Review of Keith McCarthy’s Latest Novel – A Furnace Far Too Hot


The focus of my blog is to review book series and not individual novels. But writers are going to continue writing novels within a series even after I have done my review, so I plan on reviewing the individual novels as they come into circulation.   Keith McCarthy has just recently added book #10, A Furnace Far Too Hot, to the John Eisenmenger series.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to see the newest addition to Keith McCarthy’s John Eisenmenger series, since it was four years ago that he published the last novel in the series, The Taste of Wormwood. As a reviewer of book series, I am constantly updating the review that I have completed for an author with information on the latest addition to their series. It is simple enough to find this information for mainstream authors such as Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen and the likes, but can be difficult when it involves indie and more obscure authors such as Keith McCarthy. Since it had been four years since the last book in the series was released, I wasn’t actively looking for any additions to the John Eisenmenger series. Recently, I just happened to come across one of those Amazon email advertisements that are constantly being sent to me which, more often than not, I delete without looking at it. This time, however, I did look at the email and, lo and behold, I see A Furnance Far Too Hot being advertised. If it weren’t for that email, I would have totally missed it. Though it does give me a certain uncomfortable feeling that Amazon seem to know that I might want to read this novel (this is especially true since I have been reviewing a number of cyber-thrillers recently), I still appreciate that I got the email.

John Eisenmenger is a forensic pathologist which means that he is the one that does the autopsies. Throughout the series, Eisenmenger has been trying to run away from his occupation for which he is naturally adept mainly because it causes him too much grief in his personal life. Problem is that he keeps coming back. Once again Eisenmenger is dragged back into forensic pathology in A Furnace Far Too Hot when during a temporary position as a regular pathologist at a hospital, he is asked to give advice on an unusual autopsy of a suicide victim. It doesn’t take long before Eisenmenger runs into too many coincidental incidences to realize that this suicide has a more sinister aura behind it which eventually leads him to Inspector Beverley Wharton.

Wharton is an interesting character. She is a strikingly attractive cop, and being attractive and female in a male dominated occupation has its drawbacks. But Wharton is a survivor and she will do whatever she needs to do to survive even if it may not be morally appropriate. Eisenmenger and Wharton have crossed paths throughout the series and they both have a mutual attraction to each other, but they can’t seem to get together. Wharton’s aggressive need to survive clashes with Eisenmenger’s clinical aloofness along with his moralistic pursuit in solving a crime. This becomes all too apparent in A Furnace Far Too Hot, when together Wharton and Eisenmenger try to solve a crime that has become both politically and psychologically complicated.

Like Eisenmenger, Keith McCarthy is also a pathologist which means that he gives an accurate, as well, as a very descriptive rendition of the forensics. This, of course, means that the autopsies are quite graphic which may not be for the weak-hearted. If you are a CSI lover and you like the details, A Furnace Far Too Hot, will be right up your alley.  Though I suggest reading the series to get to know the characters, this novel could easily be read as a standalone.

To learn more about the series check out a review of the John Eisenmenger Series.


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