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Holy Orders: Quirke Mysteries Book 6 Hardcover – 4 Jul 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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£16.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mantle; Main Market Ed. edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447202171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447202172
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.6 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 335,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Named One of the 10 Best Mysteries of 2013 by "The Wall Street Journal""Absorbing... The murder mystery is solved, after its startling fashion, in due time--but not before Mr. Black has worked his lyrical magic at fine length, in scenes that unfold with a poet's grace.... Long may we wander Dublin's damp streets in the dour doctor's melancholy presence."--"The Wall Street Journal""Sophisticated... Banville is arguably one of the finest prose stylists writing in English today."--"The Atlantic" Wire"It is doubtful that anyone can write as well as Benjamin Black when it comes to a psychological mystery... And it is significant that the silken skill with which he writes of past and present death matches the literary talent that marked the author in his incarnation as John Banville, winner of the Man Booker Prize."--"The Washington Times""["Holy Orders"] starts and ends as strongly as the best of the Quirkes...This book may well introduce many readers to the series, as it is sure to get major attention this year when the BBC airs in Great Britain its production of Black's work. It stars Gabriel Byrne as Black's protagonist, the dour, self-hating, sometimes alcoholic pathologist, Quirke, in 1950s Dublin."--"St. Louis Post-Dispatch""Outstanding . . . Black (nom de plume for the Quirke books by acclaimed Irish author John Banville) has turned in his most complex plot yet in "Holy Orders," the sixth book in this 1950s-Dublin-set series."--"The Star-Ledger "(New Jersey)"[Quirke] appears for a seventh time in Black's gripping, terrific new novel, "Holy Orders." . . Although it shares the vivid settings, evocative mood and striking characters of the earlier Quirke novels, "Holy Orders" has a tighter, more intricate plot."--"The Tampa Bay Times""Banville's knack for drawing the reader in with a good story remains forcefully intact."--The Daily Beast"Black masterfully evokes an Ireland in the iron grip of Mother Church...Quirke, a product of his environm

Book Description

The latest compelling Quirke Dublin mystery

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It's hard to describe Black's crime novels. The pleasure is to be found as much in any one individual sentence as it is over the whole plot. The writing is gorgeous - thick, poetic, languid, written for its own sake. The impressions created by the sentences, one upon the other, are stunning, and again are as important as anything related to the actual story. The plots themselves flow like rivers, almost pre-determinedly, uncomplicatedly, inevitably. They move quietly from one event with the next, with very little flashiness or show. These are not novels, really, for fans who primarily want a lot of plot. That's not Black's intention. There's a sense I get when reading these novels of just quietly watching, as if people on a street.

This entry is the strongest in the series so far. Of course, Ireland is redolent with religion and its past crimes, and this novel addresses that as directly as any of Black's have before. As they inevitably would have to, given Quirke's background - the background machinations of the church are deliciously, quietly sinister. The ending is fantastic.
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By Bluecashmere. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't begin to rival RachelW's review which for me captures the very essence of Black's Quirke novels.

We are not taken on a roller coaster ride gripping the edge of our seats and scarcely breathing with tension. Rather we savour each moment owing to the quality of the writing and the evocation of a world palpably alive. At times I think Black is inclined to gild the lily when it comes to his love of images; "his heart had come loose for a second and dropped and bounced, like a ball attached to elastic". Here, and occasionally elsewhere we may smile, albeit a little superciliously. Nonetheless, for the most part the texture of the writing is dense and often strikingly original. Phoebe remains my favourite character - a genuine original.

This is the sixth and last of the Quirke novels to date. Already I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms. This response is all the sharper because "Holy Orders" seems to me the best of them all.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to describe Black's crime novels. The pleasure is to be found as much in any one individual sentence as it is over the whole plot. The writing is gorgeous - thick, poetic, languid, written for its own sake. The impressions created by the sentences, one upon the other, are stunning, and again are as important as anything related to the actual story. The plots themselves flow like rivers, almost pre-determinedly, uncomplicatedly, inevitably. They move quietly from one event with the next, with very little flashiness or show. These are not novels, really, for fans who primarily want a lot of plot. That's not Black's intention. There's a sense I get when reading these novels of just quietly watching, as if people on a street.

This entry is the strongest in the series so far. Of course, Ireland is redolent with religion and its past crimes, and this novel addresses that as directly as any of Black's have before. As they inevitably would have to, given Quirke's background - the background machinations of the church are deliciously, quietly sinister. The ending is fantastic.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was delighted to learn there was a sixth Quirke novel in the offing and placed my order in advance. When "Holy Orders" arrived on my Kindle I had to resist opening it until I was on holiday. Once opened, I couldn't leave it alone. Quirke is back, still drinking, still flinching from the abuse he underwent during his childhood in the religious-run orphanage, and still ill at ease with his daughter. The Quirke novels do not provide a trail of clues about the identity of the murderer to tease the reader or confirm her cleverness: rather they indict the hypocrisy and cruelty of 1950s' Ireland. There are occasional instances of kindness and self-sacrifice but overall Dublin is depicted as a bleak place.
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Format: Hardcover
. . the bite, that is, of well-constructed detective fiction. Despite all the blurbs on my paperback cover about how great the plot is, I'm here to tell you that the plot here is really quite perfunctorily handled, and the identification of the killers is almost anti-climactic. What replaces it is "atmosphere," and Black (Banville) is very good at that. The book is very readable, and the writing is fresh and alert and lively, even when the characters are often not lively. So by all means give it a go -- it's not dull . . .

BUT be aware that the real focus of the writer's interest here is the inner lives of Quirke, Black's pathologist protagonist, and his daughter, Phoebe. In fact, when one is worrying about spoilers in writing about this novel, it isn't plot details that one is worrying about: it's about revealing possibly too much of Quirke's state of mind. That state of mind is vividly rendered, as is the behavior it occasions, and the reader of the Quirke series is likely to speculate on its relation to Quirke's history, going back to his days as a child in the care of the Catholic authorities at Carricklea. What isn't so clear is how this attention to Quirke's consciousness fits in with his solving of the mystery of the death with which the book opens -- the death of Jimmy Minor, a reporter and friend of Phoebe's, whose battered body is found in a canal in Chapter 1. Is it a distraction, as he works with Inspector Hackett to solve the mystery, or does it help him solve it? I don't think I'm giving much away when I say that it isn't a distraction, but it's not clear that it's a help.

Jimmy has left behind notes that indicate a couple of directions of inquiry for a story he was working on.
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