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Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Didn't Fall for This Book

Christine Falls by Benjamin Black  (aka John Baneville)

It's 1950s Dublin and Christine Falls is dead.  Dublin pathologist, Quirke, in a somewhat inebriated state, stumbles upon his brother-in-law rewriting the file for this dead woman, who is due for an autopsy the next day.  The next day, her body is missing with no trace of its ever being in the morgue.  The search for the truth will bring this brooding and depressed pathologist as far as away as Boston and as close as the secret affairs of his own family and Church. 

This is a very dark mystery with a protagonist who is not perfect, but doesn't even seem to try to be half-way decent.  It was hard for me to root for him because he seemed so ambivalent about his downward spiral, but yet he was driven to discover the truth of this mystery.  I didn't understand why he wanted to find the truth out so badly until the end of the book, but I wonder why he even started in the first place.  Though there are some priests and nuns portrayed as evil people, I didn't object to this as I do sometimes.  Other books I've had a problem with presented the religious as evil or hypocritical, etc. simply as a jab at the Church, but I don't feel that was the case in this plot. 

There were several times when I thought I had things figured out and then would realise I definitely didn't.  But the overall dark tone to the story just didn't appeal to me.  There are also several instances of casual sex that didn't seem necessary to me or even to make a whole lot of sense of why they happened.

If you like mysteries and especially dark mysteries, you may very well like this book.  Those who enjoy family secrets and intrigue would also have a good read with this book.  If you think you might be interested in this book, it is available as an ebook at for only $2.99 right now.

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