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Synopsis (Book 1 of 3) A FEAST OF CARRION
John Eisenmenger, a former forensic scientist, finds himself dragged unwillingly into a bizarre and gruesome murder case. Suspicious that the police findings don’t seem to add up, he and solicitor Helen Flemming set out discover what really happened to Nikki Exner.
The police are determined to cover up their failings, leaving Eisenmenger and Fleming to discover there’s more at stake than simply uncovering the murderer’s identity…

My review: This came as a kindle version and I have no idea how many pages it would work out at in paperback but for my little amazon fire it was over 14000! Most books are between 4-5000. So I’ve read the first one and stopped otherwise this book may never get reviewed. The others I will revisit at a later date.

And I will revisit even though I’m going to only give this a thumbs in the middle. Sometimes a book is long but it’s so fast paced you don’t notice. I noticed ever bit of this book. I’m sure it could lose 25% and still tell a worthy tale. For me it seemed to be written as if the author has designs on a 10 part television drama, it was dragged out so much.

The lengthy word count though did allow for the characters to be fleshed out. I’m assuming the police will be back as antagonists for the newly formed duo of Eisenmenger & Fleming? Otherwise why did I need to care so much about their lives? There’s actually a disclaimer at the beginning of the book apologising for the police depictions and once you get into the book it’s easy to see why. I don’t think a single one is likeable, they’re corrupt, sleep their way to promotions and are quick to don’t really do their jobs well. If it wasn’t for the apologetic foreword I’d be wondering what the police had ever done to the author.

My other issue, one I’m hoping might settle down a bit as the new duo take on different cases was all the jargon. Granted he’s an ex-pathologist and the murder had taken place in a medical university but there was so much medical jargon with little explanation I found it difficult to follow at times.

Moving on and being nice, I did like the premise. Very little in this book is as it seems. The majority of the characters have a secret and some very naughty ones at that. Medical school is a hotbed of every desire you can think of including as it turned out some rather gruesome desires too. The murder is one that we don’t see very often, the victim being hung, drawn and quartered. And as mentioned earlier. the characters are well written and horrid as they may be, they do at least have personalities and give you a reason to love or hate them.

I loved the ambiguous procedural/whodunnit ending. I’ve written before about hating the Hollywood ending and the whodunit runs all the way through with I think most of them accused at some point in the story but as with everything in life, the results are not so black and white.

And I LOVED the actual ending with Eisenmenger’s ex-girlfriend. It was worth the slog through the book for an ending that explosive. And one of the reasons despite the length that I’ll read the others. I need to know what happens next.

So to sum up, it’s long (don’t think I mentioned that….), you may need a medical dictionary in some parts but the story does draw you in and the main leads are flawed but easy to believe in and it has a fantastic ending. Try it but if buying as an omnibus you may need to set aside plenty of time to get through it

Free arc from netgalley

Out now