Book Reviews of The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1)

The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1)
The Chemistry of Death - David Hunter, Bk 1
Author: Simon Beckett
ISBN-13: 9780385340045
ISBN-10: 0385340044
Publication Date: 9/26/2006
Pages: 320
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 50 ratings
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I was fortunate to be chosen to read this prior to its release and I really loved it. I raved about it to everyone I knew, telling them they had to run out and buy it as soon as it was available! I can't wait for his next book. It'll be one that I run out to buy as soon as it is released.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Remember way-back when Patricia Cornwell wrote great thrillers that were chock-full of forensic detail? Beckett is better.

FYI: book does contain some rather unpleasant violence towards women.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
This was an excellent read! It's full of forensic detail, and very atmospheric. There's just enough introspection to flesh out the main character, without getting too bogged down or giving away all of his secrets, and it's rare to find even a minor character who doesn't have some complexity. As far as finding whodunnit, the reader is kept guessing right to the end.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The Chemistry of Death is by the up-and-coming British author, Simon Beckett. It's a forensic mystery/thriller akin to Kathy Reichs' "Bones." It has well-developed, believable characters and great plot twists that you don't see coming. Don't miss this one! (Can't wait to read the sequel, "Written in Bone.")
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book will grab you from the first page and won't let you go until you are finished. If you expect light bedtime reading to make you drowsy, this is not for you. Outstanding! And I can't wait to read the next one.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 1131 more book reviews
This wasn't a bad mystery. Looking at the forensic anthropology aspect of crime was different and interesting, although some of the descriptions were queasily graphic. The plot was a little far-fetched, but (mostly) not outrageous, and while I had an inkling about who the perp was, I didn't get all the nuances until Beckett laid it out. The ending was disappointing, though, trite and a trifle confusing. No surprises among the characters; they were the typical village inhabitants one would expect. Hunter himself was likable enough, if a little vague.

It would have been a vastly better story, though, if Hunter hadn't suffered from the too-common mystery novel malady of being in mourning for a tragically deceased wife and daughter. And better still if he hadn't ended so many sections with such blatant foreshadowing. All those "little did I realize then, but...", "if only I had known", and "the worst was yet to come" pronouncements quickly grew tiresome. They created annoyance, not suspense.

So, not bad, but probably not strong enough to compel me to look for more of the Hunter series.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 27 more book reviews
Simon Beckett's books are always great, and this is no exception. I was surprised when the villain was revealed, and that doesn't happen very often.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
This is the first book in what I think will become a very popular new series. It is full of forensic anthropology and wonderful twists of plot. I have read this one and the second in the series as well. I recommend highly to anyone who enjoys a really good forensic read!!!
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 420 more book reviews
Read this for my online book club, The Reading Cove. Maybe it's just me, but I found this to be a cookie-cutter "who dunnit." It was very predictable. One woman goes missing, body turns up dead. Another woman goes missing, body turns up dead. On and on. The phrase "the killer" was used a lot. You get the picture....There was a surprising twist at the end, but it seemed more contrived to shock the reader than plausible.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on
This was not exactly boring but it was very formulaic. It's a British murder mystery but not hard at all to get through the dialect.

The main character is a trained forensic pathologist the likes of Reichs and Cornwell but there were very few actual facts presented, forensically speaking, to be able to clearly state that this was a book about forensics. The forensic aspect was a very minor sub-plot. It felt as though a few rudimentary story lines were added without a lot of thought, just to fit the particular niche the author desired.

The writing was good, the plot was just middle-of-the-road and the characters were just moderately fleshed out. I wasn't drawn to care about any single character one way or the other.

The ending was no surprise to me, but maybe it will be to some others. I knew who the killer was just shortly after the introduction of the character, although I doubt that was what the author intended. It was the formulaic aspect of the plot that made the killer so obvious.

I am going to read the next book in the trilogy just because I have it. But I don't think I would seek it out if I didn't. I didn't hate it, but I can't say I found much to love either.

I bought this book due to the pretty good reviews but I doubt very much that it isn't a book you've read many, many times, albeit with characters that have different names.
reviewed The Chemistry of Death (David Hunter, Bk 1) on + 587 more book reviews
This book was a definite page-turner and a very twisty mystery. Every character was on my suspect list at one time or another and Simon Beckett kept me guessing all the way through. The book is very well-written and very entertaining especially as a group read with great discussion questions. I look forward to my next Simon Beckett novel.