Even the Dead: Book summary and reviews of Even the Dead by Benjamin Black

Even the Dead

A Quirke Novel

by Benjamin Black

Even the Dead by Benjamin Black X
Even the Dead by Benjamin Black
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2016
    304 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

A suspicious death, a pregnant woman suddenly gone missing: Quirke's latest case leads him inexorably toward the dark machinations of an old foe.

Perhaps Quirke has been down among the dead too long. Lately the Irish pathologist has suffered hallucinations and blackouts, and he fears the cause is a brain tumor. A specialist diagnoses an old head injury caused by a savage beating; all that's needed, the doctor declares, is an extended rest. But Quirke, ever intent on finding his place among the living, is not about to retire.

One night during a June heat wave, a car crashes into a tree in central Dublin and bursts into flames. The police assume the driver's death was either an accident or a suicide, but Quirke's examination of the body leads him to believe otherwise. Then his daughter Phoebe gets a mysterious visit from an acquaintance: the woman, who admits to being pregnant, says she fears for her life, though she won't say why. When the woman later disappears, Phoebe asks her father for help, and Quirke in turn seeks the assistance of his old friend Inspector Hackett. Before long the two men find themselves untangling a twisted string of events that takes them deep into a shadowy world where one of the city's most powerful men uses the cover of politics and religion to make obscene profits.

Even the Dead - Benjamin Black's seventh novel featuring the endlessly fascinating Quirke - is a story of surpassing intensity and surprising beauty.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. From less than promising material, Black fashions a meticulously written installment notable for its palpable sense of place, a slate of fully drawn characters, and a meaningful denouement." - Kirkus

"The harshness of life in 1950s Dublin remains a stalwart facet of Black's work in the series, and fans will find this next step in Quirke's emotional journey apt." - Library Journal

"Fans will welcome this tying up of loose ends, as Black (a pseudonym for Booker-winning John Banville) crafts a way for Quirke to close the book on some his most troubling personal demons and even offers the seething pathologist a measure of incongruous happiness." - Booklist

"Black (aka Man Booker Prize–winner John Banville) certainly knows how to spin an engaging, often suspenseful noir, but the plot's overreliance on coincidence and an implausible denouement make this entry of most interest to those already hooked on the series." - Publishers Weekly

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Author Information

Benjamin Black Author Biography

Photo © Jerry Bauer

Benjamin Black is the pen name of acclaimed author John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. He lives in Dublin.

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