You know how it is. Years ago you read a book you REALLY liked, then the sequel, which you also really liked. Then… years pass and you realize that this author has written another four novels, all featuring the same characters, all part of a series!
In part three of this series of blog posts I’m talking about Simon Beckett‘s great series featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter. With diverse settings and a , this is a series that will never be boring.
There is nothing quite like the pleasure of discovering a new series that really grips you from the beginning, and the first novel in this police procedural mystery series does just that.
In “The Chemistry of Death“ Dr. David Hunter begins the series as one of those forensic pathologists that tries to escape his profession as a result of a personal tragedy by taking up a position as a rural Norfolk family doctor. Though he tries to hide from his previous occupation, death just keeps following him and he reluctantly gets pulled back into his old profession.
The second book in the series, “Written in bone“ finds Dr. David Hunter investigating a mysterious death on the Hebridean island of Runa. (the Hebrides is one of MY favorite settings) A severe winter storm ravages the island and cuts it off from the mainland – trapping Hunter with a killer…
The third novel in the series, “Whispers of the dead“ takes Dr. David Hunter to Knoxville, Tennesse and The Body Farm. This is the facility where he was trained. He has come back to Tennessee to recover from a near-fatal attack and to hone his skills. However, his former mentor enlists his help in tracking down a sadistic serial killer who seems to have some expert forensic knowledge.
The fourth novel in the series, “The calling of the grave” takes Dr. David Hunter back to England. Dartmoor in Devon to be precise. Eight years ago Hunter was part of a forensic team tasked with finding the Dartmoor graves of missing teenage girls, the victims of a brutal rapist and murderer called Jerome Monk. Back then Hunter’s life was very different – happily married and with a young daughter, he was confident in his abilities and optimistic about the future. Now that’s all changed and he is forced to return to Dartmoor when Monk escapes and appears to be targeting people involved in the search. As Hunter confronts his past, he begins to realize that the events of eight years ago are far from over..
In the latest novel in the series, (due to be published in April 2017) “The restless dead“ David Hunter is called to Essex to help the police there to identify a badly decomposed body. Of course the case is not as straight-forward as one might expect. Hunter finds himself investigating not just the one body…
From the Goodreads description for “The Restless Dead”:
With its eerie and claustrophobic sense of place, explosive heart-in-mouth moments, and viscerally authentic forensics and police procedural detail, coupled with David Hunter’s own uncanny ability to understand the living as much as the dead, The Restless Dead stands as a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre’s best.
If you’ve never read this author, and you enjoy forensic mysteries, I urge you to give him a try.
Born in Sheffield, England, Simon Beckett is a journalist and author. His books, in particular the crime series around forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter, have sold 21 million of copies worldwide, and enjoyed particular success in Germany and Scandinavia.