cover image El Otro Nombre de Laura = The Silver Swan

El Otro Nombre de Laura = The Silver Swan

John Banville, Benjamin Black. Alfaguara, $24.99 (360pp) ISBN 978-987-04-1054-6

Black, the pen name of Booker Prize-winning author John Banville (The Sea), [offers his] second atmospheric crime novel starring Quirke, a 1950s Dublin pathologist and unlikely hero. This novel opens with the death of a young woman, the owner of a seemingly successful beauty salon called the Silver Swan. Her body is found in the river, her clothing neatly folded at the edge of the water. The distraught husband, not wanting his beautiful wife's body harmed, asks Quirke to bypass the standard postmortem. Upon examining it, Quirke quickly notices a puncture mark visible on the dead woman's arm. And so Quirke's descent into darkness begins. Black/Banville is a master of atmosphere; the fear and dread associated with hidden desires and deeds fairly leap off the page. Highly recommended for all public libraries. LJ 2/1/08