Monday, September 04, 2006

Review: Body Bags: A Body of Evidence Mystery

Body of Evidence, Book 1: Body Bags by Christopher Golden

Ok CSI fans, here's one for you!

Do you find yourself constantly watching shows like CSI, Without a Trace, Law & Order, or the like on TV? Well here’s a book series that will satisfy those crime investigation cravings! Body Bags is the first book in the Body of Evidence series, a set of books that follows college student Jenna Blake in her work as a coroner’s assistant. Let's just say you know a book is bound to be exciting with a quote like this on the back: "The first day at college, my professor dropped dead. The second day, I assisted at his autopsy. Let's hope I don't have to go through four years of this...."

Jenna's biggest hope in life is to become a doctor. The only problem is that she becomes violently ill whenever she sees blood. Not a good trait for a medical student hopeful. Hoping to keep his daughter in the medical field, Jenna's father lands her a job interview with the local medical examiner…which takes place during an autopsy. Jenna gets the job, and begins work at Somerset Medical Center.

Meanwhile, a local Congressional aide goes insane and dies violently. When the medical center examines his body closely, they find his brain filled with insect larvae. Unsure what to make about the strange occurrence, Jenna and her coworkers don’t think much of the incident. That is, until one of Jenna’s college professors dies with the same symptoms and has the same larvae left in his brain. Coincidence mixed with murder is never coincidence. As Jenna digs deeper into the case, she discovers clues no one else has seen. Time is running out, and Jenna is the only one seeing the crucial connections. Will she be able to uncover the killer, or will she be next on the list?

This book is a great start to the series. Introductory novels often are slow and lack action due to the large amount of introduction that must take place (characters, setting, etc.) Here Golden manages to introduce likable characters and a realistic setting while still leaving room for the mystery. Suspense builds quickly, contrasting greatly with Jenna’s relatively calm college experience. Overall, an excellent book for mystery lovers, and CSI fans alike.

As a note: some of the descriptions of deaths and medical situations are quite graphic, so I would recommend this book for older readers.

Shady Glade Rating: 8/10

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