The badly beaten and mangled body of what appears to be a child is found in a Dublin canal by an oddly matched couple who don't really want to wait around to talk to the police. When pathologist Quirke confronts the body in the morgue, he's shocked to learn that he recognizes the young man, a friend of sorts of Quirk's daughter Phoebe. Redheaded Jimmy is a muckraking journalist. To solve the case of what's obviously murder, Quirke and his sometime friend Inspector Hackett follow the clues of the cases Jimmy's been working on lately. Jimmy's left the countryside of his origins for the big lights of 1950s Dublin to make his fortune and do good works, but never expected that to lead to his death. Quirke and Hackett visit the camp of the tinkers (Romany), who seem to know more than they want to tell about Jimmy. Meanwhile, Phoebe's visited by Jimmy's younger sister Sally, who's gone to London to live, but returned when she hears of his death. Quirke, growing up in a Catholic orphanage, has his own take on the Catholic powers that be in Ireland. He and Hackett visit the camp of one of the most powerful Tinkers, who refuses to talk, but makes clear he wields power. One of the priests spends a lot of time at the camp, trying to help the youth; the chief won't let them talk to him because he's preparing to leave for an African mission soon. Quirk goes to the camp on his own and talks to one of the women of the leader, who explains the situation, and warns Quirke to stay out of the situation. Shortly, this priest approaches Quirke in a pub and warns him off as well. Sally and Phoebe become friends, but their friendship becomes dangerous to them both, and Sally heads back to London. Phoebe tells her father, and he's able to pick her up before more harm can come to her. Another very powerful book, though again I read out of order because this was the one I could get. To Quirke, the case proves the negative power of the Church. To Phoebe, as for Jimmy, it proves the hope that lies beyond this power. Highly recommended.
New author for me. Book was good even though set in the 50s. Quirke investigates the death of a friend of his daughters and finds things are not as they seem. touches on religion of the day and much soul searching. I will try another of Black's books.
Didn't like Black's style at all and his period setting lacked a good deal of authenticity.
The most interesting of the series. Shows what an iron grip the Catholic Church had on every aspect of society, including crime.
2013 audiobook - will be available thru minn link SIXTH BOOK IN QUIRKE SERIES
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