Friday Feature Week 21 – Snow by John Banville

Friday, November 6th, 2020

This week we are reading ‘Snow’ by John Banville. In ‘Snow’, Banville combines his literary fiction and crime writing and in doing so he sheds his ‘Benjamin Black‘ pen name to great success.

‘Snow’ tells 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.

‘Snow’ is available now in Kinsale Bookshop via our Click & Collect service. It can be can be ordered by phone (021 477 4244) or email ( and collected Monday to Saturday 12 noon to 3 pm at Kinsale Bookshop, 8 Main Street, Kinsale or delivery can be arranged.

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