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Even the Dead

(Quirke #7)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 ratings  ·  222 reviews
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 bea
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published May 28th 2015)
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David Yes, however, it is best to start this series from the first Quirke book.

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3.76  · 
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 ·  1,141 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
*3.5 Stars*

The setting is 1950's Dublin, and Pathologist Dr Quirke and Police Inspector Hackett, join forces to investigate the death of a young man. The man was found in his crashed car in Phoenix park with the car well alight. It was thought to be a suicide initially until Quirke found evidence to the contrary. Quirke's daughter becomes involved when the man's pregnant girlfriend asks for her help, declaring that she's in extreme danger, and in fear of her life. Who would want this young man d
Susan Johnson
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley. Thank you.

This is my first Benjamin Black book about the quirky pathologist Dr. Quirke but it's not going to be the last. I so enjoyed this story set in Dublin that I am going to go back and read the earlier ones. Benjamin Black is the pseudonym John Banville, a truly lyrical author. Dublin quickly becomes a character in this novel and I love a book with a strong sense of place.

Quirke is on medical leave when the story opens. He is staying with his stepbro
Liz Barnsley
Even the Dead was my first "Quirke" novel - which didn't matter one bit - and I have to say that I'm definitely wanting to read more.

I've been a bit down on crime recently - with a few notable exceptions I've been findig them all very samey and indeed I have picked up and put down a few - with Even the Dead I picked it up and it stayed picked up. The writing is gorgeous, invoking the senses and really embedding you into Quirkes world - a supposedly gentler time that still erupts into violence an
Nancy Oakes
If anyone in the US would like my advanced reader copy, it's yours -- I'll be buying a hardcover copy to go into my home library. I'll even pay postage to make sure my book gets to a good home.

like a 3.7. Thanks, LT and thanks to Henry Holt for my copy.

Even the Dead is number seven in Black's (aka John Banville) Quirke series which begins with Christine Falls, one of my favorites in the entire series. My guess is that Even the Dead just might be the last Quirke novel -- there is just something
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read, with Benjamin Black (aka John Banville) staying true to form with his lyrical, evocative descriptions. I have enjoyed some previous titles in the Quirke series, and the suspenseful, dark setting of Dublin in the 1950s continues to intrigue. Quirke, always prone to the melancholy, is even more emo than usual at the beginning of this novel, as he has been prescribed rest for an old head injury causing hallucinations and blackouts, yet he is dragged back into a mystery b ...more
I find it hard to rate and review this latest entry in the Quirke series. I liked it well enough but there isn't much of a mystery going on here. The suspicious death of a young man who crashes his car into a tree never really develops into anything surprising, and it rather takes a backseat to a focus on the personal lives of the characters. This is not a bad thing per se, as I like the characters in this series a lot and found the developments in their lives compelling. However, I wish there h ...more
Keith Currie
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
An ordinary unhappiness

The discordant and downright peculiar Griffin/Quirke family take what I presume is their final bow. Notwithstanding the disparaging comments of the author on the whole crime genre as well as viewing the mediocre television series, I confess that I have derived much pleasure from reading this series of novels. I have enjoyed the spot-on depiction of 1950s Irish society and Dublin in particular – a culture that is even today not entirely gone. I like the melancholy of the no
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent well structured and plotted Irish noir that beckons the reader in and captivates until the end. It is set in fifties Dublin, where Black evokes a marvellous dark suspense-filled atmosphere, a backdrop where murky deeds take place. We find Quirke, the pathologist, in a fragile state suffering from seeing things and blackouts. Quirke fears the worst, but a specialist prescribes rest, whilst attributing the symptoms to an old head injury.

Responding to his daughter Phoebe’s plea
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Sara D’Arcy/ Penguin Random House UK and the author in exchange for an honest review.

I have to be fair and say that from the start, I got the feeling that I was missing out on something, having never read any of the the other books in this series. However, my curiosity got the better if me and although I struggled initially, I persevered and was very glad that I did.

There was a gradual build up of mystery and suspense ~ almost like the reader is being teased. To me, it
Nov 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Even the Dead is the latest installment in Benjamin Black's (aka John Banville) Quirke detective series. I'll admit I'm a huge Banville fan to begin with and have read (and thoroughly enjoyed) all of the Quirke books so far.

So I was thrilled to receive a copy of Even the Dead from NetGalley.

