Life Sentence by A. K. Turner – Review.

About The Book

Mortuary technician Cassie Raven believes the last thoughts of the dead linger like static in the air…

Cassie has always had a strange affinity with death, ever since her parents were killed in a car crash when she was four. At least that’s what she grew up believing…

But that was a lie. Cassie’s father is alive. He was convicted of murdering her mother and spent years behind bars. Now he’s out – and he’s looking for her.

He swears he didn’t do it. And Cassie wants to believe him.

To find the truth, she must turn detective. As she seeks answers, help is to be found in inexplicable places – for the dead are ready to talk.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I read the first book in this series a few weeks ago and knew from that book alone that this would be a series I would enjoy. Cassie was a character that I liked a lot, mainly for her originality, compassion and determination to get an answer. Even if it meant putting herself in danger or making life harder for herself at work with superiors who didn’t like having to take advice from the ones they considered beneath them. 

Whilst there is focus on Cassie’s attempts to find out why one of her guests died, much of the novel shows her trying to find out who was responsible for her mother’s death. She is remembering more, after picking up scents from clothing, seeing photos etc and struggled at times with hearing the stories that friends of her mother told her. All combined with tales her beloved grandmother had always told her, that seemed more likely to be inaccurate. 

Phyllida Flyte, the detective, who she has tentatively built a friendship with does feature slightly less but seemed to have more of an impact. I felt I got to know her more, see her frustration at Cassie when she asks her to look for information that could get her in trouble. I could also see her feeling happier and being part of the team in her new position.

There are two others ‘characters’ I liked. Macavity, Cassie’s cat, who showed his disdain extremely well and another slightly unusual one. That was Camden, an area I do not know,but I felt like I was there. Feeling the buzz, and often the threat. It’s not something I feel often, but I do appreciate it when a community feels real.

Body Language by A. K. Turner – Review.

About The Book

Mortuary technician Cassie Raven believes the dead can talk. We just need to listen . . .

Cassie Raven is used to people thinking her job is strange – why would anyone want to cut up dead bodies for a living? But they don’t know what she knows: that the dead want to tell us what happened to them.

She’s eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone she knew, someone who meant a lot to her – until now.

The pathologist says her death was an accident. Her body is telling Cassie differently.

My Review

Body Language is the first in a series that features Cassie Raven. Whilst being a crime novel it is a little different, instead of being in the police Cassie is a mortuary assistant and she often communicates with the people who have died, especially in suspicious circumstances. This could have been a little creepy but I thought it was more like compassion. She seemed to sense that they had something to say. One of the people who ‘spoke’ to her was a woman who had been a huge help to Cassie, helped her change her life and now she wants to return the favour and find out why she has died.

I adored Cassie as soon as I met her. I loved her honesty regarding her past mistakes, her relationship with her grandmother and her determination to get justice for the dead. She felt remorse for mistakes made in the past and relationships that she had damaged with her inability to share but she was also loyal to friends. 

The detective she has an initial tetchy relationship with, Phylidda, is one I did struggle with at first  but I did soften a bit when I realised what her issues were. I did however have a lot of respect for her stubbornness in not giving up on something she wasn’t happy with. 

The author showed how fascinating and rewarding working in a mortuary could be. She didn’t baffle the reader with the science, instead she showed the detail of the job but with compassion and respect. Something which has been lacking in crime novels I have read previously.