido Beverly, MA, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Book!"
    What did you like best about Elegy for April? What did you like least?

    The best thing was that I liked that it was based in Ireland. I'm a little biased because I am Irish and I know most of all the areas that he was in.
    I didn't like the fact that we never really got to meet April in the book even for a paragraph or a page.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Just the way that it unfolded.


    What does Timothy Dalton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The intonation of the characters with the different voices.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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