For someone who doesn't like hard liquor, Dr. Quirke manages very well at disguising this. In fact, the story is something of a disguise from the outset.
Altered death certificate, orphaned babies dispatched in secret to USA, an uncle, a father, a whole miasma of family members, each with a secret to hide, the Catholic Church with a secret to hide. There's more but the list is too long.
I'd never heard of the author nor did I buy the book because of his literary prowess once I'd read the blurb. I was intrigued by a crime story set in 1950s Dublin. And I was not disappointed.
I care not if the plot was fairly predictable since I was looking for atmosphere, characterization and a moving (in more ways than one) storyline. I loved the emotionally cold Quirke, a pathologist who, finally in his life, wanted to do something good, something which would make a difference. He does and it did - to every character in the book - and there are many.
The story is well reviewed elsewhere. Suffice for me to say that this is a book I throughly enjoyed. I read it in one sitting as I became involved in the route Quirke was taking. My only criticism is that the ending seemed rather a cop-out; I would have loved to have followed the results to their bitter end, if only to see if Quirke really had succeeded in his goal. We can only hope and, as the saying goes, 'it is better to travel in hope than...'!