Wednesday, March 9, 2011
A Hard Death
Harper - ARC edition
Release, April 1st
Amazon Blurb -
Disgraced forensic pathologist Dr. Edward Jenner hoped that a move to Florida would be a distraction from the serial killer horrors in Precious Blood, but in Hayes's solid sequel, the medical examiner finds himself embroiled in another life and death investigation. Barely eking out a living as Port Fontaine's temporary pathologist, Jenner is shocked when one of his first cases in the sleepy coastal town is the murder of his former mentor and Port Fontaine's regular medical examiner, Dr. Martin Roburn, whose body shows signs of torture. When Jenner is alerted to the decomposing bodies of four migrant workers deep in a swamp, he suspects their deaths are tied to Roburn. Jenner, along with a local detective, starts putting the pieces together to connect Port Fontaine's richest men, the booming migrant population, and the lucrative drug trade. Though Hayes flirts with a few genre clichés, Jenner emerges as a sufficiently flawed yet empathetic hero.
I loved this book! Jenner is in Florida filling in for his mentor, ME Dr. Martin Roburn who is supposedly on a cruise with his wife. Sadly he turns up dead in the front seat of his car, with his wife dead in the trunk. This starts off an investigation into migrant worker murders that all tie in together with Roburn's. Behind it all is a major meth dealer who is using a very unusual means to transport the drugs.
While there isn't one single psycho killer in this book as in Precious Blood, the intrigue and suspense is there none the less. Jenner is just on a mission to get to the bottom of this crime, while fighting against the tide of good ole boys viewing him as the outsider, never mind those who are on the take. The supporting characters where great. Jonathan has crafted people you easily get attached to. As I read I would yell to my husband, "can you believe this!", and he'd say "keep reading".
There is no doubt that Jenner can stand there with the big guns. As good as Alex Cross and Kay Scarpetta, Jenner is just a likable character with flaws like the rest of us that you want to get to know. I am giving this my highest rating because it held me at the edge of my seat, kept me guessing, and I am hoping that there will be many more books with him to come!
Now I have to say I let my imagination go a bit like many bloggers do, and thought who could play Jenner. Yes, I can see either book becoming a movie. My first thought was Matthew McConaughey, then Hubby said Josh Duhamel and I said a bit too pretty. Then while we were watching Justified he said, there's Jenner. And ya know what, of course he was absolutely right!! Who is it? Look -