Book Review: A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes

6 May

Genre: Crime fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pub date: April 2011

Source: Publisher

Brilliant forensic pathologist Edward Jenner has moved from New York to coastal Florida. The ordeal of the Inquisitor killings (in Precious Blood) still haunt him and the political fallout from it hasn’t cleared up yet. In Douglas County, Jenner is working with his former mentor when a series of murders are discovered. Jenner has to get to the bottom of it in spite of the threat to both his career and his life.


This sequel to Precious Blood is a quick, fast-paced thriller. Jenner has been working at his new job only a few months when the bodies of his mentor and his wife are found in a sunken car. Grappling with grief and a need to bring the perpetrators to justice, Jenner goes to work, using his expertise in forensic pathology to retrace what happened. But it is once he receives an anonymous call in the middle of the night leading to the gruesome discovery of bodies of men who have obviously been murdered that he gets an clue as to what might really be going on. Jenner is a man of action and soon discovers a conspiracy that involves some very powerful people.

This was a great read, the thrilling discoveries kept me turning the pages, and I finished the book in a day.

There are a couple of things that didn’t really work me.

  • One was the romantic storyline that develops between Jenner and Maggie. It was rather unreal and seemed to develop too fast. Demands and recriminations started from the first date, something that should have killed any possibility of the romance developing.
  • The other was that this was more an action-filled story that didn’t focus as much on the forensic angle as I’d expected.

But that said, the eerie setting, the fast-paced plot and the character of Jenner all make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.


Recommended for all fans of crime fiction.

Rating: 3.5*

*See my Rating policy

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2 Responses to “Book Review: A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes”

  1. Nisheeth May 6, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Romance and crime makes a deadly combination 🙂 i am goin to read it 🙂

    • stargazerpuj May 6, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      Enjoy. Have you read Precious Blood? I think you should start with that one.

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