Quirke—the hard-drinking, insatiably curious Dublin pathologist—is back, and he's determined to find his daughter's best friend, a well-connected young doctor
April Latimer has vanished. A junior doctor at a local hospital, she is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Though her family is one of the most respected in the city, she is known for being independent-minded; her taste in men, for instance, is decidedly unconventional.
Now April has disappeared, and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke enlists his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, in the search for the missing young woman. In their separate ways the two men follow April's trail through some of the darker byways of the city to uncover crucial information on her whereabouts. And as Quirke becomes deeply involved in April's murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred.
Both an absorbing crime novel and a brilliant portrait of the difficult and relentless love between a father and his daughter, this is Benjamin Black at his sparkling best.
Black's engrossing third crime thriller set in 1950s Dublin (after The Silver Swan) finds pathologist Garret Quirke fresh from a stint in alcohol rehab. Quirke reluctantly agrees to help his daughter, Phoebe Griffin, with whom he has a tenuous relationship, find her missing best friend, April Latimer, a junior doctor at a local hospital. Quirke soon finds that members of the powerful Latimer family have all but disowned April, and yet he's sure they know more than they're letting on. Phoebe does her own sleuthing among the group of friends she shared with April, including a stage actress, a handsome Nigerian surgical student, and a reporter. Black (the pen name of Booker Prize winner John Banville) is equally concerned with exploring the idea of family and loyalty as with spinning a suspenseful whodunit, and his depiction of a fragile father-daughter relationship is as powerful as the unsettling truth behind April's disappearance. Author tour.