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(London Crime #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Death isn't always the end. LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds. When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie fi ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published December 4th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published November 10th 2013)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  815 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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J.F. Penn
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My latest book!

“One of the most original mystery/thrillers that I've read in a long while. Its topic of life and death, soul and body is harrowing and poignant, shocking and profound.”
David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder as a Fine Art and author of over 40 novels

"A riveting exploration of the dark side of the human heart" 
New York Times Bestselling Author CJ Lyons

"In a book which takes the reader on a journey to hell and back, J.F. Penn demonstrates her huge talent for co
Simon Jenner
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As if Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke’s investigation into the macabre world of grave robbery, body modification and genetic engineering wasn’t enough to keep her awake at night, when it takes a personal turn, she is not only struggling to expose a gruesome underworld but is also fighting for her life.

Desecration certainly lives up to its name. It is a dark and graphic mystery/thriller that deals with plenty of unique and unusual albeit uncomfortable themes, including corpse art and dissection.
My friend, Amanda, tickled my curiosity with this book when she talked about it. She did warn me that it wasn't pretty. The main detective in this book, Jamie Brooke, is dealing with a quite depressing situation: her daughter is dying... Plus there are a LOT of macabre surrounding the case, as in a whole lot of mutilated bodies, all in the name of science. It challenges my comfort level, for sure.

But the mystery itself is good. Yes, a LOT of times when the author describes the condition of those
Mark Tilbury
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Review of Desecration by J.F. Penn

Jamie is investigating the murder and mutilation of a young woman and trying to come to terms with her young daughter being terminally ill. Both parts of her life get intermingled when she meets Blake, a reluctant psychic who can see details of the murder unknown to the police, and aspects of Jamie she’d rather have kept private.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. All aspects of the plot and the mix of characters worked well. I found out more about Jamie as the stor
Elizabeth Ducie
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When you are just back from a week's holiday and your desk is calling to you, the last thing you need is an unputtable-down book. But Desecration is just that sort of book. I started it yesterday morning, kept reading throughout a train journey at the end of a long two-days of travel, lay awake into the night reading, and finished it at the breakfast table this morning. It is well-written, full of carefully-researched science, but with a sprinkling of mysticism, and a gripping thriller. Some of ...more
Harule Stokes
First, I have to say, Mrs. Penn is an excellent writer. Her prose fantastic.

The story itself is interesting. A murder mystery that centers around the mutilation of a corpse, but it's not that simple. Said mutilation was clearly done by someone with surgical knowledge and done in a... strangely artistic fashion. This moves the reader into a world of body art taken to the extreme and the creation of art with corpses. Very interesting stuff, but it plays a bad-drop to a not-so-complex murder myster
Saravanan Pandi
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All
"Desecration" is the fast moving and intriguing novel which has correct proportions of whatever needed for the thriller story.

The story revolves around a Detective sergeant Jamie Brooke who is assigned to investigate about the murder of a young heiress,Jenna in a grotesque manner.

Jamie always finds time to spend time with her dying daughter,Polly admitted in hospice despite busy investigating the people who were present at the crime scene and people related to Jenna including Jenna's father Chri
Icy Sedgwick
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you've previously read JF Penn's ARKANE series then be aware that these London Psychic books are not more of the same. These books are darker, more twisted, and altogether more satisfying. Detective Jamie Brooke might not be saving the world from the power of religious relics but she's solving murders and still bringing the bad guys to justice. Aided and abetted by clairvoyant Blake Daniel, Jamie really does go through the wringer in this tale of anatomists, vivisection and scientific experim ...more
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading this and really enjoyed it. Interesting characters and a good story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. This will be added to my read again collection, the highest honor I can give a book. I received a free copy from the author and this is an honest review
Ashley Person
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of the author's non-fiction works and this is the first of her novels I've read. I really liked it. The most surprising thing was that she really didn't shy away from the darker elements. I kept expecting the story to pull back and give a lighter ending, but that didn't happen. In addition she showed that characters had to deal with the consequences of their actions which a lot of authors don't do with fast-paced thrillers. I liked the main characters and definitely plan on finishi ...more
Kristi Lamont
May 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Depravity/violence = titillation and porn masquerading as a murder mystery. Not my cup of tea.
this is a page turner but I also turned multiple pages at once here and there because it gets very yeuuuuugh. I'm okay with some degree of horror but this was farther than I found tolerable. still, Penn's writing is really lovely, and I got sucked right into the main character's life. if I read more of Penn, I'll look for something less yeuuuuugh if it's out there. ...more
Craig Jr.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I received the audio book version of this book. Joanna Penn is an excellent writer, but this novel was definitely not for me. It is a very gruesome read, think of watching Bones--but a lot more detail on the nasty parts. Some people will enjoy that, and that's great, but it unsettled my stomach a bit. I'm not the type of reader who can appreciate that type of visual and violence. However, the plot is interesting and everything is tied together well. I believe the mother-daughter relationship was ...more
Rae Else
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Desecration (The London Psychic Series) is a kind of supernatural thriller and I thought it would be the most up my street to start with reading.

It’s not just fast-paced, lots of mystery and conflict throughout, but Penn's prose and the summation of her characters is beautiful.

It starts in the Huntarian Museum, in the Royal College of Surgeons. The museum has a collection of specimens on human anatomy. In the very opening chapter a woman is murdered at at the museum, the collection providing a
Elisabeth Zguta
This story is action packed, well researched and emotionally charged - as are all of J.F. Penn's novels. I enjoyed the prologue peek into the murderer's mindset. It is a jump start into the tale, a foretelling of the horror just around the corner.

