A killer on the loose. A murder disguised as an accident.
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 to Hunter the scorched remains suggest otherwise,
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.
In the exceptional second thriller from British author Beckett to feature forensic anthropologist David Hunter (after 2006's The Chemistry of Death), the former GP investigates a suspicious death on Runa, a small island in the Hebrides. With the mainland official force preoccupied with a horrific train wreck that might have been the work of terrorists, Hunter must try to determine whether the victim was murdered. On Runa, Hunter finds a badly burned corpse with the feet and one hand oddly untouched, in a cottage that shows little fire damage. Could spontaneous combustion have been the cause? The suspense mounts along with the body count and the approach of a storm that cuts off the island from the outside world. While some plot elements may be a little too close to those of the prior book, Beckett does them better here, and is especially adept at blending first- and third-person narratives to heighten the tension.