The second novel in the Quirke mysteries, now a major TV series starring Gabriel Byrne. Now a major TV series: Quirke starring Gabriel Byrne and written by Andrew Davies.
Time has moved on for Quirke, the world-weary pathologist first encountered in Christine Falls. It is the middle of the 1950s, that low, dishonourable decade; a woman he loved has died, a man whom he once admired is dying, while the daughter he for so long denied is still finding it hard to accept him as her father.
When an old acquaintance approaches him about his wife’s apparent suicide, Quirke recognizes trouble but, as always, trouble is something he cannot resist.
"Drug addiction, morbid sexual obsession, blackmail and murder, as well as prose as crisp as a winter's morning by the Liffey . . . Quirke is human enough to swell the hardest of hearts." (GQ)
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Very high - I love Timothy Dalton's pacy narration, he captures the noirish genre perfectly and distinguishes each character well.
The characters, their inner thoughts, the descriptions of place and era. My favourite character keeps changing with each new Quirke novel - I adore the frog-faced Inspector Hackett. Glorious nourishment for the mind and ear, a moreish recording. I have never smoked in my life but there is so much smoking in this novel I could practically taste the nicotine, feel the smoke and smell the bitter coffee - the mystery is seedy but believable.
His delivery is brisk, gripping and pitch perfect for these stories - I wish he had recorded more than 3 of these novels.
Yes - the gradual, non-linear exploration of each character's experience keeps you guessing and the overall plot is exciting and enthralling.