|John Banville, aka Benjamin Black|
"The quirks of Quirke are reassuringly familiar. He is known only by his surname (Dexter's Morse), is an alcoholic chainsmoker (Rankin's Rebus), loves poetry (PD James's Dalgleish), has a difficult relationship with a daughter (Mankell's Wallander) and has difficulty in sustaining relationships (everyone's everyone). Even the fact that, although a pathologist, his involvement in cases goes well beyond the dissection of the body nods to the convention of the forensic investigator popularised by Silent Witness and Waking the Dead on television and Patricia Cornwell in print."While these books may not have the same familiarity among crime-fiction readers as those of some of the authors mentioned by Lawson, they stand out due to their literary quality and to Benjamin Black's devotion to character.
I recently received an ARC of Benjamin Black's newest novel Vengeance (published in the US in August and reviewed in my next post) and started reading it, but I was so confused! I had no clue as to who these people are and their backstories, and it drove me a little crazy. Some years back I had read his Christine Falls and The Silver Swan, but hundreds of books in between later, my recollection of what had happened in those novels was totally nil. So to do Vengeance justice, I grabbed the four Quirke novels I already have and decided to read them in one lump, then wrote a post about them over on the crime side of my reading journal blog. If you're at all interested, feel free to pop over and take a look. I love these books -- I don't always like Banville, but I do love Black.