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The Chemistry of Death

New or Used: $4.95
New or Used: $4.95

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Terrifying suspense and chillingly authentic forensics come together in this stunning thriller from a frighteningly good British crime-writing talent.

About the Author

Simon Beckett is a freelance journalist and writes for national newspapers and colour supplements. He lives in Sheffield.

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Forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter moves to a rural British village, hoping to escape his tragic past. Unfortunately, the young widower finds his life in turmoil again when a serial killer begins to prey on local women. Upon learning of Hunter's criminal investigation expertise, the local police make it abundantly clear that he must assist. As young females continue to be kidnapped, turning up dead in disturbing poses, the villagers' recognition that one of their own is responsible for the ritualistic slayings magnifies the horror. (What is one to make of a serial killer who inserts swan wings into a victim's torso?) Old secrets are revealed, and suspicions rise along with the sweltering summer heat. Once Hunter and the police figure out the killer's pattern, their desperate race against time makes this thriller nearly impossible to set aside. The gory crimes in all their detail will entice CSI, Patricia Cornwell, and Kathy Reichs fans, but it's the subtle psychological nuances that make this debut really shine. Highly recommended. Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

British author Beckett (Fine Lines) delivers a promising serial-killer whodunit, the first of a new crime series. Dr. David Hunter, a successful forensic anthropologist, retreats to the quiet Norfolk village of Manham, where he works as a general practitioner, after a drunk driver claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Three years after this tragedy, the shattering discovery of the mutilated corpse of a neighbor, Sally Palmer, forces Hunter back into the world of studying decomposing corpses. When another woman disappears, Hunter and the police conclude that a serial predator is at work, and they race against time to prevent a second murder. High quality prose and a compelling if flawed hero haunted by the memory of his family help compensate for a plot that starts strongly but winds down to a somewhat predictable resolution. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"The best thriller I've read all year... fast-paced, fascinating and heart-stoppingly exciting" -- TESS GERRITSEN
"Spine-tinglingly frightening... it hits the bull's eye from the word go" * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY *
"Fresh and original... perfectly captures the claustrophobic horror of a rural community in crisis... absolutely compelling - and deliciously scary" -- MO HAYDER
"Excellent... plotted and written with panache, with high marks for characterisation and shock value... an absorbing, scary tale" -- MARCEL BERLINS * THE TIMES *
"The same rich vein of fatty tissue dissected by Patricia Cornwell... but Beckett does it well; he is a fine writer with a good grip of both the architacture and mechanics of the thriller... a classy debut" * THE TIMES *

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