Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Simon Beckett’s latest novel, ‘The Restless Dead’. I’ll be giving you a bit of information about the novel, and giving you my personal thoughts/opinions. Thanks so much to Transworld Books for this opportunity! So, here goes…
‘Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn’t naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body’s buoyancy until it floats again.
And the dead will literally rise . . . ‘
Once one of the country’s most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional – and personal – future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he’s eager for the chance to assist them.
A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification.
It’s thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing.
But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered – and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . .
About the Author
Simon Beckett is the author of ten novels, five of which belong to the bestselling David Hunter series: ‘The Chemistry of Death’ (2007), ‘Written in Bone’ (2008), ‘Whispers of the Dead’ (2010), ‘The Calling of the Grave’ (2012) and ‘The Restless Dead’ (2017). His other five novels are ‘Fine Lines’ (1994), ‘Animals’ (1995), ‘Where There’s Smoke’ (1998) ‘Owning Jacob’ (1999) and ‘Stone Bruises’ (2014). He has also played percussion in several bands and worked as a freelance journalist. Beckett lives in Yorkshire, England.
As a complete newbie to the David Hunter series, I had no idea how much I would get out of reading this as if it were a standalone. I can’t give any information about how this book works and how successful it is in the context of the series, but I can tell you that it absolutely works approaching it as a standalone. This is a really brilliant straightforward, no-nonsense crime novel. There’s plenty of bodies and gore, as the team work together to figure out “whodunnit”. In particular, I really enjoyed reading about Hunter’s work, and the descriptions of the bodies were brutally excellent.
I enjoyed learning events from the narrators’ perspective, and enjoyed learning more about his character too. I imagine there’s a lot more backstory to him previously to this, but I still enjoyed reading his progression throughout the novel. He definitely has his flaws, and his matter-of-fact attitude did bother me at times…but it’s clear to see he’s also suffered, and this makes him a realistic character. All of the characters were equally interesting in my opinion, and although it wasn’t clear to see how they all connected initially, they all come together in the end.
The ending is fantastic, and I was personally very satisfied with how events were resolved. We learn who committed the crimes in a shocking final scene jam-packed with action and suspense. Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to those of you who enjoy crime and forensics. I myself will be checking out more books in the David Hunter series in the future! A brilliant read.
Happy reading 🙂