Whoop whoop! I’m thrilled to be welcoming to A Knight’s Reads the blog tour for Simon Beckett’s The Scent of Death. I’ve been wanting to read some of the David Hunter books for a wee while since #mamapossum Noelle Holten of Crimebookjunkie fame raved about The Restless Dead, the previous book in the series.
Big thanks to Hayley Barnes of Penguin Random House for inviting me on the blog tour and for my copy of The Scent of Death.
It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good.
Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.
The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.
But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied…
For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain.
St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim . . .
With its viscerally authentic forensics, menacing atmosphere and nerve-shredding tension, Simon Beckett’s new crime thriller will leave you gasping.
What Did I Think?
The discovery of the sealed chamber referenced in the blurb sent chills through me and goosebumps up my arms despite the warmth of the house in a remarkably mild February! It totally set the scene for this sinister crime thriller.
If you haven’t read any of the David Hunter series, we’ve a forensic anthropologist at the helm but if you’re expecting Bones, think again. Dr David Hunter is very different to Dr Temperance Brennan and a lot more personable (in my humble opinion). I really liked David Hunter as a lead character. He doesn’t cause a fuss and knows his stuff; he’s a respected expert in his field but he’s by no means perfect and he’s got his ghosts to contend with. The animosity between Hunter and his rival Mears is brilliant. I personally think Mr Beckett pitched that perfectly especially as the story develops.
I found The Scent of Death a very tense story line. The state of the bodies push Hunter’s expertise to the limit under the scrutiny of the local media. The thought of these poor souls being hidden away really unnerved me; if that hospital had been simply demolished by the press of a button, these individuals would never have been found. But nothing shocked me quite so much as the climax to the investigation. As with anyone working closely with the police, Hunter gets involved more than he should…
The writing really captured my imagination, I was there with Hunter in the loft, watching the floor below a colleague collapse to reveal the hidden room. From then on, I didn’t leave Hunter’s side trailing him around London to his home, the morgue, back to St Jude’s and everywhere in between. Despite there being enough within to cover off previous storylines, my interest was piqued and I want to know more about Dr Hunter’s previous escapades. I’ll definitely be returning the world of Dr David Hunter.
Who Is Simon Beckett?
Simon Beckett has worked as a freelance journalist for national newspapers and colour supplements. He is the author of five international bestselling crime thrillers featuring his forensic anthropologist hero, Dr David Hunter: The Chemistry of Death, Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead, The Calling of the Grave and The Restless Dead. His stand-alone novels include Stone Bruises and Where There’s Smoke. He lives in Sheffield.