Ages 15 and up
Simon and Schuster, 1999, 0-6710-3492-8
Jenna Blake is thrilled to be going to college. Is does not bother her that much that she doesn’t yet know what she wants to major in. After all she has time to make up her mind. Her mother would like her to be a doctor and Jenna does feel that it would be wonderful to have a job which helps others. There is a problem with the whole doctor idea however - the blood. Jenna also hates the idea that she could, potentially kill someone. Then Jenna’s father, a professor at her new college, suggests that perhaps she should consider working with patients who are already dead.
Thus it is that Jenna finds herself going to interview for a job as assistant pathologist to the medical examiner. She cannot believe that she is doing this but at the same time she is curious to find out what it might be like. Her interview takes place during a particularly gruesome autopsy and though Jenna does feel sick and “grossed out” by what she sees, she also finds herself becoming curious about the case. What on earth had happened to the man on the slab in front of her? What had turned his brain in a mushy mass wriggling with insect larvae?
The case gets decidedly more personal when one of Jenna’s father’s colleagues dies violently from the same mystery disease. Then Jenna herself is attacked as she walks across the campus one night. Jenna begins to think that there is a something decidedly sinister going on and if she is not careful she and her father may be the next ones to end up in the morgue.
In this first book in the “Body of Evidence” series we encounter a young woman who is very ordinary in most ways. Except for the fact that she is drawn to a profession which most people would not touch with a ten foot pole. Jenna learns how to separate herself from her emotions and to concentrate on the science and to her amazement she finds that she likes the work. The juxtaposition between Jenna’s college life and her life as an assistant pathologist is both interesting and intriguing. This combined with the action, suspense, and mystery found in the plot makes this book a wonderful read.
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