Benjamin Black

© Douglas Banville

(1945)

Behind this nom de plume, Booker Prize winner John Banville ventures into the world of crime fiction. 

Books
© Editions Robert Laffont, 2014

A Death in Summer

Mantle, 2011

Dublin, 1956: On a sweltering summer afternoon, newspaper tycoon Richard Jewell — known to his many enemies as Diamond Dick — is discovered with his head blown off by a shotgun blast. While his own paper portrays his death as the result of a cerebral haemorrhage, rumours begin to spread that he committed suicide. Detective Inspector Hackett, however, suspects murder and calls in his old friend Quirke for help with the investigation.

Jewell's coolly elegant French wife, Françoise, seems less than shocked by her husband's death. But Dannie, Jewell's high-strung sister, is devastated, and Quirke is surprised to learn that in her grief she has turned to an unexpected friend: David Sinclair, Quirke's ambitious assistant in the pathology lab at the Hospital of the Holy Family. Sinclair, in turn, has been seeing Quirke's fractious daughter Phoebe, and an unlikely romance is blossoming between the two. As a record heat wave envelops the city and the secret deals underpinning Diamond Dick's empire begin to be revealed, Quirke and Hackett find themselves caught up in a dark web of intrigue and violence that threatens to end in disaster.

Translated into

Catalan, French

Rights Contact
Rogers, Coleridge & White Literary Agency,
20 Powis Mews
London W11 1JN
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7221 3717
F: 0044 20 7229 9084
E: stephen@rcwlitagency.co.uk
W: www.rcwlitagency.co.uk
© Am Oved Publishing Ltd., 2010

Christine Falls

Picador, 2006

Christine Falls is the first in a new crime series penned by Benjamin Black. Quirke's pathology department, set deep beneath Dublin, is his own gloomy realm: always quiet, always night and always under his control. Until late one evening after a party he stumbles across a body that should not be there and his brother-in-law falsifying the corpse's cause of death. This is the first time Quirke has encountered Christine Falls, but the investigation he decides to lead into the way she lived and died uncovers a dark secret at the heart of the city's high Catholic network; one with the power to shake his own family and everything he holds dear.

Translated into

Bulgarian, Catalan, French, Hebrew

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Ed. Robert Laffont, 2013

Elegy for April

Henry Holt & Co., 2010

April Latimer, the daughter of one of the most respected families in the Irish capital, has vanished and her friend Phoebe Griffin suspects the worst. A junior doctor at a local hospital, April is something of a scandal in the conservative and highly patriarchal society of 1950s Dublin. Frantic, Phoebe seeks out Quirke, her brilliant but erratic father, and asks him for help. Sober again after intensive treatment for alcoholism, Quirke enlists his old sparring partner, Detective Inspector Hackett, in the search for the missing young woman. As Quirke becomes deeply involved in April's murky story, he encounters complicated and ugly truths about family savagery, Catholic ruthlessness, and race hatred.

Translated into

Italian, Catalan, French

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Em. Querido's Uitgeverij BV, 2017

Prague Nights

Viking, 2017

'The emperor's mistress had been murdered, and the world had been taken hold of and turned upon its head' Prague, 1599. Christian Stern, a young doctor, has just arrived in the city. On his first evening, he finds a young woman's body half-buried in the snow. The dead woman is none other than the emperor's mistress, and there's no shortage of suspects. Stern is employed by the emperor himself to investigate the murder. In the search to find the culprit, Stern finds himself drawn into the shadowy world of the emperor's court - unspoken affairs, letters written in code, and bitter rivalries. But there's no turning back now...

Translated into

Dutch

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Bromera, 2014

The Black-Eyed Blonde

Henry Holt & Co., 2014

Raymond Chandler’s incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career. “It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it’s being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere.” So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe—yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City’s richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune. Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today’s best crime fiction.

Translated into

Catalan

Rights Contact
A. M. Heath & Company Ltd,
6 Warwick Court
Holborn
London WC1R 5DJ
United Kingdom

T: 0044 207 242 2811
F: 0044 207 242 2711
W: www.amheath.com
© Kastaniotis Editions, 2011

The Lemur

Picador, 2008

William ‘Big Bill’ Mulholland is an Irish-American electronics billionaire. An ex-CIA operative, he now heads the Mulholland Trust with the help of his daughter Louise. When Mulholland gets wind of a hostile biography planned by journalist Wilson Cleaver, he commissions his daughter’s husband, John Glass, to pen the official line. But when Glass's shifty young researcher - a man he calls "The Lemur"- turns up some unflattering information about the family, their easy existence is threatened. Then the young man is murdered, and it's up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew, and who killed him, before any secrets come out - and before any other bodies appear.

Shifting from 1950s Dublin to contemporary New York, the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller which was first commissioned as a high profile serial by the New York Times Magazine.

 

Translated into

Greek

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Am Oved Publishers, 2013

The Silver Swan

Picador, 2007

Black's second thriller is set in 1950s Dublin, a corrupt time when Irish society was firmly in the grip of the Catholic church. When we re-encounter the world-weary pathologist Quirke, he is submerged in grief for the woman he loved, anticipating the death of a man he once admired, and struggling with his relationship with the daughter he for so long denied. His interest is awakened, however, by what looks like the suicide of the wife of an old acquaintance, and his troubles intensify from there...

Translated into

Bulgarian, Greek, Catalan, Hebrew

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
@ Edicions Bromera, 2013

Vengeance

Pan Macmillan, 2012

Like the previous four crime novels written by Banville under his pseudonym Benjamin Black, Vengeance conjures Dublin in the 1950s, but it begins in Slievemore, at the shared summer resort of the Delahaye and Clancy families. Victor Delahaye, one of Ireland's most successful businessmen, invites Davy Clancy, the son of his ambitious, womanizing buisness partner, to go sailing with him. Victor tells Davy a favourite cruel story about father-son loyalty, then pulls out a pistol and shoots himself in the chest.

Victor’s corpse is sent to Dublin, where Quirke becomes the case pathologist and, once again, assists Detective Inspector Hackett in solving the mystery behind this death. The stakes are high: Delahaye's prominence in business circles means that Hackett and Quirke must proceed very carefully. But then a second death occurs, this one even more shocking than the first, and quickly it becomes apparent that a terrible secret threatens to destroy the lives and reputations of those who knew Victor Delahaye.

Translated into

Catalan

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com