15 Jun 2018



 The corpse of a woman dead is found in a remote cave deep in The Appalachian Mountains,, the body has been near-perfectly preserved by the cave's unusual chemistry.

Dr. Bill Brockton founder of the University of Tennessee's Anthropology Facility, a.k.a the Body Farm is called in to investigate the circumstances of the mummified corpse's death.

What Brockton uncovers is a secret with its roots buried deep in the past of the remote mountain community, placing him at the centre of a decade's old feud, and possibly its next victim.
- Back Cover Blurb 

I picked up the hunting knife with my left hand and tested its heft, then shifted it to my right hand to compare.
- First Sentence, Prologue

A boy at one side of the room - a quadrant from which I'd heard snores on more than one occasion - raised his hand. 'Did you say Mongoloid?' I nodded. 'Man, that's harsh. Why would someone kill a retard?'

The room erupted in groans. I checked the seating chart. 'Do your reading, Mr Murdoch!' I thundered. 'In physical anthropology, "Mongoloid" refers to peoples of Mongolian descent - Asians and Native Americans.' He slumped in his seat.
- Memorable Moment, Page 214 

SOURCE ... Borrowed from a friend, thanks Ruth.


MY THOUGHTS ... Having read and been informed by readers of these books that, book 7, The Bones Of Avignon (published in the US as The Inquisitor's Key) wasn't the best book in this, the Body Farm series, I decided to read this, the first book, in the hope I'd enjoy it more.

A bit of an odd read in so much as it didn't feel like the first in a series, there was so much back story; things that I would have liked to know more about; things that though alluded to were never really gone into.

Fascinated by the whole concept of the Body Farm, once again I was left a bit disappointed by how little of this there is in the book. Call me cynical but it feels as if the author is vicariously relying on the reputation of something that isn't in fact actually represented here . 

Then ....

A tad too much inconsequential waffle - to say nothing of the 'odd' tangents the plot went off on OR the multitude of oddly placed tertiary characters - that clouded the issues. 

The female characters, of whom there were only a handful, I thought weak. Perhaps better represented in future books (though I remember they were one of the issues I had with The Bones Of Avignon so perhaps not) but, as it was, I thought them so poorly written it was woeful.

Most of all though, there was Dr Bill Brockton himself (not to be confused with Dr Bass, the real life founder of the Body Farm and one half of the team behind the books, who I'm sure is a decent human being). What is so appealing about this type of character (along with Dr Brockton, I'm thinking Robert Langdon of The Da Vinci Code books amongst others)? 

Characters that, in the case of Dr Brockton; tragically widowed with an estranged son, have been (excuse the pun) done to death? Characters that, in general, in powers in position; emotionally damaged; seemingly irresistible to much younger women, we see featured again and again? 

Not a series I can see myself investing in any further. I had thought about reconsidering my rating but, rich in forensics (its definitely not one for the squeamish but then the more gory the forensics the better as far as I'm concerned), all things considered, worthy of its three stars.


Kelly said...

How disappointing. I began this review thinking how good it all sounded, but you squelched that with your thoughts about the book. From what you shared, I feel sure I'd feel the same way. (and I actually burst out laughing at your pun)

I appreciate the honest review.

So many books, so little time said...

Despite your not loving it I think I may keep a wee eye out for this one, thanks toots xxx

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'm one of the squeamish and the cover alone makes it one I probably wouldn't want to read.

Suko said...

Thank you for your honest analysis of this book. It sounds interesting in a forensic sense.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

Greetings Tracy. It sounded good, but your dislike for it has put me off reading it. Thanks for the review. Blessings to you. Love love, Andrew.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

It's a real shame that you couldn't connect with this story or series, but then that's the whole idea of sharing your thoughts in such an honest and constructive way.

I was oddly intrigued by the premises of all the books in the series, although there was something niggling away in the back of my mind. I came back to this post after dinner and knew straight away where I had come across the 'Body Farm' before.

Patricia Cornwell wrote a book by that name in her 'Kay Scarpetta' series. Whereas Brockton refers to the 'Body Farm' as an Anthropology Facility, Cornwell tags it as a research institute that tests the decomposition of corpses....


Now I am completely confused and unsure whether to add the books to my list, or not!

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend :)


Brian Joseph said...

It sounds as if there are a lot of cliches in this book. I think that the concept of The Body farm can translate well into fiction. However, once a series gets to seven books, sometimes an author starts to run out of ideas.

nightwingsraven said...

Thank you for your honest review.
I do not think that I would appreciate
this book.

Melliane said...

well an ok one

Literary Feline said...

I read this book years ago, and honestly don't remember much about it. I do know I decided not to continue with the series.

Nikki-ann said...

This isn't a book I'll bother reading, but I have read a couple of books featuring the Body Farm! :)

DMS said...

I don't know that this one is for me- but I did enjoy your review. Sounds more gory than what I read these days. :)