Tuesday, 4 February 2020

The Silent Assassin

Finished February 1
The Silent Assassin by Lori Andrews

This thriller features a female doctor, Alexandra Blake,  who specializes in communicable disease research and works for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP). Her father died in Vietnam when she was a young child, and she had an unconventional childhood. She is involved with a musician, but the two haven't really defined their relationship beyond the present. As the book opens, he is leaving for a European tour, and she is called in to attend an autopsy on a man found in a dumpster, with some conflicting clues about his status and death. She is also involved in a project to repatriate some skulls of Vietnamese people that were brought back to the United States as war trophies by soldiers. Although confiscated as soon as they arrived in the U.S., the skull have been in storage, untouched, for years. Back in the war, they were painted and used in disrespectful ways. Alex is asked what she can do to remove the evidence of this, and is ordered to participate in the repatriation ceremony. She is also told to identify at least one of the Vietnamese victims.
As she works on these projects, she is drawn back into her own personal history and the loss of her father.
This novel is part of a series, but I haven't yet read others. I enjoyed the character and the story. The action moves quickly, and there is lots of suspense and drama, and several more people die before the final act. The personalities of the characters play a role, and it was a page-turning read.

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