Even the Dead
Author: Benjamin Black (aka John Banville)
Chief consultant pathologist at Hospital of the Holy Family in Dublin, Quirke (known by his one name) sits pondering his assistant David Sinclair. Quirke is aware that Sinclair wants his job and that Sinclair is his daughter Phoebe’s boyfriend, and both realizations make him wonder if he should come out of his self-imposed extended leave and save his job. But still he sits in his house and wonders.
However, when the body of a young man comes in as a suicide, Sinclair calls upon Quirke at home to get his opinion – is it suicide or murder?
The man was found burned almost beyond recognition in a car wreck. There is a suspicious lump by the man’s temple. And as soon as Sinclair sees Quirke wondering also, Sinclair knows he is doomed. He knows he has made a mistake. Quirke, recovering from an old head wound, is now enticed to come back to work as chief pathologist at the hospital and investigate the now suspect murder. Quirke has been staying with old friends, Mal and Rose, and when he abruptly leaves for home to resume work, they are concerned and confused. Although Rose is married to Mal, she is still attracted to Quirke, who was for a brief time long ago her lover. Mal discovers he has cancer, and the plot loops back to the murder case.
As Sinclair and Quirke work around their differences and intense dislike for each other, Quirke focuses on the dead man on the slab. Quirke’s daughter Phoebe has a strange occurrence with a woman who comes up to her in a café, a woman that she slightly knows. The woman claims that she is pregnant by the man killed in the car crash; that she is in mortal danger and terrified. Phoebe takes the woman to a safe house. Phoebe drives back later in the night to check on her and finds her missing with no sign of her having ever been there. Phoebe calls Quirk in to help her figure it out. Quirke asks his old friend Inspector Hackett to assist him in finding the young woman who seems tied to the unknown dead man.
As the case wriggles and squirms around Quirke and Hackett, Phoebe and Sinclair, author Black demands our intense focus on a plot that is brilliant and steams.
This seventh novel featuring the complex and fascinating Dublin pathologist and his almost estranged daughter Phoebe leaves us panting for the next novel in the series. Great read.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a product to facilitate our review. All opinions are our own
- Even the Dead: A Quirke Novel is available at Amazon.com and other booksellers.