This is the third book Beckett has written featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter.  While the first two took place in Hunter’s (and Beckett’s) native England, Whispers of the Dead takes Hunter across the pond in the heat of the Tennessee summer to Knoville’s legendary “Body Farm.”

In a bid to escape London and the violence  of The Chemistry of Death, Hunter has returned to the field laboratory where law enforcement personnel study real corpses in different stages of death and in different settings.  This real-life lab has been the setting for several other novelists featuring forensic analysts, among them Patricia Cornwell and Jefferson Bass.

Hunter needs to find out if he can still do his job dwelling on death after his own near-death experience.  He hasn’t been working long with his old mentor, Tom Lieberman, when the men are called to a grisly death scene.  It soon becomes apparent that the murderer is adept at masking forensic details, and as the bodies pile up, Hunter finds himself pushed further into the manhunt for a serial murderer who is trying to capture the exact moment of death.

Beckett has an attactive protagonist in Hunter, a fallible man with strengths and weaknesses, and we eagerly follow him on this journey to track down a killer who is in love with death itself.