1 February 2008


I thought I'd find more references to skulls in my reading record summaries, but I found only 3, one of which I listed when I talked about bones.

But you can see from my ratings that I enjoyed them all.
Once again a couple of highly recommendable authors in Stephen Booth and Jane Goodall. Jane is an Australian author, so do try to get her books- and read them in order (THE WALKER, THE VISITOR, THE CALLING)

THE DEAD PLACE by Stephen Booth
Soon there will be a killing. Close your eyes and breathe the aroma. I can smell it right now, can't you? So powerful, so sweet. So irresistible. It's the scent of death… The anonymous caller who taunts the Derbyshire Police with talk of an imminent killing seems to be just another hoaxer. But Detective Sergeant Diane Fry begins to take him seriously when a woman is snatched from a multi-storey car park. This was no opportunist attack but a carefully planned abduction - and it's possible the chilling voice is telling the truth when it hints at earlier murders and bodies waiting to be found in 'the Dead Place'. Detective Constable Ben Cooper, meanwhile, has succeeded in finding a body - or rather, a collection of bones. This comes as a shock to the deceased's family, for Audrey Steele should have left no bones. Eighteen months ago, after dying from natural causes, Audrey was cremated and her ashes scattered in Edendale's memorial gardens. Their investigations lead DS Fry and DC Cooper into the world of those whose lives revolve around death. And finally, in a boarded-up ancestral home that has long been the stuff of legend in the White Park, a crypt full of skulls yields it dark secrets.
My rating: 4.6

THE VISITOR by Jane R. Goodall
Following the phenomenal success of Jane R Goodall’s 2004 debut novel THE WALKER comes the second Briony Williams thriller. Twin boys run away from their au pair on a trip to the Oxford countryside. They race into some woods where they see a man chopping. At first they think he is chopping wood, but what he is holding in his hand is not an axe, and the shape on the ground is not a tree. Their au pair, Sylvie, sets off to look for them... Briony Williams has moved to Oxford. The story begins as she speeds across the city to the murder site, where Sylvie Bec has been found dead—killed by a single blow that crushed her skull. The forensic pathologist says he has never seen anything like it.
With a fascination for all things terrifying, Jane Goodall takes readers into the dark, drug-filled world of 1970s Oxford, where we witness serial killings and a murderer with a fascination for ancient artefacts. Not even Detective Williams is safe.
My rating: 4.7

THE BONE GARDEN by Tess Gerritsen
Maura Isles, Boston medical examiner, tells Julia Hamill that the skeleton she has dug up in her back garden is old, much older than the house that she has recently purchased. The skeleton is that of a female under 35 years, buried perhaps more than 150 ago, and murdered. Julia is recently divorced and had been labouring to convert the barren back yard into a garden when her shovel struck a skull. Now her backyard is an excavation site for the medical examiner’s office.
For most of the book, which jumps, sometimes a little jarringly, backwards and forwards between the 1830s and the present day, we are following an ancestor of the last owner of the house, the person's whose estate Julia bought the house from. We do this both through reading about events as they happen, and through papers and letters hoarded by the previous occupant Hilda Chamblet
My rating: 4.6


Martin Edwards said...

You might like 'The Shining Skull' by Kate Ellis. She too wrote a book called 'The Bone Garden'....

Peter Rozovsky said...

A few years ago, my newspaper published a short item about the search for clues in the case of a headless body that had turned up somewhere. My suggested headline drew appreciative laughs, but it went unpublished nonetheless:

Police seek body of evidence
to go with missing head

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"


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