Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Silver Swan

by Benjamin Black

Quirke, the drunken and haunted pathologist is back. Not much has changed since his last case, Christine Falls, though he is allegedly back on the wagon.

His new case begins with a phone call: Billy Hunt, a former schoolmate, has called to ask a favor of Quirke. Hunt asks him to bypass the autopsy on his wife, Deirdre. The death appears to be a suicide by drowning, and Hunt cannot bear to imagine his wife being cut up in an autopsy.

Of course, Quirke performs the autopsy and discovers that Hunt's death was not a suicide. But he tells no one of this fact. Instead, he investigates on his own, leading him into dangerous territory, which includes drugs, violence, blackmail, and business deals gone wrong.

It's fun to escape to 1950s Dublin for a quick and satisfying mystery. Quirke is an appealing sleuth, and the setting is just different enough to make it interesting.


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