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Dead Past (Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation, No. 4) Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
Book 4 of 9 in the Diane Fallon Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An outstanding series...deserves comparison with the best of Patricia Cornwell. (Booklist, starred review)

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx; First Printing edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451412346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451412348
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Hughes on February 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A 3:00 a.m. explosion wakes residents of the charming Victorian neighborhood. Potentially lethal gas mixes with the smoke and flame causing police to begin evacuation of the surrounding area. As people flee their homes, a half-crazed youth with a gun attempts and fails to hijack a passing car. Desperately, he turns his weapon on the lone woman in a second car and demands she open the door. So begins this latest installment in Beverly Connor's series featuring Dr. Dianne Fallon, forensic anthropologist, head of the Rosewood, Georgia crime lab, and director of the local natural history museum.

Morning finds Dr Fallon and her crime scene technicians sorting through the burned home, recovering the bodies of more than thirty college students who had been attending a party there. Making this heart wrenching recovery even more difficult is the power struggle that erupts between different law enforcement agencies each wanting total control of the scene.

While the evidence is being processed, other murders occur complicating the investigation. Then information comes to light involving a twenty-year-old kidnapping. Dianne Fallon must use all the resources at her disposal to solve these somehow connected mysteries and gain justice for the victims and their families.

Connor's packs a lot of action into this novel while weaving together threads from a World War I legend, a twenty-year-old cold case, and a series of modern day murders. Especially interesting to me is her main character, quick thinking and multi talented Dr. Dianne Fallon. Connor's always includes plenty of forensic information but never bogs down the story line with too much detail. The fast pace and the shifting focus keep the reader's interest until the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have just finished reading this much anticipated book. Beverly Connor's work rates as my 'crime find' for 2006: As an avid reader of serial character crime books ie. Patricia Cornwall, James Lee Burke, Kathy Reich, Janet Evanovich, I'm always on the lookout for similar series. I'm sure a lot of other readers hit the same dilemma - there's only so much a good writer can crank out in a year, so it is deeply satisfying to find another top class crime series. Beverly Connor writes 'forensic anthropology' crime and she does it with great flair. In fact, I'm really flabbergasted that she has not received the acclaim (and the huge monetary contracts I imagine) lauded upon her peers.

Diane Fallon is a strong, believable character working first as head of a museum and also as a forensic anthropologist via the crime lab installed IN her museum courtesy of local politics (sound familiar? see below). Connor has hereby constructed a tenable foundation for what I hope will be a long series. Each book reveals a little more detail about the main character's history, Connor is never repetitive, nor does she ever 'spoonfeed' her readers. I enjoy occasionally having to google some esoteric piece of bone lore or look up a medical dictionary, but neither is this mandatory. The reader can always pick up the meaning from the context. In Dead Past, I got intrigued with 'crystal skulls' for example, something about which I knew nothing.

Dead Past lived up to and exceeded my expectations and I look forward with anticipation to Connor's next book, which will be released in Feb 2008. Yet another long wait and another series to add to the order list! My only slight complaint with this latest book is that it wasn't long enough!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The plot has been rather thoroughly hashed out in other reviews except you should know that one review has the plot all wrong. The woman who was having PTSD symptoms DID NOT see her family killed. The boy who tried to hijack the heroine's car did not appear stoned. Also it takes a few days for him to end up dead rather than "not long afterward".

I would like, however, to add my voice that this is a very good book in a very good series. Diane Fallon is a very clever and resourceful character who acts quickly and decisively when the situation demands it. In fact, my only quibble is that she is a little to perfect.

But don't let that put you off reading this very good mystery which takes a handful of threads, all seeming separate, and draws them together into a n exciting conclusion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read several of the Diane Fallon series and this was a complex thriller. The explosion of a meth lab creates havoc in the area near Diane's home and her museum and forensic crime lab. The reconstruction and salvaging of human remains from the resulting fire is fascinating.. I feel like I have had a short course after reading the book. I have not read the books in order because I just came across a couple not to long ago. I don't think I have missed a thing. These books are good as stand alone as well as series.
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I bought the whole series of books, and the characters are great, the books are entertaining, but I like more investigation, science, clues, etc., and less chasing, being chased, shooting, fighting and getting klunked in the head. Really, if any one person was abducted, klunked, stabbed, or shot at as often as these folks from this small suburb of Atlanta, CNN would be all over them as magnets for danger. It's just not believable. So if you just read one book, it's great, but when you read the series, it's really too much trouble for one team. I do love the characters, however, and it was fun to follow them and see them evolve.
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