A Death in Summer
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When newspaper magnate Richard Jewell is found dead at his country estate, clutching a shotgun in his lifeless hands, few see his demise as cause for sorrow. But before long Doctor Quirke and Inspector Hackett realise that, rather than the suspected suicide, `Diamond Dick’ has in fact been murdered.
Jewell had made many enemies over the years and suspicion soon falls on one of his biggest rivals. But as Quirke and his assistant Sinclair get to know Jewell's beautiful, enigmatic wife Françoise d’Aubigny, and his fragile sister Dannie, as well as those who work for the family, it gradually becomes clear that all is not as it seems.
As Quirke’s investigations return him to the notorious orphanage of St Christopher’s, where he once resided, events begin to take a much darker turn. Quirke finds himself reunited with an old enemy and Sinclair receives sinister threats. But what have the shadowy benefactors of St Christopher’s to do with it all?
Against the backdrop of 1950's Dublin, Benjamin Black conjures another atmospheric, beguiling mystery.
This is the third Quirke mystery I've read and enjoyed. Behind Benjamin Black sits John Banville, so the writing is excellent. They are not "straightforward" crime novels, and that's a plus. 1950's Dublin was a pretty murky place and Black captures the atmosphere well. He's also very good at portraying irascible, troubled, and flawed characters, and Quirke is certainly up there among them.
Recommended for those who appreciate Banville and/or a sophisticated character driven mystery.