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Christine Falls : a novel
Benjamin Black
Adult Fiction BLACK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. Quirke is pulled into the case when he confronts his stepbrother, physician Malachy Griffin, who's altering Christine's file at the city morgue. Soon it appears the entire establishment is in denial over Christine's mysterious demise and in a conspiracy that recalls the classic film Chinatown. And the deeper Quirke delves into the mystery, the more it seems to implicate his own family and the Catholic church. At the start, the novel has the spare melancholy of early James Joyce, describing a Dublin of private clubs, Merrion Square townhouses and the occasional horse-drawn cart; as the plot heats up and the action shifts to Boston, Mass., it becomes more of a standard detective story. Though Black makes an occasional American cultural blooper, he keeps divulging surprises to the last page so that the reader is simultaneously shocked and satisfied. Author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A young woman has died. When Irish -pathologist Garret Quirke discovers that his adoptive brother has altered the autopsy rec-ords, he begins an investigation that brings him into conflict with a very patriarchal Catholic Church. Christine Falls died in childbirth and yet there is no trace of a baby, living or dead. Quirke himself was an orphan and his own wife died in childbirth, driving him to trace Christine's last days. The result is violence, torture, and death. Meanwhile-but it would be a shame to give away any more of the plot. Black (an award-winning "serious" novelist under another name) applies his elegant writing style to a genre where short, blunt sentences are the norm. The resulting thriller is both complex and fascinating, if occasionally confusing. Timothy Dalton's clear, stylish reading complements the text well. This book should be popular with both thriller and serious fiction readers. Recommended for adult audio collections.-I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll. Lib., Boone, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Raised by a prominent Catholic judge.

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