Whispers of the Dead is Simon Beckett's third novel featuring forensic pathologist Dr. David Hunter. This book is set in Knoxville, Tennessee and involves what is commonly referred to as 'the body farm'. This is a research facility where cadavers are left to the environment and are studied to understand the effects of decomposition. Dr. Hunter is there as a guest, working with his former mentor, when a mysterious death occurs. Dr. Hunter's mentor is called in by the local law enforcement agency, and he asks Dr. Hunter to assist. From there, the investigation develops and additional dead bodies begin to turn up.
Simon Beckett has quickly become one of my favourite authors. His attention to detail involving the field of forensic anthropology is, to my mind, bang on. He develops characters in such a way that they do not feel one dimensional, but rather take on a life of their own. They literally leap off the page and come to life.
Then there is Dr. David Hunter himself. Flawed. Brilliant. Full of doubts that we all have in one aspect or another of our lives. In short, a well written and developed character.
I enjoyed this book immensely and I look forward so reading the next installment.