And it did not disappoint. Quirke is his usual dark self and his daughter Phoebe complicated and likable. The mystery is a little less gripping than some of the earlier books but the characters are well-draw
Lewis Weinstein
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Benjamin Black is a superb writer. He lives up to the standard he expressed at the KW Literary Seminar some years ago that he felt an obligation to make every word as perfect as it could be. His sentences are often glorious.

The only downside in this is that Black sometimes makes me impatient to get on with the story. However, once he decides to tell it, Black is a master at this as well. Pathologist Quirke and Detective Inspector Hackett are both marvelous characters whose approach to solving cr
Mary Lou
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who knows what influences our reaction to books? From the first paragraph, and with experience of four Quirkes some years ago, it took me by surprise that this felt more like Banville than Black. Perhaps I have been in a desert for a while but Even the Dead impressed as an atmospheric smoky piece, brimming with earthy description. And yes, the plot is still secondary to the interplay between Quirke and Hackett, and vague in construction and resolution, but I lapped this one up.
Margaret Madden
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
This is the seventh novel in the Quirke series, from Benjamin Black. Set in 1950s Dublin, the City Morgue is where you'll find pathologist Quirke. Usually spotting anomalies among the anatomy...
When a body is discovered in Dublin's Phoenix Park, suicide is presumed. But Quirke's assistant (minding the shop while his boss is on leave) has his doubts and calls the pathologist back to base. Before long, there is an investigation underway, with an old friend, Detective Hackett called in to
Margaret McCann
Jul 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is an unspeakably bad book. Banville/Black, by now, is taking the piss. Which is perfectly fine, absolutely his own business, but Quirke is jaded by now, his daughter is stiffer than cardboard, and the jaunts around Dublin in the rare old times no longer lift the storyline past trite and silly. In the earlier books, Banville peeped and twinkled through the rain sodden windows, but he has long since faded into a grim and one-dimensional set piece. Unspeakably, ridiculously bad. Quirke has be ...more
Susan Angela Wallace
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Even the dead by Benjamin Black.
Two victims - one dead, one missing. Even the Dead is a visceral, gritty and cinematic thriller from Benjamin Black Every web has a spider sitting at the centre of it. Pathologist Quirke is back working in the city morgue, watching over Dublin's dead. When a body is found in a burnt-out car, Quirke is called in to verify the apparent suicide of an up-and-coming civil servant. But Quirke can't shake a suspicion of foul play. The only witness has vanished, every tra
Jan 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

A young man is killed when his motorbike crashes into a tree. Quirke, a pathologist, is on sick leave, suffering from memory problems and attention lapses due to an injury he received some years earlier. But when his assistant begins to think that the young man's death was not due to either accident or suicide, he asks Quirke to come in to check his conclusions. Quirke agrees – it looks like the death was a murder. The victim is Leon Corless, son of a Communist politician, and th
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
another reviewer mentioned quirke was emo, a great way to describe his outlook and style...and against all odds he brings about some justice for christine falls, after 6 books worth of frustration against the monsters of church, state, and piety in 1950's ireland. Christine Falls . in this, as quirke gets older, he's cutting down on the drink (hallucinating, zoning, etc...or is it brain damage from getting beat up severely?) but more than compensates with endless cigarettes, cups of tea, and lon ...more
Mary Crawford
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the nostalgia for Dublin in the 50s. The empathy for the father of the young man murdered is gently related through the relationship between Quirke and the Garda Hackett. I liked the ending though the novel felt like a swan song in tying up loose ends from previous books in the series.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Black writes compellingly about the dour sides of 1950s Dublin. Yet Quirke, despite his alcoholism and depression is engaged in his life and his family who are all full of secrets. His descriptions of starting a sexual relationship with a woman his age is beautiful and real. Neither has many illusions about long lasting love, but both understand the need to find pleasure and kindness when they can.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved it. Every Quirke novel was better than the last. There's a sense of closure with this one but I don't want it. I love these people. I love inhabiting their world for a bit.
Marguerite Kaye
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my favourite of the Quirke books I think - and sadly the last available at the moment, I do hope that more are in the pipeline. Quirke is recovering from what he thought was a brain tumour, but is probably the after effects of a battering he took in an earlier book. He's been off the drink for a while, and he's in a different - maybe better - frame of mind, having also been away from work for a while. But of course he gets dragged back into everything - work, drink, family secrets and old ...more
Mish Middelmann
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully observed characters and interactions making the invisible more visible. This ranges from the paradoxically broken-and-whole nature of Quirke himself, to the Irish mood of Dublin, to the entirely adult way he describes Quirke's affair. Loved the way older people (apparently old enough to retire) are portrayed as sexual beings!
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am a fan of the Quirke series. If a reader picked up this most recent book, I doubt they would be able to embrace this character. There are only a handful of brilliant descriptions I so love this author for. I would advise starting with the first and going forward as it would be impossible to appreciate the many threads that come to a satisfying close with this book.
Early on in this book there are some very fine descriptions of brain damage (from earlier beating Quirke suffered) and the humoro
Kathy Martin
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the first Quirke mystery that I have read and I definitely felt that I was missing a considerable amount of backstory that would have answered some of my many questions. I did get the idea that Quirke has some problems with alcohol and that he has some unanswered questions about his heritage.

