Holy Orders: Book summary and reviews of Holy Orders by Benjamin Black

Holy Orders

A Quirke Novel

By Benjamin Black

Holy Orders
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2013,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

"At first they thought it was the body of a child. Later, when they got it out of the water and saw the pubic hair and the nicotine stains on the fingers, they realized their mistake."

So begins the latest Quirke case, a story set in Dublin at a moment when newspapers are censored, social conventions are strictly defined, and appalling crimes are hushed up. Why? Because in 1950s Ireland the Catholic Church controls the lives of nearly everyone. But when Quirke's daughter Phoebe loses her close friend Jimmy Minor to murder, Quirke can no longer play by the Church's rules. Along with Inspector Hackett, his sometime partner, Quirke investigates Jimmy's death and learns just how far the Church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.

Haunting, fierce, and brilliantly plotted, this is Benjamin Black writing at the top of his form. His inimitable creation, the endlessly curious Quirke, brings a pathologist's unique understanding of death to unlock the most dangerous of secrets.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The solid detecting, as the doctor and the detective try to figure out what story Minor was pursuing that may have led to his death, will keep readers engaged, but the book's power stems from its multifaceted lead." - Publishers Weekly

"Even if Gabriel Byrne weren't starring in a new BBC series based on the Quirke novels by Benjamin Black (John Banville's alter ego), fans will be clamoring for this latest in the popular series." - Library Journal

"Though most intrigued with the mysteries of the mind, Black succeeds brilliantly in delivering piquant social satire and chilling revelations of the church's unholy power over the justice system and the press." - Booklist

"The novel reads like a turning point in the series, for those who have read its predecessors, with resolution saved for subsequent volumes." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Benjamin Black Author Biography

Photo © Jerry Bauer

Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.

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