Sunday, May 24, 2009

A copule of mini-reviews.

My reading has slowed a little of late. Perhaps it's my frame of mind or perhaps it's the demands of life intruding. Or it could be after a spectacular reading month in April, May's offerings haven't held me glued to the page as much.

Richard Montanari
Publisher: William Heinemann
ISBN: 9780434016020

Philadelphia homicide detectives Kevin Byrne and Jessica Balzano are on the trail of a serial killer. He murders young women and leaves clues for the police to find. Solve the clues and they might just save another victim. He also dumps his bodies in very specific locations. The detectives also have to try and work out the reasoning behind the locations to unlock the riddle of the killer.

PLAY DEAD is about riddles, puzzles and magic tricks. At least for the killer that's what it's about. For Bryne and Balzano it's about catching him before there are too many more victims.

We know who the killer is pretty early on in the book. We also know something of the reasoning of the killer. It's up to the detectives to find out what it's all about.

I enjoyed PLAY DEAD while I was reading it but when it came to writing this review I had to pick up the book to remind myself of the plot and the characters. There were parts of the plot that I didn't particularly like. The connection with a murdered colleague seemed just a bit too coincidental.

My verdict: Fairly quick and entertaining read, but details will soon fade.

DEATH'S ACRE - Dr Bill Bass (with Jon Jefferson)
Bass and Jefferson write crime fiction under the name of Jefferson Bass. The protagonist in their fiction seemed to me to be very closely based on Bill Bass himself. This opinion was confirmed when I read DEATH'S ACRE which is the story of Bass' professional career, how he came to established the now famous "body farm" and some of his landmark cases which have led to advances in the science of forensic anthropology.

The book is packed with fascinating facts and details of the work done by Bass and his colleagues at the Body Farm. He relates this information in a cheerfully conversational manner that cuts down the "ewwww" factor considerably.

My verdict: Anyone who is even vaguely interested in how the experts can find out so much about how, when and why a person died will find DEATH'S ACRE informative and entertaining.

1 comment:

Dorte H said...

Death´s Acre sounds really interesting to someone as curious as I am :)