Title: Written In Bone
Author: Simon Beckett
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Dr. David Hunter has returned to the world of forensic anthropology, after his stint as a GP when he was trying to hide from his profession. He has just finished a difficult case and is hoping to return home when he receives a call. There has been a strange death on an island in the Hebrides, and Dr. Hunter is to investigate and see if a crime specialist team needs to be sent to the scene. Hunter heads to the island, a close-knit community whose members have their own dark secrets, and finds himself in the middle of a dangerous mystery.
I had nothing but wonderful things to say about the first in the Dr. David Hunter series, The Chemistry of Death. It was well-written, the forensics were very interesting without being grisly, and the mystery was incredibly well done. I didn’t think that Beckett could top himself, until I read Written In Bone and was completely blown away.
Written In Bone was so incredibly good, I can’t even begin to describe it. The forensics really were fascinating. Beckett did an incredible job making them interesting and relevant without allowing the details to take over the story. Hunter is a talented forensic expert, but that’s not the point of the novel. The mystery is, and it was amazingly done. The entire novel has a close, almost claustrophobic, feel. It’s clear that the community on Runa is very close-knit. They’ve all known each other for a long time, so David isn’t trusted and is barely tolerated when he arrives. He uncovers details about the death that no one wants to hear.
When Runa is cut off from the mainland because of the storm, the intensity of the novel increases. Hunter can feel the killer breathing down his neck, closing in on him as he frantically tries to figure out what is going on underneath the surface. He can’t trust anyone except his fellow policemen. He knows that the murderer has to be on the island because of the storm, but doesn’t know who it could be. It doesn’t help that the murderer seems to be one step ahead of Hunter each step of the way. Beckett does an incredible job of creating suspense, such that any reader will race through this book to understand the truth behind the events of the novel.
I could not put Written In Bone down. I read it in one sitting, from beginning to end, and the second I finished it, I put its sequel, Whispers of the Dead on hold at the library. I cannot tell you how amazing this series is. Words alone cannot describe these novels. Even if you’re not really a fan of mysteries, I’d recommend these books. They really are just that good!