Quirke (TV Series) Episode 3 – Elegy for April


I’ve recently watch the third and, so far, final episode in Quirke TV series, Elegy for April, directed by Jim O’Hanlon, adapted by Conor McPherson and starring Gabriel Byrne (Quirke), Michael Gambon (Judge Garret Griffin), Geraldine Somerville (Sarah Griffin), Nick Dunning (Malachy Griffin), Aisling Franciosi (Phoebe Griffin), Brian Gleeson (Sinclair), Stanley Townsend (Inspector Hackett), Sara Stewart (Rose Crawford), Colin Morgan (Jimmy Minor), Ian McElhinney (Bill Latimer), Obi Abili (Patrick Ojukwu), Bernadette McKenna (Margaret), Barbara Adair (Mrs. Leetch), Flora Montgomery (Isabel Galloway), Aidan McArdle (Oscar Latimer), Dearbhla Molloy (Celia Latimer) and Denis Conway (Fr. Anselm)

Synopsis: Quirke is fighting a battle with grief and drink – and losing heavily – while Phoebe is forging a new life for herself with the help of a group of oddly-assorted friends: Isabel Galloway, shining light of the Gate Theatre; reporter Jimmy Minor whose crush on Phoebe goes entirely unnoticed by her; and junior doctors April Latimer and the exotic Patrick Ojukwu, a Nigerian prince who has discovered that 1950s Ireland is an uncomfortable place to be a stranger. As the story opens Phoebe is worried that April hasn’t been heard from in over a week. The rest of the gang is not much surprised, sure that she has gone to London to get ‘the usual trouble’ fixed, but Phoebe is not convinced. Lonely herself, and desperate for deeper connections in her life, she asks Quirke for help, and Quirke, eager to reconnect with his daughter and to keep his own demons at bay, is quick to give it. With the help of Inspector Hackett of the Gardai he discovers evidence in April’s flat that someone, presumably April, had lost a lot of blood there, yet when this alarming news is reported to April’s well-connected family the response is not what he expects. As the Latimers close ranks, Quirke finds himself alone in pursuit of the missing girl and involved in a world where race and class determine who the spotlight shines on and who is left alone. (Source: BBC One Quirke)

Probably this is the best episode in the series. It helps the fact we are more familiar with some of the characters and we have a better knowledge of their background. In my view, there is no doubt that the book is by far superior but nevertheless the TV series is above average and is worth watching it.

Latest Entries On My Wish List

I’ve barely had time to catch up on my readings, when the following books have caught my attention:

Preserve The Dead (DS Lucy Black Book 2) by Brian McGilloway (Serpent’s Tail)

Rain Dogs: Sean Duffy 5 by Adrian McKinty (Corsair)

Blade of Light aka A Beam of Light (The Inspector Montalbano Mysteries) by Andrea Camilleri (Mantle)

Even Dogs in the Wild (Inspector Rebus) by Ian Rankin (Orion)

The Crossing by Michael Connelly (Little Brown)

Icarus (Benny Griessel) by Deon Meyer (Hodder & Stoughton)

I’m positive that, at this moment, I’m leaving behind many more that I’m also eager to read.

Review: Elegy for April by Benjamin Black

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Picador, 2011 Format: Paperback Edition. First published in 2010 by Mantle, ISBN: 9781447237334 Pages: 352.


After a six-months drinking binge, Quirke has spent the last two months in rehabilitation at St John’s. In fact, his brother-in-law Malachy Griffin managed to persuade him into entering voluntarily. During this time, his daughter Phoebe Griffin visits him regularly. The day in which Quirke is getting ready to leave his confinement, Phoebe tells him she is very much worried about her friend April Latimer. Phoebe hasn’t heard from her for almost a week and they have the habit of talking regularly over the phone, when they can’t see each other. Phoebe is convinced that something wrong has happened to her friend. April, a junior doctor, is also one of those Latimers, her father was Conor Latimer, a national hero who fought in the War of Independence, and her uncle is the Minister of Health. However April is considered the black sheep of her family and neither her mother nor her brother Oscar Latimer, a prominent physician, have the slightest interest to know her whereabouts. For some time now, they have both stopped worrying about April and little can be done without the willingness of the family in a matter like this. In fact, they will do whatever it takes to prevent a formal investigation, and keep this issue far from the newspapers to avoid a scandal. Moreover, nobody in the inner circle of friends of April and Phoebe knows where she may have gone or where can be found. As time passes, Phoebe is increasingly concerned, and she fears the worst.

