The Silent Sleep of the Dying

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9780786714544: The Silent Sleep of the Dying

Mark Hartmann, a consultant pathologist, is married to a barrister and the son-in-law of a judge. His secret vice is compulsive gambling, and mounting debts are starting to threaten his marriage. When he is asked to perform an autopsy on Millicent Sweet, a laboratory assistant, it seems a case like any other. Sweet was only twenty-two when she died of cancer. His initial findings are anything but typical, though, for she appears to have died of several different, aggressive tumors. Before he can discuss this with his colleagues, he is called away to a conference in Scotland, where he ends up sleeping with one of the sales reps. This action results in blackmail by a pharmaceutical company, which has videoed Hartmann’s excesses. They threaten to send the video to Hartmann’s wife—unless he falsifies his report on Sweet’s death. But they are not the only people interested in this. Millicent's father, convinced his daughter’s death is the result of a laboratory accident, has contacted lawyer Helena Flemming. When Helena’s partner, John Eisenmenger, a forensic pathologist, looks into the case, he not only uncovers Hartmann’s original autopsy and subsequent deception, but is launched into the perilous midst of an even greater lie.

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About the Author:

Keith McCarthy was born in Croydon, Surrey. Educated at Dulwich College and then at St George's Hospital Medical School, he began practising pathology in 1985 and has done so ever since. At present Keith is a Consultant Histopathologist in Gloucestershire where he lives with his wife and three daughters.

From Publishers Weekly:

A young woman dies, her body literally exploding with dozens of different types of cancer. A talented but weak-willed pathologist, hired to autopsy her body, is blackmailed into falsifying his report. It's a perfect case for the highly interesting team of British lawyer Helena Flemming and her partner, forensic pathologist Dr. John Eisenmenger, who proved in their first outing (2003's A Feast of Carrion) that there's plenty of life left in the medical thriller—especially if the author, like McCarthy, is a working pathologist who can also write exciting, literate prose. The father of 23-year-old Millicent Sweet, who worked as a lab technician for a pharmaceutical company and who just days before her death appeared to be in excellent health, comes to Flemming for help in proving that his daughter's death wasn't from natural causes, despite the autopsy. Helena in turn recruits a reluctant Eisenmenger, bruised from their last adventure and some personal tragedy. Despite a predictable villain, McCarthy includes enough fascinating and grisly details from the cutting room to make his forensic forays worth putting on the latex gloves for. Once again, fans of Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs and CSI should be well pleased.
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