Friday, May 27, 2011

Guest Review: A Hard Death

Summary: Brilliant forensic pathologist Edward Jenner returns in this explosive sequel to Precious Blood—an edgy, electrifying thriller set in a small-town coastal community where nothing is as it seems. 

Edward Jenner, introduced in Precious Blood, has survived the horrific ordeal of the Inquisitor serial killings in New York, but not the political fallout. His state medical license suspended, Jenner finds himself banished to Douglas County in coastal Florida, working as a medical examiner in the balmy seaside resort of Port Fontaine. 

But there's a seamy underside to picturesque Douglas County. First Jenner finds the bodies of a murdered man and woman decaying in a sunken car. Then an anonymous call in the middle of the night leads him to a gruesome discovery in the heart of the Everglades. He finds traces of a shadowy criminal conspiracy, and soon learns that he can trust no one. 

With his life on the line, Jenner refuses to walk away and let the murderers go unpunished. The result is dark Florida noir, a fierce, edge-of-the-seat thriller from an emerging master of the genre. -- Harper

Booking Pap Pap is back with another fantastic review. This time it's for A HARD DEATH by Jonathan Hayes. I had a feeling when I read the description for this one that it would be right up his alley!

Here are his thoughts:

In A HARD DEATH, author Jonathan Hayes brings back Edward Jenner, the hero in his first novel, PRECIOUS BLOOD. Jenner, a criminal pathologist, having been banished from practicing in New York, has hit rock bottom and is trying to pull his life together. Desperate to find a job, Jenner accepts an offer to fill in for his friend and mentor, the Douglas County Florida medical examiner, while he takes a long needed vacation. What Jenner anticipates as an easy time after his New York ordeal quickly changes with the discovery of the bodies of a murdered man and woman in a sunken car that turn out to be the medical examiner and his wife. Shortly thereafter two sets of hanged bodies are discovered in a remote part of the Everglades. Jenner soon realizes that the murders are related.

Jenner’s life is further complicated when the crimes become national news and the female reporter who ruined his New York career arrives in Florida. By rehashing the old New York story, she manages to get Jenner fired. After Jenner’s life is threatened and his detective friend is murdered, he refuses to let go of the case he knows will be swept under the carpet after he departs.

Hayes brings an interesting aspect to the novel by using his experience as a real life forensic pathologist to describe some of the crime scene and crime lab activity. Hayes’ characters are real life and complex. His hero, Edward Jenner, is not the perfect good guy and one of the women, a single mother, has an extremely complicated life. One aspect of the novel I didn’t care for was the excessive use of the infamous four-letter word that actually was a distraction.

A HARD DEATH is an exciting thriller with a quick paced plot. There’s something for everyone in this forensic thriller – the eerie setting in the Florida Everglades; a Mexican drug cartel; illegal aliens; a child sex ring; corrupt police; beautiful women: an uncomfortable father-daughter relationship; an unethical mortician and plenty of dead bodies. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good easy-to-read thriller.

Thanks to the publisher for sending a review copy of this book and to Booking Pap Pap for his review.


Beth Hoffman said...

I often like a good forensic thriller, and this one sounds great! I'll add it to my list. Thanks, Booking Pap Pap!

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

Uh-oh -- I think I am too wimpy for this one :) :) Hope you are having a great day, honey!