■ REVIEW: The Calling of the Grave
Weakest in the series but still a good read

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.

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

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