The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black
A Novel

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Synopsis

The inimitable Quirke returns in another spellbinding crime novel, in which a young woman's dubious suicide sets off a new string of hazards and deceptions


Two years have passed since the events of the bestselling Christine Falls, and much has changed for Quirke, the irascible, formerly hard-drinking Dublin pathologist. His beloved Sarah is dead, his surrogate father lies in a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.


With much to regret from his last inquisitive foray, Quirke ought to know better than to let his curiosity get the best of him. Yet when an almost forgotten acquaintance comes to him about his beautiful young wife's apparent suicide, Quirke's "old itch to cut into the quick of things, to delve into the dark of what was hidden" is roused again. As he begins to probe further into the shadowy circumstances of Deirdre Hunt's death, he discovers many things that might better have remained hidden, as well as grave danger to those

he loves.


Haunting, masterfully written, and utterly mesmerizing in its nuance, The Silver Swan fully lives up to the promise of Christine Falls and firmly establishes Benjamin Black (a.k.a. John Banville) among the greatest of crime writers.

 

About Benjamin Black

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Benjamin Black is the pen name of the novelist John Banville. As Black, he is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Quirke novels, including Christine Falls, The Silver Swan, and Elegy for April, and his standalone novel, The Lemur. Christine Falls was nominated for both the Edgar Award and Macavity Award for Best Novel. Writing as John Banville, his novel The Sea is the winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize. Black was born in Wexford, Ireland, and lives in Dublin.
 
Published March 4, 2008 by Henry Holt and Co.. 292 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Silver Swan

Kirkus Reviews

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Long after Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler transcended the stigma of generic pulp for literary legitimacy, novelists such as Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos and the underrated David Lindsey continue to obliterate the line between mystery and literature.

Mar 04 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

The New York Times

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Such a job calls for an honorable protagonist — someone just like Quirke, professionally implausible as a “hotshot pathologist” at the Hospital of the Holy Family in 1950s Dublin (where he hardly ever shows up for work), but superbly suited to the role of sleuth by virtue of his “incurable curios...

Apr 20 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop This is the second novel by John Banville writing as Benjamin Black...

Oct 19 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Black, the pen name of Booker Prize-winning author John Banville (The Sea), [offers his] second atmospheric crime novel starring Quirke, a 1950s Dublin pathologist and unlikely hero.

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Publishers Weekly

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This risky approach ends up melding perfectly with Black's atmospheric whodunit, with Dalton underscoring the literary quality of the prose.

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Book Reporter

He expects the corpse to help him determine cause of death, especially in cases that are not clear-cut.” And the death of Deidre is just such a situation, especially “after he had chanced on [a] needle mark in the woman’s arm.” Thus he goes ahead with the autopsy, and when he lies to the coroner’...

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

After a young woman's corpse is fished from the sea, Dublin pathologist Quirke delves into a ''grimy little suburban melodrama'' of kinky sex, drugs, and murder.

Feb 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: The sequel to the critically acclaimed Christine Falls delivers a neat whodunit plot set in nineteen-fifties Dublin.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

Interestingly, Deirdre did not drown – but Quirke finds a puncture wound on one of her arms.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Everyone here suffers some form of spiritual desolation, a state perfectly exemplified by Quirke's widowed friend Mal, who has been given a dog by his daughter: "It was a stunted, wire-haired thing the color of wet sacking?.

Mar 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

Mysterious Reviews

Review: Benjamin Black's second novel to feature Quirke, The Silver Swan, has the Dublin pathologist facing personal battles as well as professional ones when he fails to quell his curiosity and performs an autopsy on a woman who purportedly accidentally drowned in the sea.

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Bookmarks Magazine

John Banville (The Sea, Award Star Booker Prize, 4.5 of 5 Stars Jan/Feb 2006), writing under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, introduced readers to the hard-drinking pathologist Garret Quirke in Christine Falls ( 4 of 5 Stars Selection May/June 2007).

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Silver Swan: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Silver Swan
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