When policewoman Eva Perry goes deep undercover to help bring a vicious local crime ring to justice, both she and her boss - Chief Detective Inspector Beverley Wharton - know there are huge risks involved. A series of unexplained and bizarre suicides forces Beverley into close contact with her former lover, the renegade forensic pathologist John Eisenmenger, who is already investigating the sudden suicide of his colleague Daisy Pemberton.
Helena Flemming has fallen out of love with John Eisenmenger and wants their relationship to end. Eisenmenger is devastated and finds solace in returning to his life as a forensic pathologist. His first case reunites him with DI Beverley Wharton; a young petty criminal is found stabbed and the obvious suspect is a man who had threatened to kill him just hours before. There is pressure on Beverley to close the case.
In the beginning there were five identical murders - bodies eviscerated and organs scattered playfully around. Beverly Wharton pinned the crime on Melkior Pendred, a highly skilled and autistic mortuary assistant.
Michelle Williams, an attractive young woman with close family ties and an active social life, describes her first extraordinary year in her unusual new job as a mortuary technician. It’s a year in which, with innate good humour, she encounters death at its most tragic, bizarre, and hilarious. Her tale, neither gruesome nor sad, is enlivened by a range of colourful and eccentric characters, from pathologists and coroners to hospital porters and undertakers, giving us a glimpse of life - and death - that few of us will ever experience.
"Things you never wanted to know about a mortuary"
Eisenmenger has reluctantly taken a job as a locum in the pathology department of St Christopher's Hospital - his partner Helena is pregnant and they must prepare financially for the baby's arrival. John doesn't relish the prospect of being back on the treadmill, working within the NHS again, but when he is unwilling to accept his boss' "death from natural causes" diagnosis after autopsies on various bodies, his professional suspicions are piqued.
Behind every financial crisis lurks a "political bubble" - policy biases that foster market behaviors leading to financial instability. Rather than tilting against risky behavior, political bubbles - arising from a potent combination of beliefs, institutions, and interests - aid, abet, and amplify risk.
A young boy's body is washed from the river and forensic examination reveals he has been murdered. The accidental discovery that a convicted paedophile lives in the nearby village leads to police interest in his activities, and when five decaying bodies are found in his garden, he is arrested.
"Intelligent book well read"
Arthur Meadows has just returned home in his HGV from a long trip to southwest Europe, supposedly bringing back a consignment of cloth, yet is actually bringing back something far more deadly. Meanwhile, a young Asian couple are murdered in their small house in the middle of Gloucester, the killings done with ruthless efficiency. Beverley Wharton, now Chief Inspector, does not relish the investigation of the murders because she does not get on with her new sergeant, and because the pathologist Charles Sydenham would not have been her first choice.
"Mystery + strange illness"
St Benjamin's Medical School is the greatest of its kind, any death occurring within its walls would have created ripples within the academic world, but the death of Nikki Exner is far from being ordinary. Raped, and then grotesquely executed, her theatrical murder horrifies everyone. John Eisenmenger, a former forensic pathologist, finds himself dragged unwillingly into the case. Teaming up with solicitor Helena Flemming, Eisenmenger sets out to discover what really did happen to Nikki Exner.
An invitation to stay with childhood friends seems an excellent idea to aid Helena's recovery after her cancer treatment. Helena grew up with the Hickmans and had spent many happy holidays with them. But when a man is found burned to death in a car, the apparently irrelevant though horrific incident creates unexpected disturbances.
"Forensic Pathologist in a British Crime Story"
When Mark Hartmann is asked to perform a post-mortem on a lab assistant killed by cancer, everything looks straightforward. But his initial findings are surprising: Millicent Sweet appears to have died of several different, aggressive tumours. Before he can discuss this with colleagues, he's called to a conference in Scotland. A serious error of judgement gives a pharmaceutical company a handle on him, and they threaten to expose his excesses unless he falsifies his report on Sweet.
"The narration makes it worth the listen."
After the tragic death of his lover, Helen Flemming, Eisenmenger throws himself back into his work as a forensic pathologist. The newly promoted Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton brings him in to help on the grisly discovery of a severed head in a local farmyard. When a headless – but female – body then turns up in a dustbin, they must acknowledge that this shows all the signs of the work of a serial killer.
July, 1977. Lance’s eccentric father, the retired Dr Benjamin Elliott, has been running a Horticultural Club at local Bensham Manor School, a good deed he decided to take on to impress Ada Clarke, the head dinner lady at the school. One summer’s evening, Lance and his girlfriend Max turn up for the school’s parents evening to show their support of the elder Dr Elliott’s efforts.
"Where was the suspense?"
October, 1975. When Dr Lance Elliot receives a call from his elderly father to say he has been arrested for arson, he can hardly believe it. Especially when he discovers that the intended victim was his father’s neighbour, Oliver Lightoller, with whom his father has a long-running feud. But things quickly take a dark turn when Lance stumbles across Lightoller’s body, which has been pinned by an old sword to an office chair in the dead man’s South London antiques shop.