The Chemistry Of Death
(By Simon Beckett)
There are books you read, and then there are books that you just can’t stop reading. This one falls into the later category.
Once I picked it up, it was hard for me to put it down; so much so that I was ready to pull up an all-nighter to finish this book.
‘The Chemistry Of Death’, is an English novel, written by British crime fiction writer, Simon Beckett. This novel was published in 2006, as the first in David Hunter series. Later Beckett wrote more novels in the same series, like – Written In Bone, Whispers Of The Dead, and, The Calling Of The Grave.
Beckett has written other novels to, but it was his David Hunter’s series, which made him famous and have sold above 21 million copies worldwide. ‘The Chemistry Of Death’, was his first novel in David Hunter’s series.
David Hunter is the main protagonist in the book, The Chemistry Of Death. He is an expert forensic anthropologist, who came to a small Norfolk village, after a personal tragedy. He becomes a GP there, healing the whole village while still trying to recover from his past tremors, himself.
He was living a calm and quiet life as a GP of a small village, when suddenly one day his past came face him once again. When a highly decomposed and mutilated body of a village local is found in the woods, police turn to Hunter for his expert knowledge in anthropology to get some quick answers in solving the crime.
Hunter who wants to stay away from dead bodies, as much as possible, has no choice but to help police. In doing so, at one point, he himself become the center of suspicion by the villagers. Two more bodies are recovered and it put immense pressure on Hunter to come up with something helpful for the police to solve this horrific crime; all the while managing his new found love life.
Soon, things turn pretty personal, even for Hunter, who has now only 3 days to save the only person he love.
It’s a high chased crime mystery where you are always waiting for the next event. What will happen next? Everything seems suspicious. Everyone looks like a killer, even at one point best friend of Hunter’s, Ben is also thought of as a killer, but when in the end, this fog is settled and killer is known, you wonder about every why and how. Reason of killing, look somewhat murkier but, you can ignore it considering you never know what actually goes into a killer’s mind, or how much psycho can he be.
If you look at the story only, it’s not great. It will not stand out on its own. But, the good thing about this novel is, that it is written well.
It is written so well, that even the repellent details about maggots and larvae on a body don’t deter you from reading it further. In a fact they add a much needed aspect to the story as would have required by viewpoint of a forensic anthropologist.
I have not read other novels of David Hunter’s series yet, but I am hopeful that they will turn out equally good.
Here is to good reading.