Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £4.31

Save £3.68 (46%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

The Silver Swan: Quirke Mysteries Book 2 Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£4.31

Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of £5.99 after you buy the Kindle book.
Audible Narration: Ready

Get a Free Kindle Book
Between now and 26 February 2016 you can earn a free Kindle Book by simply downloading and registering the free Kindle reading app, buying a Kindle Book, or buying a book. Learn more
Get a £1 credit for movies or TV
Enjoy £1.00 credit to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase any Amazon Kindle ebook from the Kindle Store (excluding Kindle Unlimited, Periodicals and free Kindle ebooks) offered by Amazon.co.uk. A maximum of 1 credit per customer applies. UK customers only. Offer ends at on Friday, 26 February, 2016. Terms and conditions apply

Product Description

Review

'A bloody nexus of adultery, drug-taking, and sham spiritualism in 1950s Dublin.'
-- The Sunday Telegraph

'A novel of suspense that alters the way we see ourselves.'
-- John Gray

'The creeping sense of menace, corruption and existential despair is pure Banville and gives this tale...of betrayal its edge' -- Times

'a highly skilled novelist using the format on his own terms...fresh and original'
-- Guardian

Review

'An evocation of the rancid atmosphere of a muggy summer in a city full of furtive sinners'

'The 1950s Dublin setting...is rendered as sensuously as it would be in any novel by Banville'

'The creeping sense of menace, corruption and existential despair is pure Banville and gives this tale...of betrayal its edge'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 847 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Edit/Cover edition (30 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004L622X2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,175 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
There's been a bit of debate about the Benjamin Black books and whether they really count as detective novels, because they are written by Booker Prize-winning Irish author John Banville, and it's clear that he doesn't really feel the need to follow the crime thriller textbook structure to the letter.

Far from finding this annoying, though, I absolutely loved it. The book has a dark feel to it, with subcurrents of drug addiction, spiritual healing and sexual jealousy that are powerful and dramatic. Set in Dublin in the 1950s the book has such a strong flavour of a past long gone. I love the main character of Quirke, who is a tired pathologist with a drinking habit he's fighting to control and a past full of mistakes and wrong turns. And other characters reoccur from the first novel as well, in a satisfying way.

Banville is a great, great writer, and there's such a control in what he writes; every sentence is perfectly balanced and every scene I could see exactly in my head. This book has the same sense of controlled menace as there is in his best novels. I loved it, despite its profoundly melancholy atmosphere, and I would very very much recommend it.
Comment 31 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Incurably curious pathologist Quirke is back, in John Banville's second novel written as Benjamin Black. It's two years since the events of Christine Falls, and Quirke has given up the drink. He and his daughter aren't on good terms, his step-father's suffered a severe stroke, and his step-brother's lonely and mourning the death of his wife. A bleak picture in 50's Dublin, then. Things threaten to become even more interesting when Billy Hunt, an old school-friend Quirke barely remembers, calls him and asks a favour: his wife has been found drowned, a suspected suicide, and could Quirke please see that an autopsy is not performed. Billy can't bear the thought of his wife body under the pathologist's scalpel. Quirke, being Quirke, agrees but does one anyway after he notices a suspicious mark on the dead woman's skin. It seems he is right to be suspicious, but all that he finds only begs more questions, questions Quirke begins to worry away at, slowly picking his way through a puzzle of drugs, messy finances, and adultery, to reveal the answer.

It's possible that Banville is the best writer at work in the genre at the moment, in terms of artfulness at least. His prose is simply brilliant, gorgeous and evocative and poetic. The sentences he writes stun, the descriptions of the people and the city seem lovingly penned. However, there are moments when you get the sense he's working on autopilot with these books. Every now and then, a clunker, which would never happen in a book written under the real name. I read somewhere that he writes them very quickly, and if you were to compare the writing here to the writing in, for example, The Sea, I can certainly believe that.
Read more ›
Comment 7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Compared to many contemporary crime fiction novels, which have a relatively quick pace and are packed with melodrama or dramatic action, The Silver Swan is quite sedate. Benjamin Black’s (John Banville) style is understated, atmospheric drama, told with a steady cadence of unfussy prose. It is well suited to portraying the drab city streets of Dublin and the conservative and reserved society of Ireland in the 1950s and its hidden, seedy underbelly. The book hinges on two events that at first seemed unlikely: Quirke’s decision to lie about an autopsy and his withdrawn and distant daughter taking up with the victim’s flamboyant business partner. However, the first makes some sense when placed into the context of Ireland in the 1950s, when suicide carried significant stigma, and the second works well in terms of introducing a certain edge to what is generally a quite a flat story. The plot is nicely set out and the characters well drawn, with Quirke a reticent, taciturn and troubled investigator. Overall, a tale that takes a different path to most crime fiction.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Extremely well written. Interesting and well drawn characters. I have now read all the Quirke books but rather stupidly not in the order in which they were written. I would strongly recommend new readers to read them in sequence although they make good reading as stand alone volumes. Atmospheric, quite slow in pace but the writing in the 'slow bits' is so good that my attention and interest never flagged. For those who don't know Quirke is a Dublin pathologist with a serious drink problem, a weakness for the ladies and, above all, an insatiable curiosity which gets him into all sorts of trouble.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Banville (aka Benjamin Black) is an award-winning Irish writer whose elegant style and breadth of language can be wonderful. Few contemporary writers can match his "The Book of Evidence" for example. Here, however Banville has not only inexplicably changed his name but also his style, turning his skills to the racy detective novel. Unfortunately, he fails, unable to adapt to the genre where there are already many great writers, Ian Rankin being for me the best. The main character is a pathologist called Quirke, who strangely and unbelievably acts as a detective. The police on the other hand are equally unbelievable in showing an almost complete lack of interest in the death of a woman in strange circumstances. The dialogue is often flat, utterly clichéd and blunt, leaving nothing for the reader to discern. This reader was at times left laughing at the corny nature and abrupt ending of some of the exchanges. Moreover, Black goes seriously adrift in his drawing of working-class life in what we're led to believe is 1950s Dublin. Cliché is no substitute for empathy.
Comment 5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Customer Discussions