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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
"Secrets are like wine…they get a richer flavor, a finer bouquet, with every year that passes." Blending melancholic, deeply introspective, and starkly humorous prose with hard-boiled elements of crime fiction, acclaimed Irish novelist John Banville's first novel written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black is a dark gem -- equal parts Irish noir thriller, 1950s murder mystery, and unlikely spiritual journey of self-discovery.
Hard-drinking Dublin-based pathologist Quirke -- an emotionally demoralized widower "in the foothills of his forties" -- stumbles across an international conspiracy involving his antagonistic brother-in-law, obstetrician Malachy Griffin. When Quirke catches Griffin illegally altering a dead woman's records, he investigates, only to become entangled in an elaborate -- and murderous -- criminal enterprise that includes his affluent foster family, an underground Irish orphanage, a Boston millionaire, and the very future of the Catholic Church…
While Banville (The Book of Evidence, The Sea, et al.) may be renowned for his stylish and lyrical prose, his alter ego (the aptly named Black) will surely find a solid fan base with aficionados of down-and-dirty atmospheric thrillers -- especially those who enjoy contemporary Irish and Scottish neo-noir authors like Ken Bruen, T. S. O'Rourke, and Allan Guthrie. A rich tapestry of contrasting religious, ethical, and cultural themes, Christine Falls is simply brilliant: James Joyce meets Raymond Chandler. Paul Goat Allen