Review of Simon Beckett’s Latest Novel, The Scent of Death

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.  Simon Beckett has recently added book #6, The Scent of Death, to the David Hunter series.


There is nothing more wonderful for a thriller enthusiast, such as myself, to have the setting of a thriller to take place in a creepy psych ward or dilapidated hospital. Luckily for me, Simon Beckett’s the The Scent of Death does just that with an abandoned hospital know as St. James located in London, England.  The remains of four bodies are found at the hospital just as it was destined to be torn down. Our hero, forensic pathologist David Hunter, is called in to take a look at the first victim that was found. When an unexpected accident happens while on the scene, a hidden room is exposed with two more bodies.  Since it was unclear whether the two additional corpses were related in their deaths to the first body found, a second forensic expert is called in.  Daniel Mears, who calls himself a forensic taphonomist, is young and arrogant and soon becomes a thorn in David Hunter’s side. As in any good thriller, not everything in the The Scent of Death is as it seems and St. James and its morbid occupants will become a nightmare for Dr. Hunter that he will not soon forget.

I would have to say that the The Scent of Death now tops my favorite for best in the series. The addition of more forensics than previous books in the series as well as the creepy hospital setting earns the The Scent of Death an A+ rating.

The The Scent of Death could easily be read as a standalone novel but for fans of the series, Beckett revives an old nemesis from one of Hunter’s past cases. It will make you want to reread Written in Bone all over again.

To learn more about the series check out the David Hunter series here.

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2 thoughts on “Review of Simon Beckett’s Latest Novel, The Scent of Death

  1. Great review. And the book sounds so intriguing. Like you said, nothing beats a dilapidated hospital or psych ward for a thriller. Looking forward to reading this one as soon as I catch up on the others. Unfortunately, my local library had only the first 2-3 books, so had to take a break after those. But I think it’s time to make some purchases!

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