Named one of the Ten Best Mysteries of the Year by The Wall Street Journal.
The latest Quirke case opens 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 learns just how far the church and its supporters will go to protect their own interests.
In Holy Orders, Benjamin Black's inimitable creation, the endlessly curious Quirke brings a pathologist's unique understanding of death to unlock the most dangerous of secrets.
“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
“[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 breaks out of the pack... The latest book, Holy Orders, is just out. It’s an excellent addition to the series, opening with the murder of a reporter, a friend of sorts with Quirke’s daughter in previous books... Black is an excellent host.”
— WBUR (Boston NPR)
“Deceit, suspicion, jealousy, doubt: Banville and Black join, through Quirke and Phoebe, the ageless concerns of storytellers. Holy Orders freshens them. May my lack of plot details encourage you to encounter their treatment for yourself, for their evocation proves this to be the most powerful Quirke novel yet.”
— Pop Matters
“Strikingly detailed, psychologically intricate . . . Black succeeds brilliantly in delivering piquant social satire and chilling revelations of the church’s unholy power of the justice system and the press.”
“The solid detecting. . .will keep readers engaged, but the book’s power stems from its multifaceted lead.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A turning point in the series... While mortality permeates the novel, its real mystery is the mind of Quirke... For Black, the mystery of the human condition remains impenetrable.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“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 (“Barbara’s Picks”)