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The Calling of the Grave [Hardcover]

Simon Beckett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

3 Feb 2011
'At first glance it could have been anything - a stone, a knotted root - until you looked more closely. Thrusting out of the wet earth, its bones visible through rags of flesh, was a decomposing hand...' It was eight years ago that they found the body buried on the moor. They were certain that this was one of psychotic rapist and multiple murderer Jerome Monk's teenage victims. Which left just two more bodies to find. But the ill-conceived search ended badly. And with Monk safely behind bars, the momentum faltered. For forensics expert David Hunter, and those others who were part of the recovery team, life moved on. And the dead were left undisturbed. Now, though, a nightmare scenario unfurls. Monk has escaped and seems to be targeting anyone involved in that original ill-fated operation. Lured back to the moors by a desperate call for help, Hunter begins to realise that neither the events unfolding now - nor those of eight years ago - are quite what they seem. And as the maniac's violent trail edges ever closer, the past is suddenly anything but dead and buried...

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (3 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593063457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593063453
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Beckett worked as a property repairer, taught English in Spain and played percussion with several bands before becoming a novelist and freelance journalist. He writes for most national newspapers and colour supplements, including The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Observer. He is married and lives in Sheffield. For more information visit

Product Description


"As bone-chillingly bleak as its subject... this doesn't disappoint" (FINANCIAL TIMES)

"Deeply unnerving... a writer who clearly relishes raising our pulse rates while lowering our blood temperature" (BARRY FORSHAW) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Forensics expert Dr David Hunter returns in the menacing new novel from this international bestselling crime thriller writer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is ever what it seems 11 July 2011
The Calling of the Grave is the 4th installment in the Dr David Hunter series. While it can be easily read as a stand alone novel, i highly recommend that u go through the series in order as some important facts regarding the 2nd Hunter book are given away here that may spoil a bit of your enjoyment later on.
I agree with some reviewers here that this is definitely the weaker book so far in this excellent series. And yet i still gave it 5 stars without thinking twice, so highly i rate this author. It is just that the others were on a level that is rarely reached and this was just normally good.
As usual Beckett is an excellent researcher on everything he writes on about and he manages even this time round to give us an excellent picture of the bleak atmosphere of the setting the story is set in. Really liked that the novel starts with 8 years in the past, as it gives us a glimpse in the life of Hunter before we knew him.
Roughly without giving anything away the story starts with Hunter aiding the police in locating the bodies of a convicted serial killer. However all their attempts fail miserably and they return empty handed. 8 years later,after learning of the killer s escape from prison Hunter receives a phone call from one of the original members of the search team. And before long Hunter finds himself immersed in a case that was long buried and forgotten...
The typical twist in the tale at the end that Beckett is so good at makes him one of the best authors in my opinion and i m really amazed to learn that he is not so popular in the UK, country of his origin. Guess we ll have to wait quite a bit for the 5th Hunter book, but i m sure that as always it will be worth the wait.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Going off the boil 17 April 2012
By Cenkay
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book in the Dr David Hunter series and having very much enjoyed The Chemistry of Death and Written in Bone it has been down hill since and i found this a very moderate effort. There was little of the scientific details that were the standout parts of the earlier books and it turned into a moderate affair with stock one dimentional characters who quite frankly i couldn't care anything about.

If he is to go on with this character Mr Beckett will certainly need far better plots as this one was threadbare and it was obvious which way it was going from very early on.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak house. 11 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There's only one word to describe this fourth book to feature Dr. David Hunter: bleak.

A word that describes the countryside, the people, the storyline and Dr. Hunter, not to meantion the homicidal killer on the run on Dartmoor.

That said, the author succeeds in keeping the action flowing as the hunt for the bodies of victims killed eight years ago intensifies. People's reputations are at serious risk, indeed their lives, too, are suddenly placed in the spotlight as the past catches up with the present.

It's a good plot which makes it difficult to second-guess the ending; always a good sign which keeps the reader involved to the very last page. I like, too, the brief connections to the earlier stories in this small series, especially, although sadly, it brings us up to date with Hunter's personal tragedy and may well explain his lack of humour. Usually forensic pathologists have to look on the bright side, despite their calling but Hunter is different. So, too, the other main characters. The author's only concession to anyone remotely worth a smile is one single police officer and look where that gets him.

I expect it will be quite a while before the fifth book arrives now, so make the most of this one. Well worth a read and well up to the mark for books in this genre. In fact, there are more commercial authors who could well learn a thing or two from Simon Beckett, though they probably won't.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Beckett is superb! 27 Feb 2011
I've waited what seems like ages for this book and now I've got to wait again until the next Simon Beckett book is published. I'm amazed that Beckett's name isn't a bigger household name and that he seems to be more appreciated in Germany than here. I've hardly seen this hardback on the bookshelves, even in the big chain bookstores and the only advertising I have seen is a poster at one train station. Either his publishers prefer to push his paperback sales or they don't have much faith in this book. Simon Beckett has written other novels in the past which I haven't read and that all seem to be out of print, but his David Hunter crime novels are the best crime novels I've read and are among my favourite books.

The Calling of the Grave is the fourth book in the David Hunter series. It is set not long after the events of the previous two novels, although the beginning of the book takes us back eight years to reveal a little more about Hunter's past and to lead us into the story that this novel is about.

Jerome Monk is a brutal rapist and murderer and when he escapes from prison, forensic anthropologist Dr Hunter is forced to revisit some painful events from his past.

The other David Hunter novels are...

The Chemistry Of Death (2006)
Written In Bone (2007)
Whispers of the Dead (2009)

(Dates in brackets indicate when first published. The paperback editions were about a year later)

All of these novels have been bestsellers and are a must read whether you are usually a crime fan or not. Beckett's research and detail make his novels, so engrossing and so real. The atmosphere that he creates really draws you in and makes you feel as if you are there.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great writer
Published 22 days ago by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent writer
Published 1 month ago by P.M.Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read (and I'm fussy)
Love all Simon Becketts writing - this one in particular must be my favourite. So atmostpheric
Published 1 month ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
Great Product,Great Delivery Thanks Keep up the good work!
I would definitely use this company again.
Delivered on Time .
Published 4 months ago by MaxUK42
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I read the second book first whilst on holiday and was hooked. Came home and purchased the other 3. Great read you can really get into the characters
Published 5 months ago by maria dooley
5.0 out of 5 stars Undervalued thriller
Beckett has several riveting thrillers on the market, but they are not widely appreciated. British thriller writers are not my favourites so I was really glad to find this book... Read more
Published 5 months ago by S. K. Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
A very well written novel using factual experience in an imaginative and captivating way which draws you into the story and keeps you hooked, with a clever twist at the end.
Published 7 months ago by Frances Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping to the end
Another excellent thriller by Simon Beckett his books have you on pins till the end always a good twist to the tale.
Published 8 months ago by roberta wright
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, excellent writing, nail biting, good characters. Couldn`t put it down! I would really recommend Simon Becket to anyone who wants a good meaty story.
Published 8 months ago by havanama
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
Fantastic storytelling, the ending always comes as a surprise with Beckett, you think you have worked it out but there is usually a twist.
Published 10 months ago by Lyn Racey
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