Review: Whispers of the Dead (By Simon Beckett)

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Source: Goodreads

Length: 319 pages

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Forensic anthropologist, David Hunter, goes to Tennessee in the hope of reprieve from memories that plague his every waking and sleeping minute. People may find the body farm creepy and haunting, but it’s familiar territory for David. Coming back to his old university, its facilities and its people, especially old friends, eases some of his anxiety.

Until he tags along on the insistence of an old friend. And is sucked into a nightmare that should have been someone else’s.

The body that had decomposed beyond recognition and reason was only the first one. It was also the first clue in a twisted game of cat and mouse. Except, the mice had no idea that the game was even on.

But David Hunter catches on quickly. As do the friends he’s working with and the people who consider him the outsider on their case. As the toll rises, personal differences take a back seat. Because they don’t matter to the killer, they don’t stop him.

As David and everyone else on the case soon learns, only the kill matters.

Now David must embrace the nightmare, make it his if he has to catch a killer. Except, this isn’t like anything he’s encountered before. And David Hunter may finally be forced to accept that this might just be a web so complex, that even he can’t find a way out.

My take:

In one statement, classic Simon Beckett.

If you’re read his work, you know to expect twists, turns, personal battles, unyielding circumstances, and a killer unimaginably perverted. And Whispers of the Dead gives you exactly that. You open a sequel or another book in a series with many expectations and hopes, and Whispers of the Dead does not disappoint.

The story flows pretty flawlessly and on more than a few occasions, you find yourself thinking, “I didn’t expect that.” Sure, there are also times you feel like you’d seen it coming – that’s the result of reading numerous books from one author, you know when to expect the unexpected.

And yet, even with the expectations, the book manages to surprise.

It also comes with its share of gruesome details that really get to you, mainly because you can picture all of it so easily. So don’t attempt to read this over dinner, it definitely won’t sit well.

Those of you who have been following the series will be reintroduced to a lot of characters that you love, and fear. And as you near the end of the book, you’ll be left waiting to start on the next one.

For those of you who haven’t read any of Beckett’s work before, Whispers of the Dead is a good place to begin. But if you can get your hands on it, then I recommend starting with the first book of the series. There is an underlying overlap and continuation that affects the characters’ behavior and actions.

At the same time, Whispers of the Dead is quite satisfactory as an individual read in itself and one that explains the overlap in as much detail as possible. I’d recommend every fan of the crime thriller genre to go ahead and give Whispers of the Dead a shot, whether you’ve been following the series or not. Beckett is one of the best crime thriller authors out there today, and you definitely can’t miss his work – he might just make it to the top ten on your favorite author list.

– Rishika

 

 

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