The Silver Swan (Quirke Series #2)

The Silver Swan (Quirke Series #2)

by Benjamin Black
3.6 21

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Overview

The Silver Swan (Quirke Series #2) by Benjamin Black

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a convent hospital paralyzed by a devastating stroke, and Phoebe, Quirke's long-denied daughter, has grown increasingly withdrawn and isolated.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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429938297
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 03/04/2008
Series: Quirke Series , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 136,924
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, most recently the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.


Benjamin Black is the pen name of the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville. The author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed series of Quirke novels—as well as The Black-Eyed Blonde, a Philip Marlowe novel—he lives in Dublin.

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The Silver Swan (Quirke Series #2) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even though this title is listed as Mystery, it reads almost like a literary novel. It hovers somewhere between a thriller and a character study. A tricky feat, but a successful one. All the characters feel fully fleshed-out and their motivations, desires, and deceits make sense. The only 'slight' exception is Quirke's daughter who seems to exist only to sulk and get into danger'see the second season of 24 for reference', but everything else in the book is pulled off wonderfully, so that one small mark against doesn't tarnish it. 'The Silver Swan' is a sort of Irish Lit. light. It still contains the rich language you'd expect from a Man Booker prize winning writer, but it's pared down to let the characters and story take center stage.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1950s Ireland, Billy Hint sees his old college crony pathologist Garret Quirke. Since they have not seen each other in quite a while, Garret is bit surprised by the visit until Billy asks a favor. He begs Garret not to perform an autopsy on his late wife, Deirdre. The law requires an autopsy when foul play seems possible in this case it is probable as Deirdre¿s naked corpse was fished out of Dublin Bay though indications seem suicide as the most likely cause. However, Garret is stunned by the request as Billy beseeched him to drop the medical investigation. Instead he conducts a quiet inquiry into Deirdre¿s last days not knowing what to expect, but totally unprepared to uncovering her alias Laura Swan co-owning the beauty salon Silver Swan with Leslie White and a blackmailing scheme that includes his estranged daughter. --- This sequel to the superb CHRISTINE FALLS is an excellent investigative thriller that grips the audience from the moment Billy begs and never slows down until the stunning final confrontation. The story line is fast-paced and in spite of 288 pages is a one sitter read. The terrific hero is likable, as he learns one thing leads to another, but deception is part of each step he takes. THE SILVER SWAN is a great Irish whodunit. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We picked Shocksword and Swanfeater
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the blast from the past of this series
xxxLS More than 1 year ago
Good read.
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OdysseusUlysses More than 1 year ago
There 7 CD and takes about 8.8 hours. Her name was Deirdre Hunt but liked to be called by her professional name Laura Swan of "The Silver Swan" beauty salon. Dalton does an excellent job reading. You can visit the authors' site at www.benjaminblackbooks.com. This book is more of a character study than a mystery/thriller. The Silver Swan follows Christine Falls, the first of the Black character studies disguised as mysteries. Irish author John Banville, writing under the pen name of Benjamin Black, uses the common recipe of sex, drugs, and murder. Set in Dublin the story centers on the detective Quirk, who returns a distressed voice message from his old schoolmate, Billy Hunt. Billy informs Quirk that his wife, Deirdre, has drowned herself, imploring him to prevent an autopsy on the body of his wife, claiming that he cannot bear the idea of his wife's body being violated. Of course Quirk discovers that that Deirdre did not drown but had overdosed on morphine. He keeps this to himself as he discovers an affair with her business partner, Leslie White, and a blackmailing scheme that includes his estranged daughter and a strange involvement with the questionable "spiritual healer" Dr. Hakeem Kreutz.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Silver Swan is a much faster paced story than the first book in this series, Christine Falls, and more of a true 'murder mystery'. The delight of this series, however, lies not so much with Mr. Black's storytelling skills as it does with Timothy Dalton's vibrant interpretation. Mr. Dalton breathes life into the wide cast of characters, capturing not only their various accents, but their vital essence. From the coarse abortionist Maisie Haddon to the enigmatic and mournful Quirke, Mr. Dalton imbues each character with a distinct personality and makes them instantly recognizable. The Silver Swan is less an audiobook than a movie for the mind thanks to his skilled and masterful vocal talents. I hope as Benjamin Black writes more in this series Mr. Dalton will continue to record them - he injects energy and immediacy into what might otherwise be stories that weigh a reader down with the sheer volume of words and descriptive minutiae.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sex, drugs and murder: a common recipe for detective fiction that can easily become incredibly bland and distastefully redundant. However, Irish author John Banville 'writing under the pen name Benjamin Black' creates a clever and sexy nod to the noir genre with his latest novel The Silver Swan. Set in Dublin and picking up where his previous novel, Christine Falls, left off, Black weaves an engrossing crime story centered around an unlikely suicide and pseudo-detective Quirke, the hard-boiled pathologist with a soft spot for women and booze. After receiving a distressed phone call from his old schoolmate, Billy Hunt, tearfully telling Quirke his wife, Deirdre, has drowned herself, Quirke assumes it¿s business as usual: examine dead body, determine exact cause of death, report findings, case closed. Quirke¿s indelible curiosity is piqued, however, when he discovers that Deirdre did not die of drowning, but an overdose of morphine. Keeping his findings to himself, Quirke decides to go it alone and investigate the mystery of Deirdre¿s death. Through intermittent flashbacks, Deirdre¿s veneer of a normal existence deteriorates quickly as Quirke uncovers the disturbing secrets leading to her untimely demise. Pieces of the puzzle, including Deirdre¿s torrid tryst with the spectrally handsome Leslie White and her questionable involvement with the alluring foreigner Dr. Hakeem Kreutz, slowly slide into place, lifting the shroud of mystery to reveal the shocking truth behind the entire ordeal. Quirke quickly realizes, however, that Deirdre¿s death may not be the only one of the roster as he notices his estranged daughter Phoebe falling into the same destructive circle of acquaintances that once surrounded Deirdre. Black¿s ode to the gritty noir is executed brilliantly through a riveting storyline and vivid, terse writing. Perhaps it¿s from his journalism background working for the Irish Press and the Irish Times, but Black has a knack for illustrating a character or a scene with just enough details to where readers can hear, smell, see, taste and feel the situation or character at hand as opposed to bogging down readers with unnecessary anecdotes and superfluous particulars. Black¿s ability to seamlessly glide in and out of flashbacks is definitely noteworthy given the fact this technique can easily become confusing and jumbled. Gently easing his audience into the sordid and seductive world of Deirdre Hunt, Black lays out early in the novel every clue needed to solve the mystery, challenging readers to put the details in the right order and figure out the sequence of events leading up to Deirdre¿s death. However, herein lies the novel¿s only major flaw. Because Black provides such specific clues, the realm of suspects is severely constrained to a select few. Yet that doesn¿t limit Black from leaving readers in suspense through a series of false endings, ultimately leading to the startling truth. Balancing a gripping murder/mystery plot with the heartbreaking drama of Quirke¿s personal life, The Silver Swan is a masterful addition to detective fiction that will undoubtedly leave readers locked into Quirke¿s Dublin dangers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS WAS ONE OF THE WORSE BOOKS I HAVE EVER TRIED TO READ. no MATTER HOW HARD I TRIED I COULD NOT GET INTERESTED IN THE STORY. I ENDED UP BY GIVING UP AND TAKING IT TO GOODWILL.