Elegy for April is the third instalment in the series after Christine Falls and The Silver Swan; to access my review, just click on the book title. The narration is in the third person and the point of view switches sometimes among Quirke, Phoebe and, occasionally, other characters. As customary in these books, Elegy for April is superbly well-written and offers the readers an outstanding description of Dublin in the 50’s. Besides, in my view, this novel is the best of the three, so far. Maybe because the characters are better drawn and even the plot is slightly better developed, despite some flaws, or at least that has seemed to me. In any case, it can be highlighted that John Banville as Benjamin Black, and this is to be welcomed, has included in this novel some touches of humour, without setting aside the dark tone we are used to in his books. Its unhurried cadence serves well to the story. If Christine Falls revolves around the illegal adoption of children born to single mothers or simply as a result of an unwanted pregnancy, and The Silver Swan deals mainly with the difficulties that women have to develop themselves as individuals, particularly when they lack the means and the adequate education to achieve their own independence; Elegy for April shifts the attention to the personal background of the characters without leaving aside other social issues.

My rating: A (I loved it)    

In 2006 John Banville started writing a series of crime novels under the pen name of Benjamin Black. These are written in a much more fluid style and centre around a state pathologist called Quirke. The latest instalment in the series, Even the Dead, has been released on 28 May 2015 by Penguin

Elegy for April has been reviewed at Euro Crime (Laura Root), Reviewing the evidence (Karla Jay), The Black Sheep Dances (Amy), The crime segments, A Quirke Quadruplet (NancyO), The Irish Times (David Park)


Macmillan Publisher

Benjamin Black Official Website

Elegy for April by Benjamin Black – Audiobook excerpt

Read an Extract  

En busca de April de Benjamin Black 


Después de seis meses de consumo excesivo de alcohol, Quirke ha pasado los dos últimos meses en rehabilitación en el San Juan. De hecho, su cuñado Malachy Griffin logró persuadirlo a ingresar voluntariamente. Durante este tiempo, su hija Phoebe Griffin lo visita regularmente. El día en el que Quirke se está preparando para abandonar su encierro, Phoebe le dice que está muy preocupada por su amiga April Latimer. Phoebe no ha sabido nada de ella desde hace casi una semana y tienen la costumbre de hablar regularmente por teléfono, cuando no pueden verse. Phoebe está convencida de que algo malo le ha sucedido a su amiga. April, una médico residente, es también una de esos Latimers, su padre era Conor Latimer, un héroe nacional que luchó en la Guerra de independencia, y su tío es el Ministro de Sanidad. Sin embargo April está considerada la oveja negra de su familia y ni su madre ni su hermano Oscar Latimer, un médico prominente, tienen el más mínimo interés por conocer su paradero. Desde hace algún tiempo, ambos han dejado de preocuparse por April y poco se puede hacer sin la voluntad de la familia en una cuestión como ésta. De hecho van a hacer lo que sea necesario para evitar una investigación formal, y mantener este asunto lejos de los periódicos para evitar un escándalo. Por otra parte, nadie en el círculo íntimo de amistades de April y Phoebe sabe dónde puede haber ido o dónde se puede encontrar. A medida que pasa el tiempo, Phoebe está cada vez más preocupada, y se teme lo peor.

En busca de April es la tercera entrega de la serie después de El secreto de Christine y El otro nombre de Laura; para acceder a mi reseña, simplemente haga clic en el título del libro. La narración está en tercera persona y el punto de vista cambia a veces entre Quirke, Phoebe y, ocasionalmente, otros personajes. Como es habitual en estos libros, En busca de April está magníficamente bien escrita y ofrece a los lectores, una descripción excelente de Dublín en los años 50. Además, en mi opinión, esta novela es la mejor de las tres. Tal vez porque los personajes están mejor dibujados e incluso la trama está un poco mejor desarrollada, o al menos eso me ha parecido. En cualquier caso, se puede destacar que John Banville como Benjamin Black, y esto es de agradecer, ha incluido en esta novela algunos toques de humor, sin dejar de lado el tono oscuro al que nos tiene acostumbrados en sus libros. Su cadencia pausada sirve bien a la historia. Si El secreto de Christine gira en torno a la adopción ilegal de niños nacidos de madres solteras o simplemente como resultado de un embarazo no deseado, y El otro nombre de Laura se ocupa principalmente de las dificultades que tienen las mujeres para desarrollarse como individuos, sobre todo cuando carecen de los medios y de la educación adecuada para lograr su propia independencia; En busca de April desplaza la atención a los antecedentes personales de los personajes sin dejar de lado otras cuestiones sociales.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

En el 2006 John Banville comenzó a escribir una serie de novelas negras bajo el seudónimo de Benjamin Black. Éstas están escritos en un estilo mucho más fluido y se centran alrededor de un patólogo oficial del estado llamado Quirke. La última entrega de la serie, Even the Dead, ha sido publicada el 28 de mayo del 2015 por Penguin.


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