LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Simon Beckett - Author

About the Author

Simon Beckett is a freelance journalist and writes for national newspapers and colour supplements.  He is married and lives in Sheffield.

Simon Beckett questions

1. Who or what influenced you to write The Chemistry of Death?

The idea came from magazine article I was writing about the National Forensic Academy in Tennessee, an organisation that gives highly realistic forensic training to US police detectives and crime scene investigators. Part of the course involved several days at a place called The Body Farm. It’s a world-famous training ground for forensic anthropologists and the like, and is unique because it uses real human cadavers for its research. The detectives had to carry out what are known as ‘body recovery’ exercises – locating graves where supposed murder victims were buried. Even though it was staged, the bodies were real and it was treated like an actual crime scene. It made a lasting impression on me, and formed the inspiration behind the book.

2. Is Dr David Hunter’s character based on fiction or someone you know?

No, David Hunter is entirely fictional. Having said that, the forensic techniques he uses are all real, and based on information from actual forensic anthropologists.

3. What do you love most about writing?

On a good day it’s a completely absorbing process. You look at the clock and find a few hours have gone by without your realising. And there’s an undeniable buzz when people read something you’ve written, and you know it does exactly what you wanted it to. On  bad day… well, let’s not even talk about that.

4. What do you consider most difficult?

Starting a new novel – or any piece of writing come to that – is probably the hardest part for me. At that point you know all the hard work is still to come, and 100,000 words can seem like an awful lot when you’re still on Chapter One. 

5. Do you write full time now? What jobs have you held in the past?

I’ve written full time for around twelve years now. I tend to split my time between  novels and freelance journalism. I find the two complement each other pretty well, provided you organise your time properly. Before that I had a fairly varied career – everything from property repairs to playing in a band.

6. How did you first get started writing?

Good question. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, but I only really started to think of it as a potential career when I went to work in Spain. I was teaching English, but I used to write in my spare time. It took me about six years before I was finally published, though, so it was hardly an overnight thing.

7. How did you first get published?

I didn’t have an agent, so I started submitting my manuscript around publishers myself. After countless rejection slips it was picked out of the slush-pile, and within 48-hours I’d got myself both a book-deal and an agent. A real water-shed moment.

8. Where did you grow up, how did this place influence you?

I grew up – and still live in – Sheffield. It was a fairly ordinary working class background, at a time when the city was still dominated by the steel industry. But I can’t say it consciously influenced my writing – I don’t set my novels here, because I think it’s difficult to be objective about somewhere you know well. But other writers have no problem with that, so it’s just a case of different strokes, I suppose.

9. What can we expect next?

I don’t want to give away too much at this stage. But let’s just say we probably haven’t seen the last of Dr David Hunter.

Featured books by Simon Beckett

Stone Bruises

Stone Bruises

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/09/2014

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes but his leg is caught in a vicious animal trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...This nail-shredder of a thriller - like the fiction of Nicci French or Gillian Flynn - holds you from the beginning, tightening its grip as the story unfurls and shocks you with its final twist.

ebook of the month
Stone Bruises

Stone Bruises

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/01/2014

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...Superbly written, Stone Bruises is a classic nail-shredder of a thriller that holds you from the beginning. The narrative slowly, inexorably tightens its grip as the story unfurls and will keep you guessing until the unnerving and shocking final twist...

ebook of the month

Other books by Simon Beckett

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

'A superbly strong read' The Times What began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare . . . Once a busy hospital, St Jude's now stands derelict, awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the building's cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can't say how long the body's been there, but he is certain it's that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant. Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital's secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied. And it soon becomes clear that St Jude's hasn't claimed its last victim . . . Chilling, visceral and masterfully paced, Simon Beckett's new crime thriller will leave you gasping.

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

'A superbly strong read' The Times What began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare . . . Once a busy hospital, St Jude's now stands derelict, awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the building's cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can't say how long the body's been there, but he is certain it's that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant. Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital's secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied. And it soon becomes clear that St Jude's hasn't claimed its last victim . . . Chilling, visceral and masterfully paced, Simon Beckett's new crime thriller will leave you gasping.

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/04/2019

`Masterful storytelling and macabre forensic details make his novels utterly chilling reads' TESS GERRITSEN Once a busy hospital, St Jude's now stands derelict, awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the building's cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can't say how long the body's been there, but he is certain it's that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant. Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital's secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied. For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare. And it soon becomes clear that St Jude's hasn't claimed its last victim . . . Chilling, visceral and masterfully paced, Simon Beckett's new crime thriller will leave you gasping.

