Barbara Hackel's Reviews > Bitter Past

Bitter Past by Caroline Fardig
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it was amazing

Ellie Matthews is a college forensic criminology professor, former criminalist for the police department, and somewhat of a mystery person. She is thrust into a college related murder when her associate takes her to the site of his new "body farm" to discuss improvements. While there, Ellie smells death and discovers a student who has been murdered at the site. Before long her colleague is implicated in the murder. All too soon a second student is found dead in a dorm room of a supposed suicide, and Ellie is called in by the sheriff to assist on this case. What happens next is a fast paced criminal investigation and stunning conclusion to both murder cases.

The author has created believable characters who handle their jobs with respect and treat the victims with dignity. It is obvious that meticulous research has been done as the author is able to describe the various procedures and even options available as Ellie and others assess the crime scene and hunt for clues. This isn't done like on TV, but rather as an actual criminalist would act at a crime scene and in the lab. The research carried over to the portions of classes we read about Ellie teaching as well. She was a strong individual when related to her jobs. Her personal life was a little more lax with excessive drinking and questionable judgement about men. She has her sister and young nephew living with her, and it is obvious that these remaining family members mean a lot to her.

The author did a great job of describing the various settings throughout the book, whether it was a convenience store robbery scene, the body farm, or a crime scene. This exemplary focus on surroundings allowed the reader to feel like they were actually in the background watching the story unfold-both the grizzly and happy parts of the book. Combine that with the character descriptions and vivid recounting of lab work, and you have a dynamic book that feels less like fiction and more like true crime. Realistic in every way, this was a book that demanded to be finished without delay and won't disappoint any reader!

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 7, 2017 – Finished Reading
September 8, 2017 – Shelved

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