“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cut To The Quirke

Benny Blanco from the Bronx (aka Benjamin Black, aka John Banville) returns with the Quirke-tastic follow-up to CHRISTINE FALLS this November, THE SILVER SWAN being an investigation into who exactly green-lit the eye-searing art-deco interiors in Sligo’s recently refurbished Silver Swan hotel. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s actually a dodgy suicide that arouses Quirke’s “old itch to cut into the quick of things, to delve into the dark of what was hidden.” Hmmm, sounds like a bad case of the thong-wedgies to us. Or is that just wishful thinking on behalf of the Crime Always Pays elves who lust after Benny, the silver fox? Anyhoo, credit to the blurb elves over at Henry Holt for downplaying Benny’s sophomore offering so artfully, to wit:
“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.”
Pardon us while we swoon dead away. But before we do, here’s an excerpt from THE SILVER SWAN:
“HER FOREHEAD WAS CLEAR AND HIGH, and the swathe of copper-coloured hair falling back from it must indeed have been magnificent. Quirke had a picture in his mind of her sprawled on the wet rocks, a long swatch of that hair coiled around her neck like a thick frond of gleaming seaweed. What, he wondered, could possibly have driven this handsome, healthy young creature to fling herself on a summer midnight off Sandycove pier into the black waters of Dublin Bay? Her clothes, so Billy Hunt had said, had been placed in a neat pile on the pier beside the wall; that was the only trace she had left of her going, that, and her motor car, which Quirke was certain would have been another thing she was proud of, and which yet she had abandoned. Her car and her hair: twin sources of vanity. But what was it had pulled that vanity down? Then he spotted the tiny puncture mark on the chalk-white inner side of her left arm …”
All together now: Sahwoooooooon …

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