Source: Review copy
Publication: 26 November 2020 from Zaffre
My thanks to the publishers for an early review copy and apologies for the late posting, computer issues now thankfully resolved!
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.
Oh yes! This series has just jumped, body and soul, into my must read category. Cassie Raven is a brilliant character. Senior mortuary technician, goth, body whisperer, she is everything I look for in a compelling character driven narrative. As I read more and more crime fiction, I find I am increasingly drawn to those characters that have a unique voice. Cassie Raven is a brilliant example of that. Cassie is a young woman with her own individual style who does not easily fit into the standard societal image of a mortician. But she is intelligent, intuitive and most of all she cares about her job and the people who are under her care.
A.K. Turner’s character springs out from the pages as a lively and wholly formed character that I just took to straight away. Lovers of Turner’s previous Kiszka and Kershaw series will recognise that 25 year old Cassie’s Polish heritage is something that is close to Turner’s heart and it’s good to see it used here to great effect in cementing the bond between Cassie and her grandmother.
Strange happenings in the mortuary and the death of a much-loved mentor provide the basis for an excellent plot and lots of entertaining moments in a fantastic read that has a great deal to commend it. I found the forensic science aspects of the book really fascinating, providing an authentic look at the role of a mortuary technician as well as offering instruction and insight.
Great storytelling combined with relatively short chapters help to make this a read that I was eager to not put down, such was my interest in both the plot and the characters. Body Language is an easy, fast paced read, and also a gripping one.
Not only is Cassie a great character, but there’s enough interest in her co-workers and in the fantastic character of Flyte, to sustain my interest for quite some time in the future. Flyte is a police officer with a rod up her back and one who Cassie finds so straight-laced – yet ultimately her dedication to her job mirrors Cassie’s own so closely that the two find they have more in common than they initially imagined. I can see these two having an interesting future together!
Verdict: This is a compelling start to a new series and it’s not hyperbole to suggest that I am already addicted to Cassie Raven. This series has at one bound become unmissable.
A K Turner likes to create memorable characters, throw them into unusual settings, and add a hefty dose of murder and a twisty-turny plot. Her latest book, Body Language, introduces a new kind of forensic heroine – a crime-solving Goth-girl mortuary technician who talks to the dead, a character first launched in two crime shorts aired on BBC Radio 4. A K’s previous series, written under the pen name Anya Lipska, starred a London-based Polish fixer who’s happy to crack heads to solve crimes – which saw her being selected for Val McDermid’s prestigious New Blood Panel at Harrogate Crime Festival in 2012.
A K (aka Ali) lives in East London where she is writing more mortuary-set mysteries. Her day job is producing TV documentaries on true crime and science topics. And just for light relief she is training to be a City of London guide…