Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Deadly Undertakings by Gregg Luke

About the Book

Title: Deadly Undertakings
Author: Gregg Luke
Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Being an assistant to the state medical examiner in Salt Lake City might sound like a dead-end job, but Rebekah Smith loves the mystery and challenge of determining the cause of death in the bodies delivered to their morgue. Tutored by her friend and boss, Dr. Sandeep Mahesh, she gains understanding not only for her job but also for how to mask her own troubled past.

While analyzing the corpse of a 100 year old woman, Rebekah discovers some disturbing elements: not only was the deceased woman a healthy centenarain, but she was also embalmed before anyone discovered she'd passed away. When two identical cases surface, Rebekah enlists the help of her boyfriend, special investigations officer, Josh Logan. Together they uncover shocking truths about the bizarre deaths, which eventually lead them to the nightmarish revelation they weren't prepared for. Yet, unknowingly, the more they reveal, the closer they come to being the killer's next guinea pigs.

I have to admit that I am usually not a fan of the horror or "scary" genre. Yes, I admit that I am a chicken but I also don't like how many of these stories have overly graphic images. Fortunately, Deadly Undertakings had just the right amount of "creepiness" without crossing the line to horror. And that is what I liked so much about it! I also liked the fact that this book was completely unique and creative in the LDS fiction genre.

Deadly Undertakings had such a good villain! He definitely creeped me out and was completely crazy. But I love how the author humanized hin just enough to also make me feel sorry for him because bad guys that you can sympathize with are the creepiest of all!

As with all Gregg Luke medical mysteries, I am impressed with the level of knowledge and research that went in to making this book realistic. Some of the descriptions of autoposies and dead bodies were definitely cringe-worthy but they helped give the book an authentic feel.

And of course, I appreciated the underlying romance. I liked how even though Rebekah and Josh were already dating when the story began, the focus was on the growth of their relationship instead of on the "getting together" part. It was a nice change of pace from most books.

In my opinion, Deadly Undertakings is definitely Gregg Luke's best novel to date! If you like mystery and crime thrillers, then put this one next on your to-be-read pile (and don't forget to read it under the covers with a flashlight!)

About the Author

Gregg Luke was born in Bakersfield, California, but spent the majority of his childhood and young adult life in Santa Barbara, California. He served an LDS mission to Wisconsin then pursued his education in biological sciences at SBCC, UCSBB, BYU, and subsequently graduated from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. He is now a practicing pharmacist.

Gregg has been writing since he could put pen to paper. He enjoys medical thrillers and is one of the first to work this genre into the LDS market. His published books include Sacred Voyage (2004), The Survivors (2007),  Do No Harm (2008), Altered State (2009), Blink of an Eye (2010), Bloodborne (2011), and Deadly Undertakings (2012).

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