Christine Falls by Benjamin Black

Christine Falls CoverChristine Falls is dead.It is the 1950s. Quirke is a Dublin pathologist. After drinking too much at an office party he staggers down to the mortuary for a break. He is surprised to meet there his brother-in-law, Mal Griffin, one of Ireland’s leading gynaecologists. Quirke notices that Christine Falls’s file is missing and on its return it has been altered. She had died in child birth and, apparently, her baby with her. Quirke is suspicious and so is the police inspector. When the police are told by senior government officials to cease their involvement Quirke decides to investigate for himself the tragedy and mystery of Christine Falls.

At every stage Quirke meets resistance from the Dublin establishment and the Church. Powerful forces want him to keep away from learning the truth. Yet who is behind this wall of silence? What secrets are they keeping? Quirke encounters violence and murder as he slowly unravels a web of deceit and intrigue that has lasted for 30 years. His questioning takes him to the USA where he encounters an Irish American mafia linked to those at the very top of the Church and the law back in Ireland. Sins and sinners are uncovered and rights and wrongs are mixed up. Even Quirke is unsure if he is pursuing a moral campaign or is just interfering in good intentions. He reveals an unusual form of human trafficking. At the same time he makes some surprising and unpalatable discoveries about his own background and relationships. Will he be able to reveal what happened to Christine Falls and her baby and would people believe him anyway? Will he survive the threats made to him to stop what he is doing?

This novel must become a crime classic. It has well portrayed and believable characters who conjure up the murky side of Irish life 60 years ago. The twists and turns in the plot keep the interest throughout the 400 pages. It is a thoroughly good story and has made me want to read the rest of the series.

MIKE YOUNG
Shipley Readers Group
18TH June 2012


Begins mysteriously and a little confusing but soon evolves into a menacing story of religious intrigue murder and corruption.7
Well drawn characters in an unusual crime story. 8

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