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David Hunter books in order

Dr David Hunter is a forensic anthropologist with a tragic past who is embroiled in a series of macabre killings and ultimately haunted by the mystery of death.

Beckett’s commitment to authenticity makes the reading of this series eerily accurate and crime fans who lavish in the forensic detail will feel most at home.

If you enjoy piecing together the gruesome evidence and are keen to read crime fiction from an alternative perspective then this series is for you.

Simon Beckett’s Dr David Hunter books in order:

The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett

Chemistry of Death

Finding refuge in a quiet rural backwater, Dr David Hunter hoped he might at last have put the past behind him. But then they found what was left of Sally Palmer…

It isn’t just that she was a friend that disturbs him. Once he’d been a high-profile forensic anthropologist and all too familiar with the many faces of death, before tragedy made him abandon this previous life. Now the police want his help. But to become involved will stir up memories he’s long tried to forget. Then a second woman disappears, plunging the close-knit community into a maelstrom of fear and paranoia. And no one, not even Hunter, is exempt from suspicion.

Written in Bone by Simon Beckett

Written in Bone

As a favour to a colleague, Dr David Hunter is on the remote Hebridean island of Runa to inspect a grisly discovery. He’s familiar with death in all its guises but is shocked by what he finds: a body, incinerated but for the feet and a single hand. It appears to be a textbook case of spontaneous human combustion. The local police are certain it’s an accidental death, but Hunter is not convinced. Examining the scorched remains, he finds evidence that this was no accident; this was murder.

And as the isolated community considers the enormity of Hunter’s findings, a catastrophic storm hits the island. The power goes down, communication with the outside world ceases – and the killing begins in earnest.

Whispers of the Dead by Simon Beckett

Whispers of the Dead

The victim has been bound and tortured, the body decomposed beyond recognition.

Then a second body is found, and a nightmare is about to begin. A serial killer is at work and the death toll is rising. And for forensics expert David Hunter, it’s become a terrifying race against time.

The Calling of the Grave by Simon Beckett

The Calling of the Grave

When DI Terry Connor turns up on David Hunter’s doorstep, it’s an unwelcome reminder of the past in more ways than one. The two used to be friends before Connor’s behaviour caused a bitter rift. And the news the policeman brings is even less welcome: the psychotic rapist and murderer Jerome Monk has escaped from high-security prison.

Monk’s is a name all too familiar to Hunter. Eight years before he’d part of an ill-fated Body Recovery team assembled to try and find the graves of Monk’s teenage victims on the bleak expanse of Dartmoor. Only one of the missing girls’ bodies was ever found, and Monk’s own controversial involvement in the search led to more failure and a violent denouement. And now Monk is on the loose – and seems to be targeting anyone involved with the original search.

Then Hunter receives a mysterious appeal for help from Sophie Keller, a young woman who also worked on the operation, he suddenly finds that the past is far from dead and buried. Neither the events unfolding now, nor those from all those years ago, are quite as they seem. And as the maniac’s bloody trail edges ever closer, Hunter is forced to question who he can really trust. Especially when his own life depends on it…

The Restless Dead by Simon Beckett

The Restless Dead

David Hunter is facing an uncertain future – his career hangs in the balance and his personal life has taken a turn for the worse. So when he gets a call from Essex police, it comes at the perfect time.

A badly decomposed body has been found in the mudflats and salt marshes of the Backwaters. Could it be linked to two unsolved missing-person cases?

But then more remains are discovered. And as these desolate wetlands begin to give up their grisly secrets, Hunter is reminded that it’s not the dead we need to fear.

The Scent of Death by Simon Beckett

The Scent of Death

It’s been a good summer for forensics expert Dr David Hunter. His relationship is going well and he’s in demand again as a police consultant. Life is good. Then a call comes from an old associate: a body has been found, and she’d like Hunter to take a look.

The empty shell of St Jude’s Hospital now stands awaiting demolition, its only visitors society’s outcasts, addicts and dealers. A partially mummified corpse has been discovered in the hospital’s cavernous loft, but not even Hunter can say how long it’s been there. All he knows for sure is that it’s the body of a young woman. And that she was pregnant.

But the collapse of the loft floor reveals another of the hospital’s secrets. A sealed-off chamber, still with beds inside. Some of them occupied…

For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare that threatens everyone around him. And as the investigation springs more surprises, one thing is certain. St Jude’s hasn’t claimed its last victim…

There you have it – Simon Beckett’s David Hunter books in order. How many have you read? Let us know in the comments below!

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    I have just finished Written in Bone, the first of Simon’s Dr. David Hunter novels I have read. It was very impressive, well-planned, intricate yet not so twisted that it became impossible to follow. I’m looking forward keenly to reading the rest of the series. The open ending – a neat trick – made it imperative to read more of this flawed, very human “hero.”

    I have just finished the last one, please say there is more to come, I love them all!

    Have only recently discovered this amazingly talented autor.
    Have now read two of his books which are, without doubt, the best books on criminology I’ve ever read.
    Looking forward to reading the rest… as soon as possible.

    Feeling quite excited because I’ve just discovered the David Hunter series of books. Read Written In Bone, loved it, and now can’t wait to read more. I do enjoy discovering a new favourite author.

    Just finished the last one in the series to date. Always a challenge to work out the twists at the end.
    Loved them all.

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