Simon Beckett, Written in Bone (2007)

This British thriller is the second in the Dr David Hunter series. See my review of The Chemistry of Death.

“The peace of the old cottage is broken by a footfall. The rotting door is pushed open, its rusted hinges protesting the disturbance. Daylight falls into the room, then is blocked out as a shadow fills the doorway. The man ducks his head to see into the darkened interior. The old dog with him hesitates, its senses already alerting it to what´s within.”

Well, and our senses are already alerted to what a dog has to do in a thriller, aren´t they?

One could say this is a fairly run-of-the-mill forensic thriller, full of death, drama and charred bones, but I could also add that this is exactly the kind of story I love to rush through in a couple of carefree holidays. I like the protagonist, forensic anthropologist David Hunter, and the setting, the Hebridean island of Runa, was incredibly appealing to me. As I grew up in a village, the antagonism between islanders and newcomers was not unexpected, but I always enjoy it when it is well done.

“The storm reached the island just after midnight. Later, I would find out that it was actually two fronts that had collided off the coast of Iceland, playing out their battle as they swept down the North Atlantic from the Arctic.”

Delicious (sitting in an armchair reading about it) isn´t it? And of course the storm turns the story into some kind of locked-room mystery.

Strongly recommended for lovers of charred bones, and I bought this XL story myself.

NB: have you tried my Funday Bestseller poll?


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, review 2011, Simon Beckett. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Simon Beckett, Written in Bone (2007)

  1. Dorte – Oh, I’m glad you liked this one. I did, too. I agree with you that Hunter is a likeable character, and yes, the setting for this is very appealing. I recommend it, and I recommend reading it before the next novel Whispers of the Dead, as that novel has spoilers to this one. Thanks for the fine review.

  2. Barbara says:

    I’m intrigued enough to look for this book. Have been reading serious nonfiction; now I need something spooky, a page-turner.

  3. I have never heard of that place–the Hebridean island of Runa–is it made up? Sounds like an interesting thriller.

  4. Kelly says:

    I enjoy a good thriller and this sounds like it should be on my TBR stack – or at least my wish list. I’ve always liked the “locked room” type story, too.

  5. Margot: it was a pleasant change after Vargas 😀
    Barbara: a spooky page-turner? Sounds like you have found one, but as Margot says, I think you should read them in order.
    Clarissa: I hadn´t thought about that at all, but if you google Runa all you come up with is Becket reviews ;D
    Kelly: I think you´ll enjoy this series a lot.

  6. Belle Wong says:

    Sounds intriguing, and a perfect holiday read! My library has it in ebook format, so I’ll probably check it out. (Maybe I should start with the first book in the series?)

  7. Belle, if you can get the first one, I´d recommend that. No spoilers, but if you read the second first, you may know more about the debut than you´d want to.

  8. Heather says:

    Dear Dorte,
    Glad you visited and left me a comment. I have been so distracted lately that I didn’t notice you had moved.

    Thank-you for your kind words. The messages from my online friends have provided much comfort over the past weeks. Thank-you again.

  9. Beth F says:

    I love forensic anthropologist protagonists and I love books that take place in those north islands. Sounds like a book made for me.

  10. Heather: I completely understand, and I am glad you found me again.
    Beth: yest, I think you´d love this series.

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