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Whispers of the Dead: (David Hunter 3) Paperback – 1 Jan 2010
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"Menacing, beautifully paced and with characters that wouldn't disgrace the incomparable Michael Connelly, this marks Beckett's transition to established star" (Daily Mail)
"Beckett is one of the country's best crime writers... His books are intelligent, beautifully written and utterly gripping" (Sunday Express)
About the Author
Simon Beckett has worked as a freelance journalist for national newspapers and colour supplements. He is the author of five international bestselling crime thrillers featuring his forensic anthropologist hero, Dr David Hunter: The Chemistry of Death, Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead, The Calling of the Grave and The Restless Dead. His stand-alone novels include Stone Bruises and Where There's Smoke. He lives in Sheffield.
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The story scene has moved from Scotland/London to Tennessee where David Hunter has gone to recuperate from the traumatic ending of 'Written in Bone'. Obviously, events overtake him. The official 'Body Farm' where he has made a visit - as you do - is overshadowed by a rather more private similar Farm and, with no help and even obstruction from the local constabulary, he ploughs ahead in his own way.
Hunter's return to normality didn't read right nor did the way he was treated by the local Police Force but, all-in-all, the story is a good one. Bodies do pile up with plenty of clues which turn out to be red herrings. The serial killer is not revealed until the last few pages, although one might believe that the killer was identified earlier. That piece of information shouldn't spoil the story for anyone as there are plenty of clues which, if recognized, would suggest who it isn't rather than who it is.
This is a book which can be read by anybody wanting a really good thriller. The two previous outings for David Hunter are certainly more than well worth reading and, obviously, the better before reading this. However, without any previous knowledge this story will stand alone; it's an interesting view that a British author has literally crossed into the immediate domain of Cornwell and Reichs and, I think, he's all the better for it. That said, I hope the next story returns to good 'ole UK where we seem to have more than our share of oddball killers on the loose.
'Whispers of the Dead' is very well written. It moves quickly and does not get bogged down in emotional re-runs. The killer's thoughts are briefly revealed almost chapter by chapter but without giving the game away. The accuracy of the forensic investiagtions is clear, helped along by a convenient psychologist partner whom Hunter would like to get to know but doesn't - again for reasons not explained until the last few pages. Now, there's a red herring for you.