On the morning when they are meant to confront the perpetrators of a brutal rape, in court, forensic physician Dr Anya Crichton finds the victim, seventeen-year-old Giverny Hart dead in her own flat, seemingly by her own hand.
In her attempts to rescuscitate Giverny, Anya destroys vital evidence.
Without Giverny’s evidence, the release of the four Harbourn brothers is inevitable. Within hours of their release, there is another brutal assault, with one girl dead and her younger sister fighting for her life. Anya is convinced the assaults are linked to the Harbourn brothers but piecing together the forensic evidence is fraught with danger, both for her and the detective in charge of the original case.
Anya’s relationships both with her family and colleagues are tested, and we learn quite a lot about her private life, and what is important to her.
Australian author Kathryn Fox’s fourth Anya Crichton novel is tightly written. There was perhaps a little more description in the forensic (medical) details than I had expected, but maybe it just proves the depth of Fox’s own knowledge and research.
In fact, if you wish to, you can test your knowledge with the forensic quizzes on the author’s site.
There is no doubt that this is a novel that can hold its own in the world market of this genre.
Just a note: can I suggest when you read the novel you challenge yourself to work out the 2-fold meaning of the title? Very clever!
My rating 4.6
Kathryn Fox’s website: http://www.kathrynfox.com/
Biographical details from Kathryn’s site:
Kathryn Fox is a medical practitioner with a special interest in forensic medicine who currently lives in Sydney, Australia.
She has worked as a freelance medical journalist and written regularly for publications including Australian Doctor, The Sun Herald and CLEO magazine. Her debut novel, MALICIOUS INTENT, received international acclaim and won the 2005 Davitt award for adult fiction.
It also toppled The Da Vinci Code to become the no. 1 crime book on Amazon in the UK and Germany.
WITHOUT CONSENT was released in May 2006 in Australia and became of the top Australian fiction books for the year.
SKIN AND BONE, features Detective Kate Farrer, who first appeared in Malicious Intent. It is now available in the UK, Sth Africa, Australia, NZ, Germany, and other countries will follow.
My mini-review for MALICIOUS INTENT – my rating 4.7
Dr. Anya Crichton has recently struck out to work on her own as a freelance forensic pathologist. Work is a bit hard to find but she is gaining a reputation as a credible courtroom authority. She is not without friendsin the police, the New South Wales State Forensic Institute, and among the criminal barristers. Something about the apparent suicide of Clare Matthews doesn’t sit quite right: the fact that, a nun, she disappeared shortly before she was due to take her vows, that she suicided by jumping off the Gap, that she was 6 weeks pregnant, and that she had strange fibres in her lungs. And now another case with similarities crops up: Fatima Deab overdoses on heroine after being missing for some days and her lungs contain the same fibres. Debut publication by Australian author. It is obvious to the reader that Kathryn Fox has a lot to say, lots of issues that she wants to make us aware of, and sometimes this novel takes on a bit of a didactic tone. But the plotting is so good, the tension so well built that by the end I could forgive her anything!