Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Fury. Now that I’ve read the crime novel by John Banville titled, Snow, I remain unsure about exactly what the writer is up to. Banville had been writing crime fiction under a pseudonym, Benjamin Black, often imitating the style of Raymond Chandler. He presented a terrific protagonist, pathologist Garrett Quirke, and loyal readers enjoyed a series of novels featuring the increasingly complex Quirke. Banville has dropped the pseudonym and pulled a minor character, St. John Strafford, from one of the Quirke novels and gives him a book of his own. Detective Inspector Strafford has been sent from Dublin to County Wexford to investigate the murder of a priest. What follows is the fury that is a consequence of sexual abuse, both religious and class divisions, and the influence of the Catholic Church in 1957 when the novel is set. Instead of being a well-structured crime novel with a strong protagonist, or a finely written literary novel, we have something of a hybrid which may not satisfy fans of either genre. I was entertained enough but remain a bit bewildered by exactly what Banville was trying to do here. Rating: Four-star (I like it) Click here to purchase Snow from amazon.com.