Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Christine Falls - Benjamin Black


You have to start a series somewhere; I just wish Banville/Black hadn't started the Quirke series here. This opener is by some distance the least interesting of the series and if I hadn't read all the others before finding Christine Falls my involvement would have ended here.  Of course there has to be a certain amount of exposition when you set up the series, and the minimal amount offered here merely proves my point.  The problem throughout Quirke is the rather preposterous domestic arrangements of Quirke, his adoptive brother Mal and the Crawford sisters (and, in later volumes, the sisters' stepmother Rose).  Couple that with an overheated transatlantic Catholic conspiracy and you are on sticky ground.  It is a tribute to Banville's measured writing style that he manages to keep us involved to the end.  But he does.  Personally, I'd recommend new readers start with one of the others, all of which I liked.

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