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

The Scent of Death (David Hunter 6)

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/02/2019

`Masterful storytelling and macabre forensic details make his novels utterly chilling reads' TESS GERRITSEN Once a busy hospital, St Jude's now stands derelict, awaiting demolition. When a partially mummified corpse is found in the building's cavernous loft, forensics expert Dr David Hunter is called in to take a look. He can't say how long the body's been there, but he is certain it's that of a young woman. And that she was pregnant. Then part of the attic floor collapses, revealing another of the hospital's secrets: a bricked-up chamber with beds inside. And some of them are still occupied. For Hunter, what began as a straightforward case is about to become a twisted nightmare. And it soon becomes clear that St Jude's hasn't claimed its last victim . . . Chilling, visceral and masterfully paced, Simon Beckett's new crime thriller will leave you gasping.

The Restless Dead The unnervingly menacing David Hunter thriller

The Restless Dead The unnervingly menacing David Hunter thriller

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/01/2018

'Atmospheric . . . a tense, gripping read' Sunday Times It's not the dead we need to fear. . . Top forensics expert Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain future - his career hangs in the balance and his personal life has taken a turn for the worse. So when he gets a call from Essex police, it comes at the perfect time. A badly decomposed body has been found in the mudflats and salt marshes of the Backwaters. Could it be linked to two unsolved missing-person cases? But as these desolate wetlands begin to give up their grisly secrets, more remains are discovered. With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, authentic forensics and explosive, heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead is a masterclass in crime fiction.

The Restless Dead (David Hunter 5)

The Restless Dead (David Hunter 5)

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2017

`Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn't naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body's buoyancy until it floats again. And the dead will literally rise . . . ` Once one of the country's most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional - and personal - future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he's eager for the chance to assist them. A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification. It's thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing. But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered - and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . . With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, viscerally authentic detail and explosive heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead offers a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre's best.

Restless Dead

Restless Dead

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 22/06/2017

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Restless Dead by Simon Beckett, read by Jonathan Keeble.'Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn't naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body's buoyancy until it floats again.And the dead will literally rise . . . 'Once one of the country's most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional - and personal - future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he's eager for the chance to assist them.A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification.It's thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing.But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered - and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . . With its eerie, claustrophobic sense of place, viscerally authentic detail and explosive heart-in-mouth moments, The Restless Dead offers a masterclass in crime fiction and marks the stunning return of one of the genre's best.

Schneefall & Ein ganz normaler Tag

Schneefall & Ein ganz normaler Tag

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 21/10/2016

Ein wunderbar ausgestattetes Bandchen: Zwei weihnachtliche Kriminalgeschichten mit David Hunter. Ein ganz normaler TagDetective Chief Superintendent Nichols ist sich ganz sicher: Der Obdachlose war schuld! Er hatte die alte Frau um Geld angebettelt und dann erschlagen. Und das am Heiligabend. Auf Anraten der Pathologin zieht er David Hunter zu Rate. Widerwillig. Als ob er geahnt htte, dass der ihm das Weihnachtsfest verderben wrde SchneefallIn den Schottischen Highlands wird ein Serienmrder gejagt. Dann findet man zwei Leichen im Schnee. Und niemand hrt gerne, was der forensische Anthropologe dazu sagt Zwei Weihnachtskrimis mit David Hunter.

Totenfang

Totenfang

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 14/10/2016

Hunter is back!Sein fnfter Fall fhrt Dr. David Hunter in die Backwaters, ein unwirtliches Mndungsgebiet in Essex, wo die Grenzen zwischen Land und Wasser verschwimmen. Aber die wahren Gefahren lauern nicht in der Tiefe, sondern dort, wo er sie am wenigsten erwartet. Seit ber einem Monat ist der 31-jhrige Leo Villiers spurlos verschwunden. Als an einer Flussmndung zwischen Seetang und Schlamm eine stark verweste Mnnerleiche gefunden wird, geht die Polizei davon aus, Leo gefunden zu haben. Der Spross der einflussreichsten Familie der Gegend soll eine Affre mit einer verheirateten Frau gehabt haben, die ebenfalls als vermisst gilt: Leo steht im Verdacht, Emma Darby und schlielich sich selbst umgebracht zu haben. Doch David Hunter kommen Zweifel an der Identitt des Toten. Denn tags darauf treibt ein einzelner Fu im Wasser, und der gehrt definitiv zu einer anderen Leiche. Fr die Zeit seines Aufenthalts kommt David Hunter in einem abgeschiedenen Bootshaus unter. Es gehrt Andrew Trask, dessen Familie ihm mit unverhohlener Feindseligkeit begegnet. Aber sie scheinen nicht die Einzigen im Ort zu sein, die etwas zu verbergen haben. Und noch ehe der forensische Anthropologe das Rtsel um den unbekannten Toten lsen kann, fordert die erbarmungslose Wasserlandschaft erneut ihren Tribut

Where There's Smoke

Where There's Smoke

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 19/11/2015

Some moments burn in the mind for ever. The landing is dark. Light comes from a window at the far end, enough to run by. Breath comes hard. From the stairs sound heavy footfalls in pursuit. The landing ends in a last doorway. There is no more running, only the need to hide...Imagine not knowing the father of your child. Not knowing his name. What he looks like. Or what sort of person he is. Although she is desperate for a baby, that is something that Kate Powell cannot accept. Single, independent, she likes to be in control of her own life - even if it has, somehow, become strangely shallow and meaningless. Then Kate meets a man who seems to be the answer to all her problems. But we all know appearances can be dangerously deceptive. And Kate should too. Soon her life is out her hands. And out of control...

