I start a lot of books I don't finish. I usually give it a couple of hours if it's an audiobook. Once I gave a book 7 hours before quitting because ..Show More »I thought it was going to get better; but it didn't ("An Unpardonable Crime"). This one got me from the first line. Timothy Dalton narrates with a deep rich Welsh accent - think Dylan Thomas if you've ever heard him, an octave lower, or Richard Burton. Of all of this audiobook's virtues, quite apart from how good it is substantially, the narration is its most attractive asset. If you like thrillers and mysteries that you don't have forgive the quality of the writing to enjoy, you'll love this. The writing is extraordinary.
The plot follows a more or less formulaic path, but illuminates the genre even as it moves through its generic rules. The setting is Dublin for the most part, and Boston in the 1950s. The protagonist, aptly named "Quirke" is a forensic patholigist (in the US we call them coroners) who, in the book's opening scene, stumbles upon his brother in law - also a doctor, an obstetrician - in the act of falsifying information in a file of one of the corpses Quirke hasn't examined yet. This initiates an obsession on Quirke's fault to find out what happened to this woman (the eponymous Christine Falls), who allegedly died giving birth to a stillborn infant girl. Well, the little girl wasn't stillborn, the truth leads Quirke on a journey into a darkness of which Christine Falls was only one of many victims, and that's all I'm going to tell you about the plot. I loved this audiobook and would recommend it over the print version, which from me, is a big compliment.
Two points regarding "Christine Falls" and "The Silver Swan":
1) Benjamin Black is a fabulous writer who knows too well the weakness of..Show More » the human condition. Those who have read Dennis Lehayne ("Mystic River", etc.) will love this series. Highly recommended!
2) Why doesn't Timothy Dalton narrate more audiobooks?! He is simply outstanding.
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 narrat..Show More »ion 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.
Bought and enjoyed the previous Dr. Quirk books, esp. Christine Falls, but having a hard time with this due to the change in narrator. The cadence ge..Show More »ts very tiresome, and the "acting", if you can call it that, isn't good. The character of Dr. Quirk is entirely different. Too bad.
The line below comes from another reviewer for another book, however, I thought it was so true about Vengeance 'This book goes on and on with smal..Show More »l details about things that just does not matter'.
Having read all the previous books, the strands of each story thread were neatly tied together for a satisfying end. Each character with unique virt..Show More »ues and flaws came alive in the pages of this series. If there is another, I will be in the line to get it.