Book Review

Book Review : Public Anatomy by A. Scott Pearson

While recovering from a career-threatening injury, surgeon Eli Branch is pulled into the turbulent world of Dr. Liza French, a colleague he hasn’t seen in ten years. Liza uses their past to lure Eli into a highly-publicized debacle in a Memphis hospital that has put her own career in jeopardy. But when the murder of medical personnel at Gates Memorial appears related to Liza’s surgical complication, Eli finds that more lives are at imminent risk.

Eli discovers clues from the victims that match anatomical art found at the crime scenes, a connection that leads him to the manuscript of a sixteenth century anatomist whose methods of dissection are over four centuries old—but are being reenacted in the present. Aided by the expertise of forensic pathologist, Dr. Meg Daily, Eli uncovers a pattern to the escalating deaths and the search begins for a killer the media and the city come to know as The Organist.

I’m a big fan of crime thrillers, and enjoy books with a medical slant so the synopsis of Public Anatomy definitely grabbed my attention. There’s certainly no filler with this book, the plot kicks in straight away and with all the twists and turns you’d hope to find in a good thriller it’s easy to get very caught up in it. I always like to try and see if I can work out the whodunnit before it’s revealed, I did get it part right but there were things I hadn’t picked up on that meant I was still surprised.

I didn’t realise until after I finished reading this book that Eli Branch featured in Pearson’s previous novel, Rupture. I felt at times like I didn’t quite understand him, I think this is probably because much of his back story is covered in the previous book. I did find him an interesting character, and I enjoyed following his progress through the story. Not having read Rapture didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book, but I think it would have made it an even better read if I had.

Like most crime thrillers that involve murders there are some gory moments within the book. I found these to be well handled, I certainly didn’t find myself getting squeamish at any point. The pacing of the book works well, and whilst it features technology we don’t yet have (as far as I’m aware) it didn’t require much of a leap of imagination to picture the scenes within the book.

I enjoyed reading this book and now plan to go back and read Rupture and find out more about Eli Branch.

Public Anatomy is published in hardback by Oceanview Publishing in the UK priced £14.47. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book via all of the opinions expressed are my own.

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