British author Beckett (Fine Lines) delivers a promising serial-killer whodunit, the first of a new crime series. Dr. David Hunter, a successful forensic anthropologist, retreats to the quiet Norfolk village of Manham, where he works as a general practitioner, after a drunk driver claims the lives of his wife and daughter. Three years after this tragedy, the shattering discovery of the mutilated corpse of a neighbor, Sally Palmer, forces Hunter back into the world of studying decomposing corpses. When another woman disappears, Hunter and the police conclude that a serial predator is at work, and they race against time to prevent a second murder. High quality prose and a compelling if flawed hero haunted by the memory of his family help compensate for a plot that starts strongly but winds down to a somewhat predictable resolution.