cover image Body Bags

Body Bags

Christopher Golden. Simon Pulse, $4.99 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-671-03492-4

Jenna Blake has greater concerns than making friends or choosing a major during her first semester at Somerset University near Boston. At her parents insistence, she accepts a job as an administrative assistant to the medical examiner at Somerset Medical Center; her new position gives Blake insight--via Golden's (Ghost Roads) well-rendered autopsy descriptions--into some bizarre campus events involving people suddenly seized by uncontrollable violence. Unwittingly at the center of an international conspiracy (which draws the attention of the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control), Blake is marked by a killer whose technique demonstrates Golden's sense of the truly morbid and her knack for uncomfortably realistic medical dialogue. The college atmosphere lends itself to the unpredictable plot, and Golden does well in developing the personalities of minor characters, including Jenna's new college friends, her parents and her supervising doctor. The killer and his motive, on the other hand, are never fully developed. Jenna will be back soon, however; this title launches Golden's Body of Evidence series. (May)