cover image Holy Orders: A Quirke Novel

Holy Orders: A Quirke Novel

Benjamin Black. Holt, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9440-4

“Love was love, and always demanded more than a lover was capable of giving.” The profound melancholy of that sentiment permeates Black’s sixth Quirke novel set in 1950s Ireland (after 2012’s Vengeance). The discovery of the badly beaten body of journalist Jimmy Minor, a friend of Quirke’s daughter Phoebe, in a Dublin canal presents the pathologist with a highly personal case. Quirke, for whom happiness is one of “those words… the meaning of which he could never quite grasp,” and his friend on the force, Inspector Hackett, follow a trail that brings them into conflict with the Catholic Church. The solid detecting, as the doctor and the detective try to figure out what story Minor was pursuing that may have led to his death, will keep readers engaged, but the book’s power stems from its multifaceted lead. Black is the pen name for Man Booker Prize–winner John Banville. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Literary Agency (U.K.). (Aug.)