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Dr David Hunter books in order

Looking for Simon Beckett’s David Hunter books in order? Look no further!

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

1. Chemistry of Death (2006)

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

2. Written in Bone (2007)

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

3. Whispers of the Dead (2009)

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

4. The Calling of the Grave (2010)

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

5. The Restless Dead (2017)

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

6. The Scent of Death (2019)

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…

The Bone Garden by Simon Beckett

7. The Bone Garden (Coming October 2024)

Driving back through Wales in a fierce winter storm, forensic anthropologist David Hunter is forced to seek shelter at a remote village in the Eryri mountains. But a one-night stop-over becomes something very different after a gruesome discovery in depths of the local forest.

With communications down and the only road washed out by the storm, Hunter is unsure who – if anyone – he can trust. And as long-buried secrets begin to emerge, he’s knows that, whatever dark past the isolated community might be hiding, there’s no one he can call on for help. This time he’s on his own.

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

Books Like Simon Beckett’s Dr David Hunter:


    Recently went on holiday to Spain and whilst there I had finished reading 2 books and was looking to find another book to complete my holiday reading. I came across a Simon Becket book left in the hotel lounge library of discarded books. I read in 2 days. I was absolutely smitten with the tense plot and Becket’s brilliant writing style. As soon as the holiday was over I went to the internet and found the other books in the David Hunter series and ordered copies straight away. Within a week of getting the books I am already half way through the series and wanting more of the same. Mesmerising read.

    What a find. Really tense and exciting books. Now on the fifth, and dreading coming to an end of the series.

    I have read all of the David Hunter books and loved every one of them. My husband is now reading them and finds them difficult to put down.

    I have just finished “Written in Bone”. This is the second time I have read this and enjoyed it even more this time. Simon has a unique style which I love and the twists and turns in the plot are intriguing. The end is always a surprise but be warned, it is difficult to put down a “Beckett” and I have had many a longer than normal reading session for that reason. I have read all of his works and some I have marked “reread” so I am a big fan. CEW

    Read all of them and eagerly awaiting his new David Hunter which I belive will be soon!! This is an amazing series, I love the investigative stuff but also the pathology intrugues me. Thanks Simon!

    Have read and reread all of them. Just finished rereading my favorite “The Restless Dead”.
    I have been a fan of the David Hunter books for years.
    I’ve been fascinated by forensics since the early 90s and am particularly fond of European mysteries.
    I really hope there will be more David Hunter books forthcoming.

    Great books great author but waiting for the next Dr Hunter book, have just sent all 6 to Cyprus for bro in law.

    Read the first 5. Just about to start number six. Hope there will be more. They are brilliant.

    All of them read I just need more of the same!
    Absolutely brilliant!

    Absolutely love the details of the cases and humility of David. Real page Turners.

    Terrific stories which you can’t put down. Have read them all and look forward to the next. The themes of anthropology so different and captivating.

    I’m half way through Whispers of the Dead having read the first two a few weeks, ago. I will read all six, for sure.

    Well, I have read all of them. The first one as a gift in German, the rest in English. As a retired detective specialized in
    investigating death cases for over 41 years, I am absolutely addicted to this very talented author. He is so authentic, I really
    enjoyed reading those forensic details in all six of the David Hunter books. Absolutely realistic. Respect! Can’t wait fort the next story
    to come out!

    Just finished book #3, “Whispers of the Dead”3, I can’t get enough of Simon Beckett. First read “Written in Bone” when I took it from a “Little Free Library” kiosk in front of a neighbor’s house and then had to go back and start with “The Chemistry of Death”. His subtle intensity and masterful weaving of story lines is addictive. Being from MInneapolis and being half British, I love his rich and delicious descriptions of the various UK locations. The chill of the air and the scent of the sea come pouring out of the pages. Can’t wait to see what Dr. David Hunter is up to next!
    Doug Malam, November 28, 2020

    Loved all of this series is there a new one coming out soon please

    Read restless dead first brilliant so starting from chemistry of death another good one. Now on written in bone.

    I have read them all!! Getting to the stage I was reading them in a day!! So so good, kept me hooked all the way through! And now that I’ve read them all I am at a loose end, waiting and willing for more to come!!! Please

    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.

    All but the last one which is unavailable every place I have looked. Starting with Amazon Kindle.
    I really love these books. I just can’t seem to find the last one. (The Scent of Death)

    I’ve read all dr hunter and wonder when the next novel is going to be published .. I’ve read two others not in the series .. he’s a great story teller ..deb

    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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