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Richard Jewell

Book review: 'A Death in Summer' by Benjamin Black

Book review: 'A Death in Summer' by Benjamin Black

It starts with a dead man. Rich, powerful and headless, Richard Jewell is sprawled across his desk, his hands still grasping one of his well-polished shotguns.

There is no small amount of glee in Benjamin Black's description of the scene — "he lay with a bit of jawbone and a few teeth and a bloodied stump of spine, all that was left of what had been his head" — and that's partly because he's the pulpy alter-ego of Irish novelist John Banville. Known for his layered, intelligent writing, the Man Booker Prize-winning author sets aside literary ambitions and dons a black fedora when he becomes Benjamin Black, detective novelist.

"A Death in Summer," Black's...

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