By December 3, 2010 1 Comments Read More →

Christine Falls

I will admit that I am never a big fan of other people handing me books and telling me to “read this.”  A review–fine.  Handing me the sacred object and all the guilt that comes with ignoring someone else’s investment–not fine.

But when a Library Board member does it, I feel really, really, really guilty if I do not read the book.  Months have gone by since a Board member handed me Christine Falls by Benjamin Black and I finally got around to relieving my guilt by cracking the cover. 

Benjamin Black is the pseudonym of Irish literary author John Banville.  He has received some negative press amongst the genre defending crime fiction readers because of comments that can be construed to denegrate the canon.  Banville has stated that it is easier for him to write a crime novel than it is to write a literary work, having even admitted once that a scene in Christine Falls was written as fast as it will take the reader to read it.  Gasp!

Personally, I don’t care how it got written, I really enjoyed Christine Falls.  The protagonist in this book (and in the other books that follow in the series) is Quirke, a pathologist in a Dublin hospital, who battles alcohol, being raised an orphan, a long lost love and a host of other nearly debilitating issues.  Of course, none of these issues keep him from sticking his nose into issue related to crime.

In this book, Quirke’s adoptive brother Mal takes to close an interest in the corpse of a woman who has just given birth while the whereabouts of the child become a mystery.  Quirke suffers a lot throughout the course of the book and so many issues are raised that I think a crime fiction book discussion would never stop talking about this one. 

Now, back to my personal TBR pile and please, no more free books!



About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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