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Beckett, Simon - 'The Calling of the Grave'
Paperback: 464 pages (Feb. 2012) Publisher: Bantam ISBN: 0553820656

The book opens eight years previous to the present day. Back to the time when forensic anthropologist David Hunter's wife and daughter were still alive. He is requested to attend a grave of a body buried on Dartmoor. The police believe it maybe one of the victims of Jerome Monk who was jailed for the murder of four young women. A loner and misfit he possesses incredible strength, raping and battering one of his victims to death. He has refused to reveal where the other three girls are buried.

Hunter reports to a DCS Simms, an ambitious and officious man. An acquaintance of Hunter's is DI Terry Connors, a hard drinking womaniser. A friend of Simms is in charge of the excavation - Professor Leonard Wainwright, a forensic archaeologist who jealousy protects his empire. Also on the team is a Behavioural Investigative Advisor, a young woman Sophie Keller. It is soon established that the body is a woman who was killed by Monk. The police persuade Monk to assist them in uncovering the graves of the missing two girls - twin sisters. Monk appears to be trying to help and Sophie seems to have a rapport with him. However when another grave is revealed to contain a dead badger, Monk makes his escape before being recaptured. There are no more revelations and eventually David returns to London and the family tragedy awaiting him.

Fast forward to the present day and David is contacted by Sophie who asks for his help as she is clearly frightened of something. He next learns from Terry Connors that Monk has escaped. David travels to the West Country and has to confront his worst terrors.

This is the fourth David Hunter thriller by the author and it is developing into a well written and gripping series. You get involved in the life of David Hunter and hope that he can again find love and a settled family life. Well researched by the author, a freelance journalist, you are immersed in the grisly procedure of identifying a person from buried bones.

Read another review of THE CALLING OF THE GRAVE.

Geoff Jones, England
February 2012

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 11/02/2012 20:24