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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Desecration

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Review of Desecration by J. F. Penn 

Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: Death isn't always the end.
LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.
When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie finds her own life entwining with the morbid fascinations of the anatomists, and she must race against time to stop them claiming another victim.
As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.

My Review:

I return to another book by J. F. Penn with the novel, Desecration, which by the way is a very appropriate title considering some of the things that happen in this book.

Our main character is a young woman named Jamie who is also a police officer. But we don’t begin with Jamie the police officer. Instead we first glimpse the Jamie who is the mother of a dying child. This is a side of her life that she keeps secret from most of her colleagues.

She the children’s hospice for work, hoping to leave the disturbing images of her daughter dying behind. When she gets her next case though, all she gets is even more death, and we are not just talking about the murder victim, Jenna.

Digging deeper into the murder victim’s investigations she finds out about the underside of a morbid death worship type culture. One suspect, the love interest of Jenna’s, makes a living by posing dead bodies in provocative positions and then selling them to the highest bidder.

Others, Jenna’s parents, use the dead bodies for the advancement of science. At least that is what they claim but after seeing the freakish specimen’s in jars at a local museum Jamie begins to wonder how any of this can be legal.

For me it seemed to be more of a cautionary tale about how even art and science can go too far in their effort for pleasure and the greater good. This is what could happen when someone makes art or even science their god. The ends can justify the means in the eyes of such people and even make them forget their own humanity.

I will warn you. This story is macabre and downright creepy but there are some scary possibilities. I hope I don’t live to see this reality but it is something to think about, and possibly give you nightmares. Also, like the last novel I reviewed by Penn, the language is sometimes a bit strong.
It is a good book to read if you like mystery and thriller novels that make you think, and if you can stomach the dark aspects of it. In fact, you might not want to read this when you are eating. It is up to you.

I am not really sure whether I want to recommend this one or not. Just remember, you have been warned.

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