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Summary

'The body is in the library,' Colonel Osborne said. 'Come this way.'

Following the discovery of the body of a well-loved parish priest at Ballyglass House - the Co Wexford family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family - Detective Inspector St John Strafford is called in from Dublin to investigate. 

Facing obstruction from all angles, Strafford is determined to identify the murderer. But, as the snow continues to fall over this ever expanding mystery, the people of Ballyglass are equally determined to keep their secrets.

©2020 John Banville (P)2020 Faber Audio

What listeners say about Snow

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Nothing new or interesting here.

No doubt that John Banville is a wonderful writer. However, Snow simply doesn’t cut it, especially in comparison to his other works. What starts as an intriguing whodunnit quickly descends into a long, tedious and ultimately fruitless saga about catholic priests doing what they always do. From the inciting incident it’s pretty obvious to guess what happened, which is why I was hoping some twists and turns along the way. Unfortunately it’s just a straight line to the bleeding obvious.

13 people found this helpful

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A treat for Benjamin Black fans..

John Banville has written detective stories for many years using the nom de plume Benjamin Black, but has come out of the shadows with Snow. It’s great to be reunited with Inspector Strafford, a terrific character, from BB’s previous country house mystery, The Secret Guests. We are also given tantalising glimpses of Chief Superintendent Hackett, with whom readers of Quirke will be familiar, and Quirke himself, although he remains, infuriatingly, off-stage.

John Banville has great fun playing with the country house genre “.. ‘It’s a library. It’s an actual fucking library, and there’s a body in it... ‘“ and drops some sly references to other Irish greats of the past. There’s a host of beautifully-observed characters and much dry humour, which is brought out brilliantly by Stanley Townsend. He’s a superb narrator, with impeccable timing and a wonderful range of accents. I could listen to him reading the telephone directory..

It’s all thoroughly enjoyable and atmospheric, and whodunnit and why they dunnit is signposted in letters ten feet high. This doesn’t matter, because the whole is so good, but the reason behind the murder is wearyingly predictable. John Banville’s apparent obsession with the damage wrought by the Catholic church in Ireland would appear to have some way still to go..

7 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

The plot became predictable very rapidly. The characters and their behaviour unbelievable. Such a shame.

5 people found this helpful

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I read this to celebrate of 2021's winter weather

I loved that there was an actual body in the library and the fact that John Banville is still preoccupied with the awful behaviour of catholic priests and the schism between the Irish.
I also really enjoyed the protagonists mental distractions
Great stuff

1 person found this helpful

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Thrilling

A wonderful elegantly written and beautifully read novel. So atmospheric, beguiling tight cast of characters. Not sure had heard Stanley Townsend read audiobook before but I admire him as an actor and was not disappointed. Feel this had had care and attention given by the producer. The cover picture sums it up perfectly.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

Wonderful sense of place and totally atmospheric. Banville at his best and beautifully read. I was actually sorry to finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful light but tasty concoction.

How effervescent and entertaining this novel is making the rather splendid writing seem to be effortless. Yes, we’ve heard the story many times before but the combination of such lyrical, engaging storytelling and the addition of such a whimsical and talented voice actor was so welcome during unique times.
And it felt really cold and full of Snow.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful evocative listen

Stanley Townsend narrates this murder mystery with his beautiful mellifluous voice. Could listen to him reading anything but this is a good story sparingly written, lovely descriptions of a time and a generation gone by. All the social Anglo Irish and rural Ireland mores neatly noted, fully deserves five stars

1 person found this helpful

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excellent book

very good not much usual choice of subject but enjoyed story and narration very much

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This is horrible

The story seemed to be going along OK but then it gives a detailed description of a paedophilic act. I am shocked and offended, and returning the book.