Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Coroner, The Disappeared and The Redeemed, by M. R. Hall

The newly minted British coroner, Jenny Cooper, is the protagonist of this series.  She is a mess.  Recently divorced, estranged from her son, taking more medication than House to get through the day, she holds on to each case as if it is going to be her salvation from the ghosts that haunt her.  In The Coroner, she investigates the deaths of two young people who were recently incarcerated in a privately run juvenile detention facility. She meets her investigative officer, Alison, and her lover, Steve, you get to see the hideous relationship she had and still has with her ex-husband, and you see a truly positive depiction of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.  Big (prison) business tries to stop her (and everyone who helps her) from messing up their deal to build a gazillion dollar detention facility.  In The Disappeared, she looks into the disappearance of a young Muslim man when after seven years his Mom has him declared dead.  Nobody wants her doing that either.  In The Redeemed, she investigates the death of a former porn star, who became the face of an anti-porn movement after being disfigured in an acid attack. The timing of Cooper's investigation is threatening the passing of a Decency Law, so nobody supports her in this one either.  I like the parts about the Welsh police.

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