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 The corpse of a woman dead is found in a remote cave deep in The Appalachian Mountains,, the body has been near-perfectly preserved by the cave's unusual chemistry.

Dr. Bill Brockton founder of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Facility, a.k.a the Body Farm is called in to investigate the circumstances of the mummified corpse's death.

What Brockton uncovers is a secret with its roots buried deep in the past of the remote mountain community, placing him at the centre of a decade's old feud, and possibly its next victim.
- Back Cover Blurb 

I picked up the hunting knife with my left hand and tested its heft, then shifted it to my right hand to compare.
- First Sentence, Prologue

A boy at one side of the room - a quadrant from which I'd heard snores on more than one occasion - raised his hand. 'Did you say Mongoloid?' I nodded. 'Man, that's harsh. Why would someone kill a retard?'

The room erupted in groans. I checked the seating chart. 'Do your reading, Mr Murdoch!' I thundered. 'In physical anthropology, "Mongoloid" refers to peoples of Mongolian descent - Asians and Native Americans.' He slumped in his seat.
- Memorable Moment, Page 214 

SOURCE ... Borrowed from a friend, thanks Ruth.


MY THOUGHTS ... Having read and been informed by readers of these books that, Book 7, The Bones Of Avignon (published in the US as The Inquisitor's Key) wasn't the best book in this, the Body Farm series, I decided to read this, the first book, in the hope I'd enjoy it more.

A bit of an odd read in so much as it didn't feel like the first in a series, there was so much back story; things that I would have liked to know more about; things that though alluded to were never really gone into.

Fascinated by the whole concept of the Body Farm, once again I was left a bit disappointed by how little of this there is in the book. Call me cynical but it feels as if the author is vicariously relying on the reputation of something that isn't in fact actually represented here . 

Then ....

A tad too much inconsequential waffle - to say nothing of the 'odd' tangents the plot went off on OR the multitude of oddly placed tertiary characters - that clouded the issues. 

The female characters, of whom there were only a handful, I thought weak. Perhaps better represented in future books (though I remember they were one of the issues I had with The Bones Of Avignon so perhaps not) but, as it was, I thought them so poorly written it was woeful.

Most of all though, there was Dr Bill Brockton himself (not to be confused with Dr Bass, the real life founder of the Body Farm and one half of the team behind the books, who I'm sure is a decent human being). What is so appealing about this type of character (along with Dr Brockton, I'm thinking Robert Langdon of The Da Vinci Code books amongst others)? 

Characters that, in the case of Dr Brockton; tragically widowed with an estranged son, have been (excuse the pun) done to death? Characters that, in general, in powers in position; emotionally damaged; seemingly irresistible to much younger women, we see featured again and again? 

Not a series I can see myself investing in any further. I had thought about reconsidering my rating but, rich in forensics (its definitely not one for the squeamish but then the more gory the forensics the better as far as I'm concerned), all things considered, worthy of its three stars.

This post first appeared on Pen And Paper, please read the originial post: here

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