Weakest in the series but still a good read

April 21, 2012
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The Calling of the Grave, by Simon Beckett (Bantam Press, RRP $39.99):

The fourth novel to feature the haunted and brilliant forensic anthropologist, David Hunter, features a prologue set in the past, when his wife and child were still alive but unfortunately, The Calling of the Grave is probably the weakest of the series.

Dr Hunter is asked by police to attend an exhumation on Dartmoor.

The body is that of a teenage girl murdered by rapist and serial killer Jerome Monk, who is now serving life in prison.

The abnormally strong Monk is believed to have murdered at least five teenage girls, although only one body has ever been found and the killer refuses to tell anyone where his other victims are buried.

The authorities hope the discovery of the grave will provide a breakthrough in the search for the rest of the victims but the operation doesn’t run smoothly.

Fast-forward eight years and we are back up to the present.

Hunter is pulled back into the story with the news that Monk has escaped from jail and anyone involved in the ill-fated search eight years earlier is on his hit list.

I enjoyed this one but not as much as the earlier three in the series.

The last one (Whispers of the Dead) was an absolute cracker.

Jillian Allison-Aitken

I come from the other land down under, where men are men, and sheep are nervous. I'm a sub-editor and in the past have been a proof-reader, news editor and web editor. I am also an ex-columnist, and book and software reviewer for the local daily newspaper.I still read. A lot. And surf the web. Also a lot.You'll find a little about both of those pastimes here, and on By George.

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