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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Simon Beckett - Written in Bone

review live on show by Brian Lowen 28th June 2012
This is Simon Beckett’s second book – the first being The Chemistry of Death, which was excellent.
This book is also very good and is set on a remote Scottish island called Runa, where a grisly discovery awaits the arrival of forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter. This is the same person who featured in the first book and some references are made to that story, but it is not necessary to have read that book first.
This book is not for the faint hearted as it goes into all the gruesome details of the body that has been found in a remote cottage, that Dr Hunter has to examine in great detai, although his analysis is somewhat curtailed due to the lack of any laboratory facilities on the island. The body has been almost totally incinerated but for the feet and a single hand. The local police are quick to record an accidental death but Hunter’s instincts say otherwise: he’s convinced it is murder. In fact Runa is far from the peaceful community it first appears – and a burned corpse is only one of its dark secrets.

Then an Atlantic storm descends, severing all power and contact with the mainland. And as the storm rages, the killing begins in earnest and Dr Hunter is left to identify the killer with only help from the two local bobbies and a retired CID man.
The story staggers from one crisis to another with several dramatic twists to the tale, and just when you think it is all over with Dr Hunter back on the mainland and reunited with his girlfriend we are hit with another unresolved shock, meaning that there must be a follow up book to come and perhaps persuading you that you must buy it.
An excellent thriller, with many twists to the tale before the final identification of the killer.

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