A Death in Summer

A Death in Summer

A Novel

Book - 2011 | First edition.
Average Rating:
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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. Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Fran©ʹoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death. But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter, Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the tow. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster. Set in the 1950s.
Publisher: ©2011.
New York :, Henry Holt and Co.,, [2011]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2011.
ISBN: 9781250002501
1250002508
9780805090925
0805090924
Characteristics: 308 pages ; 25 cm.
Alternative Title: Death in summer.
Summary: 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. Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Fran©ʹoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death. But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Further, Sinclair has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter, Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the tow. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster. Set in the 1950s.
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r
readerpat
Sep 12, 2016

A very good story set in Ireland. We don't discover who did the murder until the last few pages. Somehow it did not seem quite finished off but I did enjoy it and will read some more of Benjamin Black's books

m
mbleckman
Feb 12, 2012

Really enjoyed this book. I really like Christine Falls, but found the Silver Swan a bit to meandering and honestly a bit off-color for my taste. A Death in Summer really brought the story line back and developed the core characters. Black definitely exceeds my tolerance for dark plots at times, but the promise of reconciliation and redemption for the characters keeps me reading.

r
ravensview
Dec 28, 2011

This one well reviewed in paper, started with his first, Christine Falls. So-so - stopped after 40 pages.
And forgot to return it, so a fine too.Maybe should pick a later one.

e
EmilyEm
Sep 12, 2011

It's unseasonably warm this 1950s summer in Dublin. Inspector Hackett takes pathologist Quirke with him when he goes to investigate what's made to seem like the suicide of a prominent Dublin businessman. They find and interview the ever-so-cool Mrs. Jewell and her sister-in-law fragile Dannie. Clues take Quirke back to his orphanage past.

This is a wonderful mystery series, though I didn't care much for the last one ?Elegy for April'. Black, or John Banville, his real name, is in fine form in this one, bringing in all the family members those reading this series will grow fond of?flaws and all. Thankfully, Quirke is somewhat ?on the wagon' this book, making it easier for me to like him!

akarenina Aug 10, 2011

Very good. Sympathetic characters.

debwalker Jul 24, 2011

"The proof of a great writer is the ability to keep improving with every book, learning from even small mistakes, taking the story further. That’s what sets Benjamin Black’s Quirke mysteries at the top of the pile. Black, a.k.a. John Banville, already knew anything anyone needed to know about fiction when he wrote his first mystery. Now, on his fourth, he’s pruned and perfected his characters, his setting and his themes and he’s got the best Quirke novel so far and one of this year’s best mysteries.

"It’s Dublin in the fifties, a dour place with dour people. Inspector Hackett is summoned to the site of an apparent suicide. The dead man is press tycoon Richard Jewell – “Diamond Dick” to his familiars – and he’s missing his head, which has been blown off by the shotgun (a Purdey, Hatchett notes) he has clutched in his hands. Hackett isn’t convinced by the scene and he’s happy to see Quirke on the case. The pair meet with a less than grieving widow and a scatty sister, both with weak alibis. But they’re only two of the people who are cheered by Jewell’s timely death.

"There isn’t a useless adjective or unnecessary sentence in this brilliantly plotted and gorgeously written novel. Black never forgets that the characters drive the story and they are pitch perfect. Readers will love this book. Writers should takes notes."
Margaret Cannon
Globe & Mail July 20 2011

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