Benjamin Black is the pen name of the Booker Award winning-novelist John Banville. The author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed series of Quirke novels --- CHRISTINE FALLS, THE SILVER SWAN, ELEGY FOR APRIL, A DEATH IN SUMMER, VENGEANCE and HOLY ORDERS --- he lives in Dublin.
It is the early 1950s, Philip Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. In walks a beautiful young woman who wants Marlowe to find her former lover, Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City’s richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.
In 1950s Ireland, the Catholic Church controls the lives of nearly everyone. But when Quirke’s daughter Phoebe loses her close friend Jimmy Minor to murder, Quirke can no longer play by the Church’s rules. Along with Inspector Hackett, his sometime partner, Quirke investigates Jimmy’s death and learns just how far the Church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.
Victor Delahaye, one of Ireland's most successful businessmen, kills himself while sailing with his partner's son. Detective Inspector Hackett calls upon the services of his sometime partner Quirke, consultant pathologist at the Hospital of the Holy Family. But when a second death occurs, this one even more shocking than the first, it quickly becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of several members of Dublin's elite.
On a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell --- known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick --- is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast. But is it suicide or murder? For help with the investigation, Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke, who has unusual access to Dublin's elite.