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The clue is in the name
on 15 June 2014
That forms the title of this slow burning but ultimately fulfilling mini-series, based on the books by Benjamin Black (aka John Banville). The eponymous Quirke lives up to his name, as played by Gabriel Byrne: haunted and troubled by the kind of early life experiences only at first hinted at but gradually, as the series progresses, revealed in all their sordid glory.
Quirke, the errant prodigal son of a prominent Dublin judge, (Michael Gambon) is a pathologist who becomes a little too interested in the erstwhile lives of his horizontal clients. His delving into areas that, ostensibly, are not his concern, soon brings him into conflict with powerful interests that are closer to home than he could possibly have imagined.
This is a dark, brooding but evocative trip to fifties Dublin and the murky world of the Catholic Church where secrets unearthed bring to light the full truth of its suffocating, corrosive, stultifying and all pervasive influence on the lives of its captives.
The look is appropriately (n)oirish, the characters outlandish and Byrne brings to Quirke's tormented soul an oddly impish quality that offsets, what might otherwise be considered, the somewhat hackneyed traits of the alcoholic, which adds to the character's allure.
For me it doesn't quite hit the Nordic Noir spot - but it's not far off!