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
"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)
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.
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.
I have not read the print version of this story, but I believe the narration gives the reader such a feeling of
The last sentence in the book when Quirke actually laughed was my favorite part of the book.
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.
Death, treachery, and the corruption of innocence
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.
... 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.
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!
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.
Just the way that it unfolded.
The intonation of the characters with the different voices.
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