Saturday, 20 March 2021

The Embalmer by Alison Belsham


Well, this was a dark read (which is good as I like my thrillers on the dark side)

 It starts with a freshly mummified body found at the Booth Natural History Museum in Brighton along with canopic jars that hold the removed organs - the murderer follows the ancient Egyptian embalming rituals to the letter. Francis Sullivan is soon on the case and more canopic jars turn up.

 As a second string story Sullivan's friend, the tattooist Marni Mullins arrives home to find her husband fighting with his brother. The husband is killed and Marni soon ends up in jail accused of his murder. Sullivan has a busy, busy time ahead . . .

 As I said this is a dark thriller but also a gripping read. There's the usual office politics with the police and a storyline there that seems to be coming to a close and that's where the only downside I felt with reading this book (and this one is on me alone, no fault of the author). You see, The Embalmer is the third in a series and it would really benefit from being read that way. There was a lot here that related back to the earlier books and some parts that treat the reader as though they had read them. I fully intended to read all three but time was against me (although with the way I tore through The Embalmer I could have probably managed all three in a week) I will be going back to them eventually.

 So, a cracking thriller, highly recommended but I advise reading in order (The Tattoo Thief, Her Last Breath, The Embalmer)


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