The Final Analysis: An Eisenmenger-Flemming Forensic Mystery

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9780786715732: The Final Analysis: An Eisenmenger-Flemming Forensic Mystery

At first there were five identical murders, the bodies eviscerated and the organs playfully distributed around. Beverly Wharton had been sure that the guilty man was Melkior Pendred—an autistic and highly skilled mortuary assistant—but her colleague, Sergeant Homer, had always thought she had caught the wrong man and it was his twin, Martin, who was responsible. With Melkior dying in prison, a sixth, apparently identical murder gives Homer—now a chief inspector—the perfect chance to settle a few scores. Martin Pendred is arrested but then released on a technicality after the intervention of his solicitor, Helena Flemming. Then he disappears. Another murder occurs and the hunt for Martin Pendred becomes intense. Beverly Wharton—fearing for her career if it is shown Melkior Pendred was innocent— calls on John Eisenmenger to help her. He had been the pathologist on the original murders and soon spots slight differences of technique between present and past murders. And when a fellow pathologist is murdered, Eisenmenger begins to guess what is going on. Then Helena disappears, kidnapped by Martin Pendred, and while Eisenmenger desperately searches for her he discovers the final piece of evidence that reveals just who is behind the latest murders.

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From Booklist:

Several years ago, Melkior Pendred was convicted and sent to prison for the grisly serial murders of five people whose bodies were eviscerated and their internal organs hidden. Now three more murders have occurred in the same manner. Was Melkior really guilty of the original crimes, or was the killer his twin brother, Martin? Beverley Wharton, who investigated the first murders, still insists Melkior, who has since died in prison, was guilty. Wharton's rival on the force, however, always thought the perpetrator was Martin and has gleefully predicted his colleague's downfall. With her job on the line, Wharton appeals for help to pathologist John Eisenmenger, who performed the original postmortems. This leisurely paced mystery offers a compelling plot, although the characters are rather distant. Still, the forensic detail will make this third in a series appealing to fans of Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs. Sue O'Brien
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