Body Bags by Christopher Golden
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Current Song: A Good Start by Maria Taylor
One of my favorite thriller series, Body of Evidence by Christopher Golden, is being republished in eBook form! The first book, Body Bags, is now available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and more.
If you look on the left-hand side of my blog, you'll see this quote from Body Bags:
"It was a beautiful day to grow up."
So begins Chapter 1 of the novel - but before that, there's the prologue, which opens with a killer line: "Amanda Green died for a cigarette." Within a matter of pages, Amanda is a goner, having been at the wrong place at the wrong time. It just goes to prove what I've been saying all of my life: Smoking kills. Don't smoke.
But this book is not all about vices. It is about solving the crime, bringing the guilty ones to justice, and taking the most dangerous journey of all: growing up.
The Body of Evidence novels written by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala are intelligent and intriguing forensic mysteries. They offer realistic characters, captivating clues, and detailed autopsies and investigations. The line is made up of ten books, starting with Body Bags. After the tragic prologue, the first chapter introduces us to Jenna Blake, the character who is the core of every novel in the series. The series begins as she travels to college, where she will be a freshman. She considered following in her mother's footsteps and work in medicine until she realized that the sight of blood made her feel out of sorts. Her father, a criminology professor, recommends that she take a job with a medical examiner. The interview takes place during an autopsy. As she settles into school and the M.E.'s office, Jenna soon finds that she has not only the stomach for the job, but the smarts. Ultimately, it is her attention to detail and her insatiable thirst for knowledge as well as her previously unrecognized capacity for daring that solves the troubling case.
I highly recommend this series. Both adults and teenagers will discover plenty to relate to and enjoy in this line. Readers will find Jenna visiting crime scenes and autopsy rooms nearly as often as she's in her dorm. Her relatives, friends, and studies factor into the books just as much as serial killers and detectives. There's just as much here for a fifty-year-old as for a fifteen-year-old. Throughout the series, Christopher Golden - and, later, collaborator Rick Hautala - created characters who are believable but anything but cookie-cutter. They are all adults, though some are younger than others. Some are parents, some are students, some are detectives, some are doctors, but all are vital to the progress of the stories and of each other. Instead of being full of teen angst or taking on the obvious issue of the week/episode/book, the younger characters are simply dealing with life and getting through things both one day at a time and one leap at a time.
The quality of Body Bags is above and beyond most suspense novels - and it continues throughout the series, versus other series which lose the momentum after a few books, or series in which the books become carbon copies. If you enjoy medical thrillers with great characters, especially if you watch(ed) television series such as CSI or Profiler, or read or watch Rizzoli & Isles, then you need to read these books right now. You won't be sorry.
And now for the official book summary:
Body Bags by Christopher Golden
When Jenna Blake starts her freshman year at Somerset University, she's not only living on her own for the first time, she's moving closer to the father she never really knew. It's an exciting time, filled with new faces and new challenges, not to mention parties and boys and... corpses?
Jenna is torn about her future. She'd like to be a doctor like her mother, but she can't stand the sight of blood. Her father, a criminology professor, thinks he has the answer - and sends her to interview for a job with the Medical Examiner - an interview that takes place in the middle of an autopsy!
When a congressional aide goes violently insane, and then drops dead, the pathology team at Somerset Medical Center discover that his brain was ravaged with disease - and loaded with insect larvae. When Jenna takes on her new job, she is drawn into a web of terrifying disease, dangerous politics, and intriguing mystery. And when one of her professors ends up dead, she starts making connections even the police haven't seen... which will bring her face to face with a pair of killers, one medical, and one all too human.
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