cover image Even the Dead

Even the Dead

Benjamin Black, read by John Keating. Macmillan Audio, unabridged, 8 CDs, 9.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-6255-4

Reader Keating’s soft Irish voice can turn gruff and harsh on a dime in this seventh entry in Black’s series about Quirke, a consultant pathologist in 1950s Dublin. The novel begins with the doctor on sick leave at the home of his stepbrother, Mal. A suspicious accident—a young man burned to death in a car crash—is Quirke’s ticket back to the real world, and he and his fast-talking pal Inspector Hackett investigate the death. Meanwhile, Phoebe, Quirke’s daughter, is approached by a former classmate, Lisa Smith, who asks her help in escaping a stalker. Eventually the paths of father and daughter connect, but the novel’s focus is less on the crime and its solution than on Quirke’s progress in dealing with the malaise and guilt that have haunted him since his debut in 2006’s Christine Falls. This time, Black fills most of the novel with the darker elements of Dublin life at mid-century, with Keating’s brogue adding its own air of melancholy. A Holt hardcover. (Jan.)