Cover Image: The Scent of Death

The Scent of Death

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Member Reviews

One of my favourite authors.  I just love everything he writes.  This book is no exception I loved it.
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It’s been a while since I read a Dr David Hunter book but I didn’t find the gap disorienting at all. This is a twisty book that exposes all of Hunter’s vulnerabilities whilst trying to get to the bottom of mummified bodies founfd in a derelict hospital. As usual Hunter’s job as a forensic anthropologist makes this slightly different from your usual police procedural, which is refreshing. A solid read with excellent characterisation and a twisty plot.
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Another story of the forensic pathologist David Hunter. Very slow moving story with some unlikeable characters. Good storyline
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I am new to Simon Beckett but will definitely look out for more of his work.

David Hunter is a forensic anthropologist and is hired to help with police investigations. I don’t feel that not having read previous books that I had missed much, however the ending of this one is a bit of a teaser as to what came before and a bit of a spoiler too! 

In The Scent of Death a body has been discovered by builders, in a derelict hospital, wishing to demolish the site. Whilst examining the body a hidden room is found and has two bodies strapped to beds inside. The abandoned hospital is an eerie place that had been more recently inhabited by drug users. As David Hunter examines the first body a team of anthropologists are called in to examine the others and they make it very clear that Hunters advice is unwelcome.

Inadvertent relationships formed with locals lead Hunter to the identity of the bodies, after the team opposing him are hit with misfortune.

Alongside this story we learn of recent events that have led Hunter to live with the uncertainty of a deranged killer out to get him, now living in a gated, secure complex we learn snippets of what went before and this resolution makes for a climactic ending.
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This is a new author for me and a surprising read it was, David Hunter a Forensic Anthropologist was drawn to the St Jude's Hospital an abandoned edifice that was about to be demolished when a body of a young female complete with foetus was found mummified While trying to release the body without damage part of the ceiling collapses and reveals another bricked up chamber complete with 2 bodies strapped down on beds. The demolition manager is getting very irate as the longer this carries on the longer he can't demolish the building hence loss of money.  David Hunter strikes me as Mr.Goody always trying to score a brownie point, a bit lacking gumption you feel as if you want to shake him into sanity because what he has as brains he only uses them at work the rest of the time seems a bit dim.  It made reading it a must as you needed to know what else could the idiot get into and not get out of.  Not read any of the Hunter books before but sounds like a previous novel he has a run-in with a psychopath and makes you feel that he feels sorry for the abuser and not him the victim. All in all a good read a must read and as stated there are a few David Hunter novels that can be read as standalone, I would like to thank Random House UK publications for a copy to review and will add Simon Beckett to my author's list. A well-written story worth looking at some of his previous works.
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My next review is as follows:-

"The Scent Of Death:The New Dr David Hunter Thriller”)” written by Simon Beckett and published in Hardback by Bantam Press on 18 April 2019.  368 pages ISBN-13: 978-0593063491
ISBN-13: 978-0593063491

When a mummified body is found in the loft of St Jude’s, a hospital scheduled for demolition, Dr David Hunter is called in to examine the remains. Unfortunately these are not the only ones found as two more bodies are discovered in a sealed room under the loft floor. This is only the start of a dangerous investigation.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Scent of Death which is another exciting addition to an excellent series. I wouldn’t call it a complicated read as it is extremely easy to follow and there is a lot going on, so I imagine that the author spends a lot of time on his plotting and it shows as it all fits together well and most of his twists and turns and red herrings come as a surprise. The opening chapters with the discovery of the bodies is an attention grabber and after that the novel never lets up with plenty of action, personality clashes and an unusual solution. It held my attention from start to finish.

The novel is narrated in the first person by David Hunter so the reader gets to live events with him. I don’t know about this as he seems to me to be such a neutral but cold character I never feel particularly close to him. Sometimes, he he is  angry but he never  expresses it forcibly against those that wish him harm. It’s all a little too cold for my liking. Having said that he’s a very decent, noble and occasionally impulsive man which is to be admired.

This very exciting and sensationally well plotted creation rushes on to its final dramatic conclusion. I have had the privilege of reviewing many of this writers books and I look forward to reading more in the future.

