‘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 . . .
With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, viscerally authentic detail and explosive heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead offers a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre’s best.
What does TWG think?
Several years ago if someone had told me that I would be on the blog tour for a chilling novel in the future, such as this one, I would have laughed in their face and gone back to reading my Nicholas Sparks** novel. However, I am on the blog tour for a chilling novel…today as it is my stop on Simon Beckett’s blog tour for ‘The Restless Dead’! I hope you enjoy reading my review!
(**Note: I still LOVE Nicholas Sparks’ novels but I don’t keep myself chained to the one genre anymore 😉 ).
I am renaming April as ‘TWG’s Out of Comfort Zone Month’ as I seem to be reviewing books I’d never look twice at years ago! I am probably going to sound weird here but seeing as I’m amongst friends I need to say this; the title of Simon Beckett’s book was what made me jump at the chance of reviewing it. How crazy is that? The title may be ‘The Restless Dead’ but I was ‘The Restless TWG’ whilst I was reading it!
Simon Beckett is a brand new author for me, and whilst his new book is part of a series, I was actually okay reading it as a standalone novel. I didn’t get too confused as, funnily enough, my attention was elsewhere!
Dr.David Hunter has been asked to assist with a case in Essex, a chance he literally jumps at seeing as his professional life seems to be hanging by a thread. Although, if he doesn’t respond how a local businessman wishes him to, Dr.Hunter’s personal life could be hanging by a thread too.
Not only is there decomposed body to try to wrap your head around (not literally!), there is also the surroundings of which the body was found. To put it bluntly it scared the hob off my hobnob biscuit. Beckett has created this eerie and chilling backdrop for the dead bodies and putting both of those together in such vivid detail, was enough to make me not read this novel at night! And that wasn’t my lot either! Reading #TheRestlessDead was like being on a constant rollercoaster, there were so many twists to every situation that I had no idea whether I was coming or going (not a bad thing). Alongside that there seemed to be a multitude of red herring moments put in for good measure. Well, I assume they were! Either that or my detective skills are much worse than I originally thought!
Not only does Hunter have a decomposed body to contend with, he also has to get to the bottom of another missing person investigation and try to piece together each individual puzzle. Ahhh it sounds rather simple when you put it like that, doesn’t it? Er no, Hunter quite clearly had his work cut out for him!
Even though my body was covered in goosebumps and I kept jumping off of my sofa in fright, like a trampoline, at the slightest noise my house made whilst reading the book, as weird as this sounds I felt like I actually learnt something too. Before now I hadn’t really paid too much attention to the steps in which a body decomposes, neither did I have any clue about the stages involving the lungs and bacteria, yet the way Beckett had written those developments into the storyline made me come away with some rather valuable knowledge. Don’t get me wrong it’s not the sort of subject I’ll be bringing up at Christmas dinner this year, but it will certainly help me understand more details for Beckett’s upcoming novels.
Yes, you saw that right. Whilst crime scene investigations and dead bodies aren’t my usual go to novels, I found Beckett’s vivid imagery of both setting and investigations to be a work of art. If a storyline can make me become a nervous wreck then I most definitely will not sniff at that at all.
Simon Beckett most certainly knows his stuff and Dr.David Hunter is such an intriguing fellow; I have a feeling I won’t be ‘seeing’ the last of Simon Beckett on my bookshelf.
A suspenseful, spine tingling, roller coaster ride of a novel which will keep you on your toes the whole way through.
Thanks Transworld Books/Bantam Press.
Feeling a bit restless? There are a few upcoming tour stops to have a nose at, so make sure you follow the rest of the tour. Details are below: