Title: The Embalmer (Sullivan and Mullins #3)
Author: Alison Belsham
Published on: 12 November 2020
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
The Embalmer is the third book in Sullivan and Mullins series and can be read a standalone.
‘The Embalmer’ is a serial killer obsessed with mummifying his victims and storing their internal organs in a clay jar. His first victim is left at the local museum while the second in a public place – with only the organs ‘preserved’ in a jar of natron. Francis Sullivan has another case – this one’s close to heart as his might-be-lady-love Marni is accused of murdering her husband. Marni and Francis went on a date and he dropped her back home. Half an hour later, Marni’s husband was lying in a pool of blood and Marni was found clutching a bloody knife.
The story starts with the Embalmer starting the process of ‘mummifying’ his first victim. The brain is scooped out through the nasal cavity, internal organs are stored in clay jars filled with natron and the body is wrapped tight with linen and resin. He leaves it at the local museum and the next day, the assistant manager discovers it. Francis is called to the scene and he wonders if this is a prank or a serial killer on prowl, after all, it is not weird to find a mummy in a museum. When the Medical Examiner arrives and takes a look, she knows for sure the ‘mummy’ is not hundreds of years ago. A scroll filled with hieroglyphics is found below one of the jars.
The museum manager is nowhere to be found. The police initially suspect she had something to do with the mummy. But the next day, her dismembered body is found – one of her internal organs have been removed. The local press Argus gets hold of the story – but things turn murkier when the journalist asks the killer to talk to him (and explain his side of the ‘story’). The journalist receives a jar filled with natron and a human organ.
While this serial killer business is in play, Francis, the lead detective on the case, has other things in mind. His lady-love Marni is arrested and sent to prison for murdering her husband. She pleads not guilty stating her husband’s twin murdered him. But with no evidence pointing to the twin’s involvement, the police is pretty sure Marni was just cooking up a story. It is up to Francis to prove her innocence – this isn’t easy as his colleague (the one in charge of Marni’s case) isn’t helpful.
The suspense is at an all-time high and keeps one guessing till the end. The main detective is torn between solving the case and helping to prove Marni’s innocence. The identity of the killer is well-hidden until the end; Francis and the killer come face-to-face, and it is pretty sure that one of them will go down for good.
The Embalmer by Alison Belsham is a cleverly crafted and twisted thriller that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats. Not recommended as a bed time read unless you want your sleep to be marred with nightmares! If you love gripping and nail-biting thrillers that keeps you guessing for more, you might want to give The Embalmer by Alison Belsham a read.
I received an ARC from Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.