The Scent of Death is a good read which I have no hesitation in strongly recommending.

I would like to thank the publisher via netgalley for an advance copy of The Scent of Death, the sixth novel to feature forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter.

.Best wishes,

Terry er c
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I really enjoyed this book. David Hunter is a forensic anthropologist and is often hired to help with police investigations. In this story, a number of bodies are discovered in a derelict hospital, and David is called in to aid the investigation. The plot is fast moving and there are some good characters and twists to the story. Thanks to NetGalley for a preview copy.
Copied to Goodreads.
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Loved this book, liked the premise and enjoyed something a little different.  Great character development and liked reading something from a forensic perspective.  Would definitely read other books by Simon Beckett and will be trotting down to the library to see what I can pick up.  Language easy to understand and not too technical.  Highly recommend.
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I really enjoyed this book, the first I have read by Simon Beckett, I thought it was well written too. 
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me read this in exchange for a review, I have put this review on Amazon too.
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When a mummified body is found in the attic of an abandoned hospital, it marks the start of a truly strange case for forensic expert Dr David Hunter.

This was my first foray into The David Hunter series, or for that matter books by Simon Beckett but I think it’s fairly safe to say that I am totally addicted and want to go back and read them all! The book works well as a standalone – although there are references to past events so you will get more out of if you have read the others. 

The book is chilling and so well written, it kept me hooked on every word for hours. The setting is a great choice – an abandoned hospital with a walled up room makes for a great atmosphere and the book becomes almost a horror story in places as the claustrophobic rooms are described. There is a really nice pace to the book with a lot of action and multiple threads to the investigation. It certainly kept me guessing throughout which is always nice (and unusual!) for crime thrillers. The forensic element seemed really well researched and was interesting to read about – it makes a nice difference from the usual detective perspective of the genre and reminded me a bit of the Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs.

Overall The Scent of Death is a fantastic read – really atmospheric, pacey and full of action – highly recommended! Thank you to NetGalley & Random House UK – Transworld Publishers, Bantom for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I am finding it hard to say exactly how I feel about this book. While the plot was a good one and I was eager to discover who the killer was I found it a bit too technical. There was too much about forensics, autopsies and the like and I found the language a bit dry. I don't envisage hunting for more of this author's work in the future.
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If you love a book of death, crime solving and forensic anthropology but want to try something a little more british than Kathy Reichs, then this is the author for you. He brings to live Dr Hunter, who throughout his outings, has faced death, picked up psychological scars and above all else learned to find inner strength to rebuild himself and find a sense of forgiveness for personal tragedies. 

The prose is wonderful, the way that he brings the dialogue to the page is delightful and for me, when you add great pace alongside characters that you care about to the fore, makes sure that the reader is presented with a wonderful crime thriller that will have you staying up late with the promise of one more chapter to disappointment as the last page is turned. 

For me, this latest outing is a wonderful example of British Crime and to be honest I'd love to see David brought to the small screen. Truly a cracking read and a real pleasure to spend time with. 

Review goes live on 12 November
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A fantastic book that sucked me in straight away. I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series but didn’t need to as there was enough in this book to fetch the reader up to date.

I figured a couple of things out but being right wasn’t a disappointment. This book has introduced me to a new series of books that I intend to read and will look out for future books.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.
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The first paragraph gripped me but then, although I like some background detail to provide authenticity, I found the technical details of the following paragraphs a touch boring. However, Beckett soon ensured I read on with the initial discovery of a body and then the intensifying intrigue as more bodies are found and the finger of blame points in various directions.
Although you might have your suspicions regarding the perpetrator Beckett leaves some surprises for the conclusion.

Thank you to NetGalley and Transworld Publishers (Penguin Random House) for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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St Jude’s, a disused hospital, is in the process of being demolished – but then a partially mummified body is found and forensic expert Dr David Hunter is called in.   The body is that of a young woman who was pregnant when she died – and shortly after this discovery, another part of the building collapses, revealing a walled-up room which also contains grisly remains.  

