Books by Benjamin Black

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, most recently the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.

WOLF ON A STRING by Benjamin Black
Released: June 6, 2017

"Patient readers in no hurry will savor Black's dark, vivid mural of Prague at the turn of the 16th century."
The first night a young scholar arrives in Prague (in 1599) he becomes entangled in court intrigue and murder. Read full book review >
EVEN THE DEAD by Benjamin Black
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"From less than promising material, Black fashions a meticulously written installment notable for its palpable sense of place, a slate of fully drawn characters, and a meaningful denouement."
Solving a case has a profound effect on its investigator in this Dublin-set thriller. Read full book review >
Released: March 4, 2014

"The portrait of 1950s LA is less precise than Chandler's, but the aging, reflective Marlowe is appropriately sententious. A treat for fans, even if they end up throwing it across the room."
Man Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville, already disguised as mystery writer Black (Holy Orders, 2013, etc.), goes under even deeper cover to imitate Raymond Chandler in this flavorsome pastiche. Read full book review >
HOLY ORDERS by Benjamin Black
Released: Aug. 20, 2013

"The novel reads like a turning point in the series, for those who have read its predecessors, with resolution saved for subsequent volumes."
The sixth in a series of Irish mystery novels resolves its ostensible mystery, but deeper mysteries remain. Read full book review >
VENGEANCE by Benjamin Black
Released: Aug. 7, 2012

"Quirke remains a compelling mystery, perhaps to himself most of all, but initiates might better read these novels in order rather than starting here."
Another breezy read in the mystery series by a Dublin novelist whose more literary work is often considered "difficult." Read full book review >
A DEATH IN SUMMER by Benjamin Black
Released: July 5, 2011

"The parts are greater than the sum."
The son of a Dublin newspaper magnate is murdered in a thriller that has everything but a catalyst to set things spinning. Read full book review >
ELEGY FOR APRIL by Benjamin Black
Released: April 1, 2010

"This tale of two families—April's clearly dysfunctional, Quirke's nearly so—is the most conventional of the pathologist's three cases to date (The Silver Swan, 2008, etc.)."
Alcoholic Dublin pathologist Quirke emerges from rehab in the 1950s to an urgent request from his daughter Phoebe to find an even more troubled daughter. Read full book review >
THE LEMUR by Benjamin Black
Released: July 1, 2008

"If the book's big secret doesn't quite live up to its press notices, Black's prose is so mesmerizing—crisp, precise, alive with telling details—that you'll enjoy every step in the trail that leads there."
A man who's hired to dig up the bodies becomes one himself in this sly novella from Booker-winner John Banville's alter ego Black (The Silver Swan, 2008, etc.). Read full book review >
THE SILVER SWAN by Benjamin Black
Released: March 4, 2008

"And that death is either a period or a question mark."
Graham Greene made a distinction between his literary endeavors and the trifles he called "entertainments." Read full book review >
CHRISTINE FALLS by Benjamin Black
Released: March 6, 2007

"A good story, and gorgeous writing."
A boozy, bitter pathologist becomes a most unwilling detective when he uncovers a baby-trafficking scheme in Dublin in the 1950s. Read full book review >