Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Chosen Dead - M R Hall

A great read reminsicient of a Robin Cook thriller.

My first read of 2016 and Hall's book was such a pleasure to delve in. As already stated, Hall is getting to be a favourite now and I look forward to reading him with great anticipation.

Of the three books, each has been better than the last. This one however is the prequel to the Burning. Having read Burning before this, I had an idea of how events turn out in Jenny's personal life therefore no suspense there.

However, the plot that finds Jenny Cooper in the midst is a complex story about Biological weapons.


Jenny Cooper is called in to investigate into an apparent suicide. However, when her husband calls her for help when a friend's little girl, mysteriously falls ill and dies, Cooper begins to sense a connection between the two.

What she unravels is a dark secret that connects the dusty dunes of present day Africa to a decades old murder in the United States.

People are killed and Cooper is soon hot on the trail. In the process of uncovering the truth, she ends up compromising her personal life, more importantly the life of those dear to her.

What works:

  • I remember reading Robin Cook as a teenage and this bore a stark resemblance to it. However, Hall has a distinct way of approaching his plots. Where Cook tends to get too technical with subject matter, Hall writes for an audience that are non-medics and simplifies complex medical concepts into readable terms.
  • The characters. Cooper's flawed, drug-dependent character is so real. I love the character and can identify with it. Also her relationship with David and Alison is quite different to other stable relationships of other who "dunnit" protagnists.
  • The plot. It is always a seemingly open and shut case but invariably takes a sinister turn. It is racy, intelligent and full of action. Ticks all boxes for me really.
What doesn't:

Hall's books are beginning to have a predicatable frame. But that for me is familiarity. I like to sit back, start with an outline that I know will pan out into a plot with surprises galore.

It works for me therefore it wouldn't be fair to put it under the "what doesn't" section. 

Hall's books are interesting, racy and read well. 

A great set of ingredients for a superb read.

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