Christine Falls

Christine Falls

A Novel

Book - 2006
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Garret Quirke, a pathologist in 1950s Dublin, suspects that his adopted brother, Malachy Griffin, tampered with the corpse of a young woman, Christine Falls, to conceal the cause of death. As he investigates, he begins to uncover a scandal that involves the pillars of Dublin's Catholic society as well as his own family's secrets.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt, 2006
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 2006043581
Branch Call Number: FIC Black 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 311 p


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Jun 13, 2018

I got this book after reading John Banville's "Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir" and hearing that Banville considered the books he wrote under his real name as writer's art and the books wrote under the pseudonym Benjamin Black were writers craft. I guess I prefer art over craft.

I thought the story was a bit dull and disconnected at times. I would like to see a bit more character development of the Quirke and Malachy, and will probably look at the next book in the series.

Aug 14, 2016

A very Irish book, with the wit and sadness of a thousand years settling on the shoulders of a deeply flawed man. If you are looking for a procedural this is not your book. The plot resolution is telegraphed early and the one true twist is logical but seems to come from nowhere. Read this book for the finely wrought characters, a Dublin drawn as finely as the Dublin of James Joyce, and a time when the weight of the Catholic Church on the backs of mere humans was overwhelming. If you've seen The Magdalene Sisters it covers the same period and subject matter, but this is a truly original voice.

Sep 02, 2014

I enjoyed this book and the characters. I am looking forward to reading the rest of them. I hear there is a tv. series too.

Jul 20, 2014

I liked this book quite a lot, despite the fact that there seems to be a whiff of the Literary Author stooping to dabble in Genre. The blurbs were from Literary sources who seemed over-impressed with the Originality (when a cranky and possibly alcoholic Medical Examiner isn't really all that original, folks.)

But I *do* like the main character and I find the treatment of that era fascinating (post- WWII England). I'll read more of this series as they come out, but I probably won't read this one again (that's why the 4 stars instead of 5).

Apr 28, 2012

I have to admit that I am feeling a little let down by Christine Falls, on the one hand this book is strongly written by Benjamin Black, a pseudonym for author John Banville, but on the other, the actual plot seemed lacklustre and felt manufactured. This dark tale of baby smuggling by a powerful Catholic Society in the early 1950‘s involves murder, conspiracy and family secrets, and although parts of the book are truly well done, there were also parts that I found repetitive and rather boring.

Rather than a mystery, I felt the book was much more of a character study, and the main character, Quirke with his drinking, secrets and isolation was a familiar one for this genre. Unfortunately, the women in the book were on the most part damaged, fragile and insecure. I did love the fact that Black wrote a very layered tale and, in classic mystery style, slowly bits were peeled back and revealed. I guess what was missing for me was an actual mystery.

In the long run although I enjoyed the original and creative writing in Christine Falls, I needed more than well turned phrases, and both the pacing and the plot felt a little flat.

Feb 12, 2012

I've read mixed reviews from a few folks saying <i>Christine Falls</i> was not the best of the Quirke series. I couldn't disagree more. I love the plot it was very unexpected and two timelines really kept you thinking. A masterful work in my opinion and a great start to a compelling series of books.

Aug 01, 2011

Series well reviewed in Citizen, this is pen name of John Banville. Will start w first
Just got it, reads very well at start, but didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Will try the more recent one,

Apr 18, 2011

The first in this series of which there are now 3. I wish I had known this when I read "Elegy for April" first.
I enjoyed the smooth writing and a plot that moved along nicely. But it is, as it should be, the characters that make this story.

Dec 07, 2010

I enjoyed this novel much more than the last few in the Scarpetta series.

Oct 24, 2010

Quirke and Malachy were raised as brothers, and married sisters. But when Quirke sees Mal changing file in Quirke's office of the morgue, he feels like he doesn't know Mal at all. Soon Quirke is immersed in a mystery that leads across the ocean to America and into the heart of the Catholic church. Set in Dublin, this is a fascinating story set in the 50's that draws rich portrayals of the characters.


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Jan 12, 2011

Quirke is a pathologist at British hospital. He catches his brother in law, a gynecologist at same hospital tampering with the file of Christine Falls, a young woman who died in childbirth. The baby ends up going to America with a nurse moving there for a job with Josh Crawford, both doctors' father-in-law. Baby is "adopted" by unstable couple.

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