|Plot Summary of Past Mortem|
|"Detective Inspector Edward Newson is investigating a series of very unusual murders, which he is certain were committed by a single killer, although the only links between the murders are the bizarre methods of torture and death used by the killer, his habit of playing loud retro music while he kills, and the fact that the victims seem to offer little or no resistance. A powerful construction baron is stabbed 347 times with a skewer dipped in anticoagulant and slowly bled to death. A politician is bleached in powerful acid and then forced to drink it. A former model's face is mauled, and she is left to starve to death while staring at her ruin in a mirror. In all these cases, and several others equally macabre, the victims were unpleasant people, loathed or feared by most of their acquaintance.
Meanwhile, Ed's personal life takes a nostalgic turn as he signs on to "Friends Reunited", an online high-school meeting place, and gets in touch with many of his former classmates, including two very different ex-girlfriends. Christine Copperfield, the beautiful queen bee of the class of '87, who he went out with for a week at the age of 14, and Helen Smart, the unpopular outsider who he dumped for Christine. A few meetings with Helen reveal that she is troubled by many issues from her past, including her bullying at the hands of golden girl Christine, who on one occasion shoved a tampon down her throat in the girls' changing rooms. Ed is shocked, but the years have not dimmed his fantasy-girl's appeal, and soon he and Christine are headed for a second chance... Until Christine is found murdered in her flat, choked to death with a tampon. Did Helen kill her, in revenge for her past cruelty? Or did the killer have a wider purpose? "
Emma Hearn, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Past Mortem|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 10%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 30%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 40%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 20%
Tone of story
How difficult to spot villain?
- Difficult, but some clues given
Time/era of story:
- present (2000-2010)
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, British
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
How much violence does he/she use?
- a little
How sensitive is this character?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- healthy but a geeky weakling
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- a little/some
Motive of antagonist
Sense of humor
- Cynical sense of humor
- Very much smarter than other characters
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
How many deaths?
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog