Black, Benjamin (aka John Banville) - CHRISTINE FALLS

CHRISTINE FALLS (Mystery-Quirke-Ireland-1950s) – Good
Black, Benjamin (aka John Banville) – Standalone
Picador, 2006, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 0330445316

First Sentence: She was glad it was the evening mailboat she was taking, for she did not think she could have faced a morning departure.

Pathologist Quirke returns to his office one night and finds his pediatrician brother-in-law making notations in the dead woman’s chart. But Quirke doubts the cause of death listed, investigates and finds the woman died of childbirth. Quirke’s determination to discover what is going on leads him to Dublin society, and a Catholic Orphanage and remarkable conspiracy.

This was my first experience with Black/Banville’s writing. His strength is definitely the character development of his protagonist. Unfortunately, that was the only character who was fully developed. The plot was fairly obvious each step of the way and the pace almost painfully slow. The end motive was somewhat beyond credible. For all that, the story did keep me reading, mainly because of the character of Quirke.

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