Things haven't been going well at Ballyglass House for some time. Colonel Osborne puts up a good front, but the estate is badly in need of repairs. His second wife wanders the place at night like a restless ghost. His rebellious daughter is carrying on with the brutish hired man and his son is about to abandon medical school to pursue a life of beachcombing. The last thing the colonel needs is a murdered priest in the library, something that is especially frowned upon in Ireland. John Banville introduces readers to Detective Inspector St. John Strafford in this literate, hugely entertaining mystery set in snow-shrouded County Wexford, where the author manages to travel down some errant theological paths that have been slashed into the brilliant white landscape. — Alden Graves
The incomparable Booker Prize winner's next great crime novel--the story of a family whose secrets resurface when a parish priest is found murdered in their ancestral home Detective Inspector St. John Strafford has been summoned to County Wexford to investigate a murder. A parish priest has been found dead in Ballyglass House, the family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family. The year is 1957 and the Catholic Church rules Ireland with an iron fist. Strafford--flinty, visibly Protestant and determined to identify the murderer--faces obstruction at every turn, from the heavily accumulating snow to the culture of silence in the tight-knit community he begins to investigate. As he delves further, he learns the Osbornes are not at all what they seem. And when his own deputy goes missing, Strafford must work to unravel the ever-expanding mystery before the community's secrets, like the snowfall itself, threaten to obliterate everything. Beautifully crafted, darkly evocative and pulsing with suspense, Snow is "the Irish master" (New Yorker) John Banville at his page-turning best.