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Summary

Forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunter should be at home with the woman he loves. Instead, as a favour to a beleaguered police officer, he is heading to the remote Hebridean island of Runa. Hunter has witnessed death in many forms, but even he is shocked by what he finds: a body almost totally incinerated except for the feet and a single hand, untouched by fire. The local police are quick to record an accidental death, but Hunter's instincts say otherwise. Convinced that there's a killer on the island, he soon realizes that Runa is far from the peaceful community it seems.
©2007 Simon Beckett (P)2007 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic reviews

"A truly gripping thriller...Becket keeps the reader guessing whodunit with a clever array of red herrings." ( Evening Standard)

What listeners say about Written in Bone

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Umm

Well it all seems a nice idea - a first person narrative from a forensic anthropologist and all set in the Western Isles.



A previous reviewer makes a good attempt to describe the poor narration of this novel by David Thorpe - not his fault maybe, I am sure he is a nice chap and all that. It is just in this case he simply sounds too young for the main character and that leaves you slightly disorientated. Would it have been better for being read by Sean Barrett ? Well yes of course as Sean could make a telephone directory gripping.



But that is not point - the novel itself is rather woeful. The language is weak and the description of place appalling. Characterisation is terrible, with loads of formulaic folk populating this tiny island. A lot happens, you get your money's worth here, but who really cares when it is all too predictable ? And as for the final 'twist' - wrong chap being arrested etc etc, it's all to dire. Let alone the one of the main plot lines the island being isolated with no contact with the mainland for day upon day, that is too implausible for words - and I have lived on a remote island and the availability of ship to shore and satellite telephony is enough to ensure total 'cut-off' never really happens.



I wouldn’t waste your money or credits here. A pity because I was keen to find a new series of novels of this type. Ho hum I'll look elsewhere, suggest you do likewise.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

The narrator's abysmal accent ruins this book

This book is set in the Western Isles of Scotland - the story is excellent but the dreadful attempt at a Scoittish accent and the totally incorrect pronunciation of places and names completely ruined this book for me. So much so that I could not listen and had to buy a copy of the book to read. Surely it isn't too much to ask that either the readers have the correct accent or they desist from trying to imitate one. that grates on the ears.

2 people found this helpful

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Nice ending!

I like guessing the story right but I also like the fact it gave an unexpected twist!

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A great book and audiobook

well narratied and written. Full of twists you didn't expect and a totally unexpected ending. looking forward to the next book.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Entertaining crime mystery

An interesting idea, having a British equivalent of "Bones". An engaging mystery, or more accurately, mysteries, with some ever-so-slightly gruesome but accurate details. The author has done his homework on forensics, and weaves that in with a nicely rounded character.

It's a first-person story, but there were a couple of third-person narratives, which really jarred for me. In a first-person story, we only know what the character does, sees, hears and feels. He wouldn't know about these other incidents unless told about them. There were a few minor instances of "continuity errors", where details didn't quite ring true to the story surrounding them, but the story kept my interest.

Although the narrator did a good job with voicing the various characters, I found the narration a little irritating with a lot of slightly-too-long pauses, but some chapters had no pause at all at the end before the next started.

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Good listening

Reasonably enjoyable whodunit, some strong characters but unfortunately David Thorpe did it little justice with some rather weird accents/voices. This is the 4th David Hunter book I have listened to - I had 4 & 5 out of sequence and the narration in those is far superior and so, I think, is the writing

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Reader too young

Sadly the reader is sounds too young, having heard another older reader as Dr Hunter which was better. Such a shame, it is spoiling it for me I am trying to get through it but not sure I'll finish it. As I said shame.

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Painfully bad accents!!!

A diverting book ruined by the narration. As David Hunter his narration was crisp, meaningful and enjoyable; for all other characters he gave an excruciatingly bad performance.

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A good old whodunnit...

...With a few twists along the way! Didn’t expect the ending.

Good story - only thing letting it down was the standard narrative which sounded too ‘excitable’ at times, although the characters came across as genuine and believable.

Looking forward to the next David Hunter!

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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent murder thriller mystery!!!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, every time I thought I had the killer sussed it wasn't them... with twist after twist in the story I couldn't stop listening. Even at the end the twists just kept on coming. Read it and you'll see what I mean.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lia
  • 07-02-10

Enjoyable

A little predictable at the end but still a good listen with good narration and story line

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzanne Rose
  • 16-06-10

Pity about the End

I enjoyed the story and the description of a tough life on an isolated island, overdone in places but up until the end I was happy to go with it, but I hate unexpected cliff-hanger endings, on tv series-fine will wait until show returns, and if I know I am reading a book in series I will read them all, but this is not mentioned anywhere, not fair, so whatever happens I am not giving the author the satisfaction of selling me the sequel, don't care now, plenty of other great 'listens' to buy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Adelheid
  • 20-05-10

Loved it

I loved this book as well as the sequel. Hopefully there will be more from Mr Beckett! Narrator was very good as well.