This new story series contains a strong heroin, Jamie Brooke, who has a definitive unique personality. Jamie is a wonderful character, very human, with complex desires. The author did a great job getting into the head of the mother in pain, the dedicate
J.A. Ironside

I honestly don't know whether I enjoyed this book. As previously mentioned I am not at all squeamish, I've read lots of books that were more violent or had more troubling themes, and yt there was something about this one that got under my guard. It kept me listening despite the fact that I didn't care over much for the narrator. (Mostly because unless she was doing character voices, she was quite monotone with little emotional colour, so reading really quite gripping scenes she sounded
Elena Bozic
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, novel
--Won through Goodreads Giveaway--
Desecration by J.F. Penn is a novel full of grotesque descriptions and encounters of human depravity.
I found this novel to be quite a unique read, as I can not recall ever reading a book like this. I quite enjoyed this novel, although it is not without it's problems.
Personally, I think that if the novel had gone deeper into the emotional states, backgrounds, and motives of the characters, it would have greatly benefited.
There was also an instance towards the end
Janet Hartman
Aug 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like either thrillers with a touch of horror or medical mysteries
I had never heard of teratology before reading this book, much less known about museums with preserved dissected portions of humans and animals with deformities. I thought I might have been reading a fantasy until I looked up various terms and museum names and discovered these things existed outside the boundaries of the medical community.
The detailed descriptions in this book show that Penn did a lot of research before writing this book. I could have done with less of this in the early portion
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book of a lawyer and heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons. Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to investigate and when she discovers a figurine on the body she is directed towards Blake Daniel, a psychic to help her solve the case. How depraved can human behaviour go, read and find out.
Strangely, an interesting read with characters I suspect will grow on me in further books
EV von Fleek
Gruesome detail. Not my cup of tea. The story was good but too much emphasis on body parts and vivisection. Either the author enjoys wallowing in the macabre or she doesn't trust her readers to get it. ...more
Irene Kyn
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
That was a really great book! Thank you J.F. Penn for giving me the chance to read it! :)
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supposed to be a mystery but reads like a horror novel. Not really my thing. Well written though.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, a little graphic, kept my attention. Not overly well written in third person.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, action, crime, thriller
I wanted to read something about a crime that would string me along until it hit me in the gut with a big reveal. I wanted something that wasn't predictable and would hook me from the first page. I'm pleased to say that Desecration did that.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke's backstory is tragic. Her daughter has lived a life of pain and illness and is in palliative care. At first, I was uncomfortable with this part of the storyline and of Jamie's choices between her dying daughter and her work. T
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
Joanna has often mentioned on her podcast that it is very difficult to categorise this series. There’s a cop, a murder, police procedures, a psychic, a body-snatching, and lots of gruesome gory horror details plus a tiny sprinkle of romance (just a hint).
The mystery is easily solved really (view spoiler)
Joao Nogueira
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, 2021
After a gruesome killing (with organ removal), DS Jamie Brooke is called to find the killer – it’s the last thing that she needed right now, when her daughter is facing terminal illness! To make things worse, this is not an isolated event but only the tip of the iceberg and soon she’s on a dangerous rollercoaster against a secret society that praises murder and human vivisection.

J.F.Penn writing is well above average and her ability to build believable characters is superior - Jamie’s backstory
Wyatt Smith
May 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This review relates to the audiobook version.

Firstly, the narrator, Rosalind Ashford, does a good job of distinguishing between male and female characters. However, here narration falls down on one word: "Something". Although not strongly noticeable she pronounces it as "Somethink". This is fine for the voice of the copper but doesn't work for the aristocracy.

As for the book, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is investigating a gruesome murder and enlists the aid of a reluctant psychic. Actually,
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The body of a young heiress is found at the Royal College of Surgeons, Jamie is the officer on the case. She has help from Blake a psychic to help her find the murderer. The investigation leads them to a sinister secret society, where the members partake in human vivisection and murder.

Sadly Jamie's 14 year old daughter dies after a long illness and her body is tollen. Jamie has nothing left to lose and so throws herslf into finding the killer and the body of her daughter. The search leads her t
Pamela Scott
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-books, j-f-penn

I’ve become a huge fan of the author over the past few months and have quite a lot of books in her back catalogue to read. I’m very much looking forward to it. Blake has psychic abilities and it took a couple of examples of him using his powers to stop rolling my eyes. This isn’t down to the author’s skill or writing style which are excellent but my cynicism. This is different than other books I’ve read from her ARKANE series. Desecration is an excellent t
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Desecration' was definitely one of those books that pulled me in and didn't let go. Very thought provoking. Between the realism when it comes to the scientific aspect of learning from those that were not 'perfect bodied' to those that endorse the use of bodies to gain fame, notoriety or monetary gain. I don't know why the issues explained in this story are so taboo when in reality these things did happen and probably will continue. The author did a fantastic job in bringing this story to life. ...more
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I'm the award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the ARKANE Action Adventure Thriller series, the Brooke & Daniel Crime Thrillers, and the Mapwalker Fantasy Adventure trilogy, as well as other books.

The fast-paced ARKANE thrillers weave together historical artifacts, global locations, a kick-ass protagonist and a hint of the supernatural. Described by readers as a femal

Other books in the series

London Crime (3 books)
  • Delirium (London Crime, #2)
  • Deviance

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