The Chemistry of Death by Stephen Beckett = gripping

In three words:

Gripping, suspenseful, forensic

I picked this book up from the library recently after seeing several glowing reviews of it in the blogoshphere and deciding that it sounded like the sort of book I shouldn’t miss. I was right (of course, I’m seldom wrong but that’s not the point…)

The book starts with David Hunter who moves to the tiny Norfolk village of Manham to work as a Doctor and escape his life and recent tradgedy in London. While some of the locals welcome him, the majority are suspicious of any outsiders and hold him very much at arms lenghth. Then one of the few people to befriend him, Sally Palmer, is discovered dead in the most gruesome way. Her death puts the village-folk on edge and eyeing each other suspiciously, but the killer hasn’t finished there….

This is the first book I have read by Simon Beckett, and also the first in a series starring David Hunter. David went to work in the village as a Doctor but in fact he is a trained forensic anthropologist and is persuaded into helping the local police establish cause and time of death. I found these aspects of the book really interesting and the author had clearly done his research. Gruesome or not, I found it fascinating that the maggots and flies etc round a body can establish time of death.

Verdit – This book is very cleverly written and engaging. The crimes themselves are pretty shocking and not for the feint hearted, but if you like your crime books with forensic detail, red herrings and twists and turns then I’m in no doubt you’ll enjoy this.

(source: I borrowed this book from the library)


5 thoughts on “The Chemistry of Death by Stephen Beckett = gripping

  1. I saw this in the nearly new book store a week ago, i picked it up, had a quick look and put it back, really wish i hadn’t!!! Sounds like i would love this!


  2. Sounds nice though quite gruesome but after reading tons of thrillers and crime books (and more precisely lately the swedish series by Camilla Läckberg which is just awsome but very, very dark especially the third book…..) we are getting “used” to these shocking fictional crimes.
    I am always glad to have new crime books recommended !
    thanks Boof, enjoy your holiday 😀



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