Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elegy for April, by Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black is the name that John Banville uses when writing the Quirke murder mystery series. Pride of place in Black's mysteries goes to language. Places, people, clothing, rooms are described so deftly and richly that it is easy to miss a turn of the plot while mesmerized by the language. Who knew English could be used so fully and faithfully? His characters are also striking. Quirke, an alcoholic pathologist, and his daughter Phoebe, who works in a Dublin hat shop, are such sad, damaged souls; Hackett, the Garda detective, and Malachi Griffin, his brother-in-law and friend, are counterpoints of contentment. The plot, which revolves around the search for a missing young doctor, was a little disappointing. I did enjoy the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride of Quirke's first car.

Timothy Dalton did a great job reading.

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