Starred Review. In the exceptional second thriller from British author Beckett to feature forensic anthropologist David Hunter (after 2006's The Chemistry of Death), the former GP investigates a suspicious death on Runa, a small island in the Hebrides. With the mainland official force preoccupied with a horrific train wreck that might have been the work of terrorists, Hunter must try to determine whether the victim was murdered. On Runa, Hunter finds a badly burned corpse with the feet and one hand oddly untouched, in a cottage that shows little fire damage. Could spontaneous combustion have been the cause? The suspense mounts along with the body count and the approach of a storm that cuts off the island from the outside world. While some plot elements may be a little too close to those of the prior book, Beckett does them better here, and is especially adept at blending first- and third-person narratives to heighten the tension.