- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (May 19 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385340060
- ISBN-13: 978-0385340069
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.9 x 23.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #929,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Whispers of the Dead Hardcover – May 19 2009
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“Beckett ratchets up the suspense ... and keeps the tension taut to the end with a late twist. Whispers of the Dead reinforces the author’s place in the front rank of forensic crime novelists.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Simon Beckett is the author of The Chemistry of Death and Written in Bone. He lives in England, where he is at work on his next thriller featuring Dr. David Hunter.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
The victims limbs had been pulled down on either side of the table and fastened to the wooden pegs with parcel tape, even David couldn't recall ever seeing so many maggots in a single body before. Together with Dan Gardner, Assistant Special Agent in charge and Diane Jacobsen, part of the Field investigations Unit, David realizes that he and Tom are battling a powerful and thoughtful killer who is letting them see he knows about details, the fingerprints left at the crime scene, "He's not testing is, he's bragging how clever he is."
The investigation turns even more bizarre with the discovery of a film canister and a finger print. Yet the originator of the print has been killed in a car crash six months before. This in turn leads to an exhumation of a body at Steeple Hill, a local cemetery, the grisly contents of a casket adding another layer of mystery to the proceedings. This was the first victim, covered in a shroud and buried, then hidden away in shame. While David works on at the morgue, processing the bodies and the unidentified remains in the casket, his presence in the investigation clearly causes friction. Reluctant to back out, his professional instincts are finally kicked back into life when the horror of the situation comes close to him, the life of his best friend is at stake and a killer lurks nearby ready to strike.
Driven by the need to get to the truth behind the victim's fate, David might only be assisting Tom but he feels as though he was a stake in the investigation. Beckett weaves into his nightmarish plot a new and vulnerable David. His backdrop to the action is striking, the forest covered slopes of the Smoky Mountains stretching far into the horizon and the horror of human remains set against a world where the outside has been abruptly cut off, "an eerie sound in a grave yard setting." The author manipulates David and his other characters into southern gothic dance, an Englishman out of place in this world of yokels and cold-blooded killers. Then there's the sudden paper trail of corpses, each one leading to the next. It is here, amid bone and cartilage and mummified skin, and the memories of the sunlit garden of dragonflies and corpses that these nightmarish scenes play out and David finds himself a number one target. While the events unfold in typical formulaic fashion, the action never lets up; it's where the innocent finding themselves prey to terrifying imposter who delights in misdirection as he slips into the lives of one of his victims so easily with the "sloughed skin from their hands." For his part David must rise above his insecurities, pushing personal concerns aside, as Tom, and other members of the taskforce reluctantly propel him to uncover the dark secrets that characterize this new kind of killer. Mike Leonard August 09.
`Most people just called it the Body Farm'.
This is where David Hunter first trained in forensic anthropology, and he hopes that this return trip will restore his shattered confidence and help him find out whether he is still up to the job. Given recent events, he is still bearing emotional and physical scars and he hasn't worked for some months.
When his former mentor, Tom Lieberman, invites him to assist on a murder investigation, he agrees: after all, he'll only be an observer.
But in this case, nothing is at it seems. The victim has been bound and tortured, and the body has decomposed beyond recognition - far more than it should have given the timeframe. There are fingerprints at the scene - but do they really identify the killer? Trying to track down the killer leads to the discovery of another body is found and it soon becomes clear that nothing is straightforward in this investigation. When David Hunter points out some inconsistencies, he discovers that not everyone investigating is happy about his involvement. He is, after all, British not American.
In the meantime, the killer is fascinated by death and what happens at the point of death and is not likely to stop killing. But who is the killer? How many people have they killed, and over what period of time? And how (and who) will stop the killer? When events escalate, the investigators realise that they are searching for a serial killer with a detailed knowledge of forensic pathology.
`Life's too short.'
This is Simon Beckett's third book (of four so far published) to feature forensic anthropologist David Hunter. I enjoyed this novel, as I have the other three, but did not much care for the italicised passages from the mind of the killer. For me, those passages slowed down the narrative without adding much value to the story.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
I love Simon's story and his writing style and I love Dr.David Hunter!!
and this book is my favourite of the series (and of all crime-suspense novel) so far.
Once you started reading this book, you'll be drawn into the scene instantly.
You'll forget the real world...really!
This's the 3rd book in the series, and I think it's the spookiest one.
You'll feel like you're with David but invisible along the story.
I think you even feel you are able to smell and touch something!!
....Strengthen your stomach before reading this one....
I warned you...(^_-)-☆
I read it a little time ago and cant remember if there is much violence, sexual content or first person.
I find he kept me so enthralled, I did not notice. It is macabre though, but too good not to read it.