Christine Falls

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Really enjoying the prose in this novel, the first Quirke novel by John Banville writing as Benjamin Black. There’s a lucidity and flow to it which exposes Banville’s literary heritage. The descriptive passages are particularly evocative and the scents and odours of 1950s Dublin linger on the page.

So far, Quirke is coming across as a pretty damaged character: a recovering alcoholic, a widower and painfully still in love with his own sister-in-law. And, as if that were not damaging enough, there appears to be a frisson between him and Phoebe, the said-sister-in-law’s daughter. She’s currently offered to elope with him and fled a family party “clinging” to him.

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