Where There's Smoke

Where There's Smoke

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2015

Some moments burn in the mind for ever. The landing is dark. Light comes from a window at the far end, enough to run by. Breath comes hard. From the stairs sound heavy footfalls in pursuit. The landing ends in a last doorway. There is no more running, only the need to hide... Imagine not knowing the father of your child. Not knowing his name. What he looks like. Or what sort of person he is. Although she is desperate for a baby, that is something that Kate Powell cannot accept. Single, independent, she likes to be in control of her own life - even if it has, somehow, become strangely shallow and meaningless. Then Kate meets a man who seems to be the answer to all her problems. But we all know appearances can be dangerously deceptive. And Kate should too. Soon her life is out her hands. And out of control...

Stone Bruises

Stone Bruises

Author: Simon Beckett Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/09/2014

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes but his leg is caught in a vicious animal trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...This nail-shredder of a thriller - like the fiction of Nicci French or Gillian Flynn - holds you from the beginning, tightening its grip as the story unfurls and shocks you with its final twist.

ebook of the month
Der Hof

Der Hof

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 01/02/2014

Bestsellerautor Simon Beckett von seiner besten Seite: Psychologische Hochspannung der Meisterklasse!Ein abgelegener, heruntergekommener Hof in Sdfrankreich. Es ist brtend hei Fliegen umschwirren die grunzenden, halbwilden Schweine, die im Dreck nach Futter stbern. In der bauflligen Scheune liegt der junge Englnder Sean mit einem zerfetzten Fu Auf der Flucht vor der Polizei ist er in eine rostige Eisenfalle getreten, aufgestellt von Arnaud, dem Besitzer des Hofs, einem Eigenbrtler, der keine Fremden auf seinem Besitz duldet. Sean darf dennoch bleiben - wenn er mithilft, die maroden alten Wnde neu zu mauern. Er nimmt das Angebot an, denn eine Rckkehr nach England kann er nicht riskieren - und auch wegen Arnauds Tochter Mathilde, die ihn so hingebungsvoll pflegt. Aber deren verfhrerische kleine Schwester ist vllig unberechenbar, ebenso wie der tyrannische Arnaud. Irgendetwas stimmt hier ganz und gar nicht, und Sean will es herausfinden. Doch die Arnauds haben ihre Geheimnisse, und der Alte setzt alles daran, dass sie niemals ans Licht kommen. Die David-Hunter-Thriller in chronologischer Reihenfolge: Die Chemie des Todes, Kalte Asche, Leichenblsse, Verwesung

Katz und Maus

Katz und Maus

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 01/06/2013

Eigentlich hat David Hunter die Folgen des Uberfalls vor einigen Jahren verarbeitet. Dachte er. Aber dann findet er vor seiner Haustur eine Reisetasche mit grauenvollem Inhalt, und die Vergangenheit meldet sich zuruck ... Eine David-Hunter-Geschichte, spannend und kurzweilig.

Verwesung

Verwesung

Author: Simon Beckett Format: eBook Release Date: 24/02/2011

Von Tina Williams und den Bennett-Zwillingen fehlt jede Spur. Die Bewohner von Dartmoor bangen um ihre Kinder. Als der Auenseiter Jerome Monk bei dem Uberfall auf ein viertes Madchen gefasst wird und die Morde gesteht, sind alle erleichtert. Doch Monk weigert sich zu verraten, wo die Opfer begraben sind. Bis in den Smpfen von Dartmoor eine Leiche gefunden wird. David Hunter kann Tina Williams identifizieren. Mit Hilfe der Profilerin Sophie versuchen David und sein Freund Detective Terry Connors, auch die anderen beiden Mdchen zu finden. Eine groangelegte Suchaktion im Moor endet jedoch in einem Desaster. Acht Jahre spter bricht Jerome Monk aus dem Hochsicherheitsgefngnis aus und scheint sich an allen, die damals an der Suche beteiligt waren, rchen zu wollen. Vor allem an Sophie, die ihm damals ihre Hilfe angeboten hat. David versucht, ihn zu stoppen, doch Monk kennt das Dartmoor besser als jeder andere ... "e;Becketts Psychothriller sind so unglaublich spannend, dass man mit klopfendem Herzen dasitzt und bei jedem kleinsten Gerusch aufschreckt."e; (stern.de)