This is a page-turning thriller which I really enjoyed.  As you’d expect, there are some twists, turns and surprises (although there is some quite obvious ‘signposting’ in the story, so at least one of the twists wasn’t quite as surprising as it might have been).  

An enjoyable read which I would recommend.
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David Hunter is a forensic pathologist. He has worked with the police as a consultant & so was not entirely surprised when asked to take a look at the mummified body of a young woman that had been discovered during the demolition of St Jude's hospital. When one of the investigating team falls through the floor into a room that does not appear to exist it is clear that St Jude's has a number of secrets.

David Hunter is someone with a good heart that has had a lot of bad experiences. This book certainly adds to them. The atmosphere of the deserted hospital is suitably chilling & the author really captures the atmosphere of the place.I have never read any of the previous books in this series, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one.

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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While it may be helpful (and interesting) to have read the previous David Hunter novels it’s not essential. A well-crafted, occasionally spooky thriller with enough angst and action to make it a worthwhile read if you like the genre.
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This book is the 6th instalment in the David Hunter series of books. Although it's the first book I'm reading in this series, it worked well as a standalone for me. The backstory was easy to follow and you'll get straightaway into the crime scene and the investigation that follows.

A short brief about David Hunter for the newbees to the series: David is a forensic anthropologist who assists the police in their investigation as a Medical Examiner. His wife and daughter were killed in a car crash and he is still reeling from it. Meanwhile, David has a psychopathic stalker lady who haunts him during his dark hours. Currently, he is in a relationship that is still in its initial stages. His work keeps him occupied and spends most of his time in the morgue or at his new high security house in London.

So St.Jude's hospital is being demolished since it's too old and abandoned. That's when the mummified remains are found walled up inside the old hospital and Dr.Hunter is called to the scene. It doesn't take much time for David to examine the bones and determine that they're of a young female's and that she was pregnant when she died.

With this discovery, the media explodes putting more pressure on the Police and the investigating crew including Hunter, and his SIO Sharon Ward. To make matters worse, the roof of the hospital falls down to reveal two more bodies strapped to their beds for God knows how long. Who are these people and how did they end up here? Is a larger sinister force at work in the abandoned hospital? You must read to find out!

Simon Beckett proves his expertise in writing crime fiction with his consistent pace and characteristic developments, without giving away anything to his readers. David Hunter is your everyday guy - suffers from his own issues, takes pressure from his seniors at work, makes mistakes and then realises when it's just gone too far. The atmospheric setting of the hospital and the findings about what the victims have undergone are a little uneasy to read. But I really loved the descriptions about the medical examination throughout the story. It's really a treat for all crime thriller fans to taste in-depth knowledge about the on-going investigation and Simon gives his fans a handful!

I'd totally be adding Simon Beckett to my list and can't wait to read what he writes next! Highly recommended.
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An intriguing storyline which really takes you in depth into its folds but it was a real slow burner to start with and 'hands up' I was so close to giving up 3 or 4 times throughout.

I found that an awful lot of energy was spent on the descriptive text and felt more could have been spent on the actual storyline. At times the scenes felt repetitive and quite basic which can then tend itself to slightly boring.

The forensics within the storyline were written fantastically,  really in depth and perfect for this genre but once again became quite repetitive. 

Because of the repetitive style there was no real build up of suspense, sadly this is a novel that had SO much potential but didnt quite hit the notes I was hoping for.

Must say though... the ending was explosive!!!

Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for the ARC. 

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Forensic expert David Hunter has been called to an abandoned hospital where remains have been found, soon it becomes clear this is bigger than anyone thought when more bodies are found. A full scale investigation is soon launched and David is quickly involved. The case soon becomes more twisted when a friend is rundown and another injured. Plus theres the ever present threat of the woman who stabbed him coming back. 

This was so good. It's actually book 6 in the series but I understood enough without having read the previous books though after this, I'm going back to find them. The plot starts off steady and just builds to what you think is the end before wham theres another twist which caught me completely off guard. The ending was brilliant too. The writing was detailed without being too heavy in the technical detail. David Hunter is an interesting character with a detailed backstory.  I also liked Whelan and Ward they added further depth to his character. A fantastic thriller and well worth a read.
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