Falls Just Short of its Prequels: A Review of The Calling of the Grave by Simon Beckett

A reeeaaally long time after reading Whispers of the Dead, I picked up the next book in the David Hunter series. I’ve always found a lot of similarities in the characters of David Hunter by Simon Beckett and David Raker by Tim Weaver. They are in different professions, but their drive, the fact that they’ve lost loved ones, and the settings of their stories do have similarities. But, with each passing book, you do begin to see them as two very different people, each one’s story with its own interesting elements.

So, without further ado, let’s get into the review of David Hunter Book 4 – The Calling of the Grave.

Genre: 

Thriller

Length: 

327 pages

Blurb:

The body on the moor was most definitely one of the victims of Jerome Monk, a monster convicted of four rape and murders two years prior. Three of the victims had never been found – until now. When the third victim’s body turns up, the search for the remaining two heats up. But nothing goes as planned and Monk is left to rot in prison, the search going cold. That was eight years ago.

Now, Monk has escaped from prison and seems to be targeting those involved in the search all those years ago. Forensics expert, David Hunter, had been part of the original, unsuccessful search. And when an old acquaintance calls and asks for help, he returns in spite of the bad memories. But what awaits him is more twisted than he could have ever imagined. Will Monk be captured before he wreaks havoc, or will he succeed in his revenge?

Overall Rating:

7 out of 10

Plot:

9 out of 10

Characterization:

9 out of 10

Primary Element:

9 for its mystery, 7 for its thrill

Writing Style:

8 out of 10

Part of a Series: 

Yes. This is Book 4 in the David Hunter series by Simon Beckett. It can be read as a standalone, but it does have some significant references to the previous books and is best read in order.

Highlighted Takeaway:

The setting. Beckett always sets his Hunter novels in places that add a high ‘creepy’ factor. His narrative style pulls you right in, transporting you to the settings, and makes everything that much more believable.

What I Liked:

The twists that kept coming. You definitely don’t expect most of them, and they unfold in a way that leaves you feeling incredibly satisfied with the way the book ends (albeit a bit disturbed with the lengths people could go to).

What I Didn’t Like:

There’s nothing specific to dislike in The Calling of the Grave. But, it was definitely not at par with his previous books, being really good, but just not great. One thing obviously missing was the detailed forensics – there is some information and procedure, but nothing close to his previous works.

Who Should Read It:

Anyone who enjoys thrillers with dark, brooding settings, well-woven story-lines, and well developed character arcs. However, I would recommend starting at Book 1 in the David Hunter series. You can check out my review of that one (The Chemistry of Death) here, Book 2 (Written in Bone) here, and Book 3 (Whispers of the Dead) here.

Who Should Avoid:

Anyone who doesn’t enjoy reading about forensics. With bugs, maggots, decomp discussions and more, the David Hunter series can be too graphic for some.

Read It For:

Getting a detailed look into the terrible experience that made David Hunter into the person he is introduced as in the beginning of the series, and an intriguing, perfectly-set crime thriller.

Got something to share about David Hunter, Simon Beckett, crime thrillers, or books in general? Drop us a comment below!

As always, thanks for stopping by and reading my review! Coming up next – something a little different – a review of Obviously Awesome, the book on product positioning by April Dunford. 🙂

– Rishika

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