Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Review of "A Hard Death" [53]

A Hard Death: A Novel by Jonathan Hayes
Harper, ISBN 978-0061691768
April 12, 2011, 432 pages

When disgraced pathologist Dr. Edward Jenner loses his medical license in his home of NYC, he is happy to receive the invitation from his old mentor to fill in during his vacation. The pay in Port Fontaine, Florida might not be much, but it's something. That is until he called to the site of a body found out in the glades, a body that appears to have been tortured before his death..and it turn out to be that same mentor, Dr. Martin Roburn. Things get even worse when he is called to another murder, in fact four decomposing bodies, of Mexican migrant workers, tied up in the trees on an island deep in the swamp, and there are signs the murders may be connected.

Before you can jump in the airboat, we are in the middle of a fast paced thriller involving drug cartels, the very wealthy local country club set, child sex trade, and a sick and violent conspiracy that will go to the very heart of the community. It soon becomes apparent to Jenner that there may be very few people he can trust and it will be a race to see who will get taken down first, them or him.

Jenner is a classic flawed, troubled hero, yet smart and with a deep sense of justice. Perhaps to fully understand him you should read the author's first book, Precious Blood, that had Jenner in NYC pursuing a serial killer. I didn't, but I think we receive enough information in this book for that not to be an issue.
Jenner, like so many of these flawed fellows. has a bad habit of going after the wrong woman, in this case a local rich girl, Maggie Craine. Her scene with her father by the pool was truly creepy and will leave you considering taking a shower. Meanwhile there is that nice park ranger Deb, who our good doc seems to ignore again and again. Will these guys never learn? But Jenner is not above talking on some danger, even the female variety, for a good cause.
A fast paced, totally entertaining thriller, as hot and dangerous as the steamy Everglade setting.

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.


  1. I think I have this in my TBR pile - must move it up; sounds great!

  2. Fast paced sounds good to me! When I start a book like that I can't put it down.

  3. Whew! Sounds great! And available from netGalley- win!

  4. The plot sounds like an episode from Dexter last season a little bit. And I kept getting distracted by the name "Jenner." Too close to my blogging name … I kept thinking it was about me. HAHA!


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