'Banville's literary skill shines through, and the atmosphere of 1950s Dublin, a city riddled with bigotry and double standards, is perfectly portrayed.' --Books Quarterly
'As always, Black's Ireland is simultaneously drab and darkly dangerous, but as his fans (or those of his more rarefied alter ego John Banville) will expect, flinty humour lightens the darkness and diamond-sharp prose puts the quotidian in a new light.' --Daily Telegraph
'The plot is relatively uncomplicated, the author seeming less concerned with fancy footwork than with holding the reader's attention with gorgeously precise and expressive prose, which he does superbly' --The Guardian Review
`Quirke is an endearing hero and, as in the previous two novels in which he appears, the Dublin of the 1950s - wet, cold, foggy, sinister - is evoked with harsh realism and nostalgia... Elegy for April is a beguiling read.' --The Times
'This is an interesting and accurate take on mid-twentieth-century Ireland, a chilly place for cheerless people in a corrupt society... beautiful writing' --Literary Review
'Classy writing by a fine prose stylist.'
'The evocations of a fog-swathed 1950s Dublin are exquisite' --Metro
1950s Ireland. As a deep, bewildering fog cloaks Dublin, a young woman is found to have vanished. When Phoebe Griffin, still haunted by the horrors of her past, is unable to discover news of her friend; Quirke, fresh from drying out in an institution, responds to his daughters request for help. But as Phoebe, Quirke and Inspector Hackett speak with those who knew April, they begin to realise that there may have been more behind the young womans discretion and secrecy than they could have imagined. And while Quirke finds himself distracted from his sobriety by a beautiful young actress, Phoebe watches helplessly as Aprils family hush up her disappearance, terrified of a scandal; and all possible leads seem to dry up, bar one she cannot bear to contemplate . . . When Quirke eventually makes a disturbing discovery, he is finally able to begin unravelling the great, complex web of love, lies, jealousy and dark secrets that April spun her life from . . .