I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Body Language by A.K. Turner. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I had to take part. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for inviting me to join the tour. Before I give you my thoughts, here’s the blurb.
CASSIE RAVEN BELIEVES THE DEAD CAN TALK. WE JUST NEED TO LISTEN . . .
People think being a mortuary technician is a seriously weird job. They can’t understand why I choose to cut up dead bodies for a living. But they don’t know what I know:
The dead want to tell us what happened to them.
I’ve eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone I know before – someone who meant a lot to me; someone I loved.
The pathologist says that her death was an accident.
Her body is telling me differently.
Forensics are now part and parcel of crime investigations both in real life and fiction. They can make or break cases in court, especially as some jury members think they understand all the forensic details having watched a few episodes of CSI. Authors nowadays have to be on top of the forensics, to be sure that what’s being written is realistic. It’s clear that A.K. Turner has very much done her research.
Novels set in mortuaries have been around for quite a while but there’s a new girl in town and her name is Cassie Raven. With dyed black hair, piercings and tattoos, she’s not your average mortuary technician. And thank goodness for that. A.K. Turner has breathed fresh life into a setting that has to remain within the rules of science. Cassie is a wonderful character with a fascinating backstory. She’s intelligent enough to become a pathologist but being a technician allows us far more insight. Not everyone needs a full forensic post mortem so Cassie mostly deals with unexplained deaths. As well as bringing her expertise to the table, Cassie also has another skill – the dead talk to her. Cassie’s supernatural talent allows her to look at the evidence in a new way. The problem comes though when the dead person talking to her is a dear friend.
DS Phyllida Flyte, the other narrator in Body Language, is the polar opposite of Cassie – uptight, judgemental and pedantic when it comes to upholding the law. She’s also new to London after leaving Winchester so she’s struggling to fit in. The two women clash from the outset but if they’re going to find the truth, they’ll have to learn to trust each other.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, not least because it’s quite involved and I don’t want to give anything away. But what I will say is that A.K. Turner looks at death and grief in an incredibly sensitive way. There’s one very poignant moment (you’ll know when you get to it) that brought tears to my eyes.
Overall this is a fantastic book that is crying out to be made into a TV series. Cassie Raven is highly original and I look forward to reading more. Her partnership with DS Flyte is set to run and run.
You can buy Body Language here.
Or check out your local bookshop.
I’m also very excited to tell you that A.K. Turner will be joining us at our December First Monday Crime panel on Monday 7th December, along with Susi Holliday, Deborah Masson and Sam Carrington. Join us on our Facebook page at 7.30pm GMT.
A.K. Turner‘s first foray into crime fiction was a detective thriller trilogy, written under the pen name Anya Lipska, following the adventures of Janusz Kiszka, a fixer to London’s Polish community. All three books won critical acclaim and were twice optioned as a possible TV series. In her other life as a TV producer and writer, A.K. makes documentaries and drama-docs on subjects as diverse as the Mutiny on the Bounty, the sex lives of Neanderthals, and Monty Don’s Italian Gardens.