It seems to me that the mystery - the suspicious death of a young man and the disappearance of his pregnant girlfriend - took the backseat to the internal battle that Quirke was facing. It seemed to
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lot of people would say this is a slow read, and they would be right. Don't read anything by Benjamin Black aka John Banville, Booker Prize winner of some incomprehensible (to me) writing. For this series, he dumbs it down a little, but it's still a slow, thoughtful read. One review said that Quirke, his quirky (I don't think it's a coincidence!) pathologist was becoming even more existential. The book opens with Quirke in a self imposed drying out period. He hasn't worked in a while, leaving ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Visit the locations here : Even the Dead Booktrail

Set in fifties Dublin, the streets and the atmosphere are bleak and damp. The city wears the shadows like a cloak and its murky fragile state – something which is embodied in the character of Quirke himself who suffers blackouts and other health related issues.
1950s Dublin and its dead men…even the dead have tales to tell

Dublin’s dead come to him for answers, salvation of a sort and the last chance to have their voices heard. But his melancholy,
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley.

When I requested this book I didn't realise that it was a part of a series, but the synopsis did intrigue me. Fortunately, I do not think this affected my view on the book because I managed to get through it quite easily without the prior knowledge of other books, therefore it isn't necessary to have read the previous books which, for me at least, is a good thing.

I have given this book two stars because I think it's okay. I wasn't really captu
William Koon
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Nothing brings more anticipation than a new Quirke.

Quirke continues to be damaged. True, he has given up the whiskey. But his mind was going, as you might remember. Perhaps it was the result of the beating in an earlier novel. But our favorite forensic MD keeps plodding along.

Unfortunately, so does Benjamin Black. Now I think Christina Falls and the Silver Swan are as fine as crime fiction gets. But unfortunately, Black merely recycles his characters such as the daughter Phoebe, Malachy, the det
Rosemary Standeven
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book has all the requisites for a stunning crime thriller: weary pathologist with complicated personal life; dedicated cop; suspicious suicide; terrified girl; and potential cover-up by the powers-that-be and /or the Roman Catholic church. But, somehow for me it did not gel. Perhaps if I had read the other books in the Quirke series, I might have been more drawn to the characters, but approaching it as a stand-alone book, I felt almost no empathy for any of the characters – particularly not ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Let me say first of all that I haven't read all the titles in this series (see the list below). While EVEN THE DEAD is not a stand alone, there is enough background detail in it to assist the new reader, and perhaps to encourage them to read previous titles.

Quirke has not been in to work for some months but his assistant feels in serious need of his opinion about the death in a burning car in Phoenix Park. This appears to be the prompt that Quirke needs to get back to work but even then he does
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Murder Mystery 3 5 Jan 28, 2017 12:29PM  

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Pen name for John Banville

Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland. His father worked in a garage and died when Banville was in his early thirties; his mother was a housewife. He is the youngest of three siblings; his older brother Vincent is also a novelist and has written under the name Vincent Lawrence as well as his own. His sister Vonnie Banville-Evans has written both a children's novel and a r

Other books in the series

Quirke (7 books)
  • Christine Falls (Quirke #1)
  • The Silver Swan (Quirke #2)
  • Elegy for April (Quirke #3)
  • A Death in Summer (Quirke #4)
  • Vengeance (Quirke #5)
  • Holy Orders (Quirke #6)