>Simon Beckett, The Chemistry of Death (2006)


This British thriller is the first in the David Hunter series.

“I arranged for a locum to be brought in until either a permanent replacement was found, or people registered with other practices in the area.”

Sorry, but Danish readers who share my infantile humour will understand why I thought this sentence was hilarious. Oh, you want to know why? Well, in Danish the word ´lokum´ can only be a euphemism for ´loo´.

What else delighted me? First of all the terrific plot. After the first four pages I was engrossed in this story, and it took quite a bit of willpower to put it down at midnight and leave it until I came back from work the next day. I spurted through four hundred pages because I had to know what happened to the poor, female victims of the odd murderer who seemed to be obsessed by killing and beheading animals.

And second? I think that was the first-person narrator, David Hunter. Three years ago he worked as a successful forensic anthropologist in London, but when his wife and little daughter were killed in an accident, he turned his back on it all and moved to remote Norfolk as an ordinary GP – among isolated farms, windmills and taciturn ´natives´ who regard any newcomer with suspicion. But when the police discover his skills, they won´t let him lick his wounds in peace any more, of course.

And now all you faithful readers will know that the desolate environment was also a source of great pleasure. Furthermore there is a good deal of forensics in the book, for example how to estimate the time of death based on insects on the body. Delicious!

What more can a reader wish for? More David Hunter stories on the shelf. But I already have volume two and three waiting for me there! I bought the first one (and the second, I think) myself because a considerate friend sent me the third book.


About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in British, review, Simon Beckett. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to >Simon Beckett, The Chemistry of Death (2006)

  1. Pingback: Simon Beckett, Written in Bone (2007) | djskrimiblog

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