The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black Picador, HK$187 The sticker on the cover, announcing 'John Banville writing as Benjamin Black', may puzzle fans of the 2005 Man Booker Prize winner for The Sea. But the reason behind the pseudonym is simple: he wants to tell readers he is pursuing a different genre and not writing a melancholic, intellectual 'Banville novel'. The second of his Ben Black series, starring the pathologist investigator Quirke, indicates a successful split personality: The Silver Swan is pure entertainment. A whodunnit set in seedy 1950s Dublin, it begins with a university friend asking Quirke to forgo a postmortem examination on his wife, who has apparently committed suicide. He agrees not to slice her up 'like some sort of carcass', but then discovers a puncture mark on her arm that compels him to try to find answers. Discovering morphine and copious amounts of alcohol in the corpse, however, leads not to closure, but unlocks the door to a world of drug addiction, sexual vice and murder. Quirke doesn't need any more problems: he is already troubled by his daughter, who is mixed up with lowlifes. The Silver Swan will tempt readers to devour the book in one sitting. A slower pace would allow them to discover the craftsmanship behind the plot.