Raymond Chandler's incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career.
"It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it's being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere."
So begins , a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe-yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson's disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City's richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.
Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today's best crime fiction
A suspicious death, a pregnant woman suddenly gone missing: Quirke's latest case leads him inexorably toward the dark machinations of an old foe.
Perhaps Quirke has been down among the dead too long. Lately the Irish pathologist has suffered hallucinations and blackouts, and he fears the cause is a brain tumor. A specialist diagnoses an old head injury caused by a savage beating; all that's needed, the doctor declares, is an extended rest. But Quirke, ever intent on finding his place among the living, is not about to retire.
One night during a June heat wave, a car crashes into a tree in central Dublin and bursts into flames. The police assume the driver's death was either an accident or a suicide, but Quirke's examination of the body leads him to believe otherwise. Then his daughter Phoebe gets a mysterious visit from an acquaintance: the woman, who admits to being pregnant, says she fears for her life, though she won't say why. When the woman later disappears, Phoebe asks her father for help, and Quirke in turn seeks the assistance of his old friend Inspector Hackett. Before long the two men find themselves untangling a twisted string of events that takes them deep into a shadowy world where one of the city's most powerful men uses the cover of politics and religion to make obscene profits.
Even the Dead-Benjamin Black's seventh novel featuring the endlessly fascinating Quirke-is a story of surpassing intensity and surprising beauty.
She looked at him and smiled sadly. ‘You’ve lived too long among the dead, Quirke,’ she said. He nodded. ‘Yes, I suppose I have.’ She was not the first one to have told him that, and she would not be the last. 1950s Dublin. When a body is found in the canal, pathologist Quirke and his detective friend Inspector Hackett must find the truth behind this brutal murder. But in a world where the police are not trusted and secrets often remain buried there is perhaps little hope of bringing the perpetrator to justice. As spring storms descend on Dublin, Quirke and Hackett’s investigation will lead them into the dark heart of the organisation that really runs this troubled city: the church. Meanwhile Quirke’s daughter Phoebe realises she is being followed; and when Quirke’s terrible childhood in a priest-run orphanage returns to haunt him, he will face his greatest trial yet.
In the Pathology Department it was always night. This was one of the things Quirke liked about his job…it was restful, cosy, one might almost say, down in these depths nearly two floors beneath the city's busy pavements. There was too a sense here of being part of the continuance of ancient practices, secret skills, of work too dark to be carried on up in the light. But one night, late after a party, Quirke stumbles across a body that shouldn't have been there…and his brother-in-law, eminent paediatrician Malachy Griffin – a rare sight in Quirke's gloomy domain – altering a file to cover up the corpse's cause of death. It is the first time Quirke encounters Christine Falls, but the investigation he decides to lead into the way she lived – and the reason she died – disturbs a dark secret that has been festering at the core of Dublin's high Catholic society, a secret ready to destabilize the very heart and soul of Quirke's own family…
Quirke – the hard-drinking, insatiably curious Dublin pathologist – is back, and he's determined to find his daughter's best friend, a well-connected young doctor
April Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional.
Now April has disappeared, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke enlists his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, in the search for the missing young woman. In their separate ways the two men follow April's trail through some of the darker byways of the city to uncover crucial information on her whereabouts. And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April's murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred.
Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.
Time has moved on for Quirke, the world-weary Dublin pathologist first encountered in Christine Falls. It is the middle of the 1950s, that low, dishonourable decade; a woman he loved has died, a man whom he once admired is dying, while the daughter he for so long denied is still finding it hard to accept him as her father. When Billy Hunt, an acquaintance from college days, approaches him about his wife's apparent suicide, Quirke recognises trouble but, as always, trouble is something he cannot resist. Slowly he is drawn into a twilight world of drug addiction, sexual obsession, blackmail and murder, a world in which even the redoubtable Inspector Hackett can offer him few directions.