I just read the 2007 noirish novel “Christine Falls” by Benjamin Black
(the pen name of Booker Prize-winning author John Banville). Set in
the 1950s in Dublin and in the Irish immigrant community in the Boston
area, the book follows the rather unwilling and desultory
investigation of a mysterious death by a hospital pathologist, a Dr.
Quirke, who uncovers a heinous scheme to export unwanted Irish babies
to orphanages in the U.S. I loved the writing, and the reluctance of
the author to turn the tale into a by-the-numbers mystery thriller.
Almost everything about the book confounds a reader’s expectations,
but it still functions as an entertaining read. I liked it so well I
quickly picked up and read the 2008 sequel, “The Silver Swan.”