What’s it about?
Meredith Carlyle is living an unhappy, lonely life as an EMT in the city of Seattle. Durning a campus shooting, she breaks the rules and helps save a life by going way outside of her scope of practice. Disgraced, she is left without a job or an identity to call her own.
That night, she literally stumbles over the body of a headless teenager left by the shore of the Montlake Shipping Canal. Meredith is plunged into the world of forensic investigation and police procedure, finding herself stuck between good cops and bad. She is faced with the decision to find this skeleton’s identity or to save her own life.
An engrossing debut novel. I believe this is the first time I ever read a book with so much detail in the forensic field. I could picture myself around the autopsy table in the series of Bones, although Erin in the book is a lot more worldly and sympathetic than Temporance Brennan on tv. Meredith Carlyle, better known as Carly, was an Emergency Medical Technician. Basically, it was her job to ride the ambulance and let others tend to the people in need of medical assistance. But working a scene after a shooting she overstepped her duties and lost her job. To make matters worse, after a visit to the local bar, she accidentally stumbled over a skeleton on the side of a river bank. Where others would feel disgusted, she’s more than intrigued and feels a need to take responsibility and help solve the case. Years of intensive reading have incurred deep forensic knowledge and help her when she poses as a medical student and she attends and helps with the autopsy of the John Doe. When a reporter later on suggests that there could be police involvement in this case, she’s even more determined not to back off. Her stubbornness is not taken in gratitude by the police however and makes it even more dangerous for herself.
It’s clear that the author has extensive expertise in this field, throwing around very specific terms like femurs, tibia and fibula (the paired bones within the lower leg of a human body) at a regular base. I can therefore recommend this book to readers who have a great attraction to the work of a pathologist or really a very high interest to know such detailed information. I can certainly say that I learned a little about forensics through this book myself and I can perhaps even distinguish a Caucasian femur myself from other races from now on. For an amateur like me, this is all very fascinating and gives the ultimate insight in this field without having to read it out of a science book, yet it was also sometimes a bit difficult to comprehend the lexicon. The author’s approach by not belittling or making it easy on us, makes this story unique among many other investigations.
As for the plotline on its own, it captured and held my attention, although there is no real mystery where the threat in this book is coming from. I like Carly as a character, she can stand her ground and is fairly confident in everything she does. I think she will return fiercely in the sequel and hit evil dead-on again and I’m definitely interested reading again about her new adventures.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion*