Simon Beckett - The Scent of Death

by - March 03, 2019

Simon Beckett is returning with his sixth novel in the David Hunter crime thriller series, title The Scent of Death. I was lucky enough to be contacted by Hayley Barnes from Transworld Books to take part in the blog tour, so a huge thank you Hayley and the Transworld team!

As you can probably guess from the title, The Scent of Death is a grizzly affair which our forensic anthropologist Dr Hunter must solve.

"It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good. Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.

The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied...

For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain.
St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim . . ."

Just from the blurb itself, I knew the book was going to be a bone-chilling story, and it didn't disappoint!

What I enjoyed from the get-go was how Beckett throws the reader straight into the action. From a short summary about the smell of decay to Hunter getting the call to St Jude's, we are not faced with pages of build-up, which makes reading The Scent of Death even more intense as we keep up with the ever changing investigation!

As soon as the floor collapses to reveal the hidden ward floor with the mummified bodies tied up, I was immediately drawn into the investigation. Although it was a disturbing scene and conjured up horrifying images in my mind, I was desperate to know why these bodies were tied up there and the circumstances of the people.

I don't normally read forensic crime novels, so I was slightly apprehensive going in that because our protagonist was a forensic anthropologist (the study of physical anthropology and human skeletons), I wouldn't be able to understand the jargon and methods that our characters would use. However, from the first page these apprehensions soon disappeared. Beckett details any forensic jargon in clear terms that are understandable and most importantly interesting, and doesn't read like a boring science lesson!

The Scent of Death is told from Hunters perspective, which allows the reader to know more about him and his personal struggles. Although Hunter has many issues resulting from his past, he was a likeable and enjoyable character to read, which isn't always the case in thriller novels where the main protagonist is haunted by his or her past.

And if you haven't read any of the David Hunter series before then do not fear. It can be read as a standalone which I did but did not ruin the enjoyment of the novel. I will definitely be reading other books in the Hunter series!

It is the last day of the blog tour, so thank you to all my fellow bloggers who have taken part, I loved reading your thoughts on the book (whilst putting immense pressure on me to match their wonderful write-ups!).

The Scent of Death is out NOW on Kindle/Ebook and out on 18th April in hardback, so if you like the sound of the book then what are you waiting for?!

Thank you for reading,

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