The Coroner by Jennifer Graeser Dornbush – Book Review

I received a copy of The Coroner from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  The publication date for this book is August 7, 2018 (USA release date).

Emily Hartford is in her third year of a surgical residency in Chicago, has recently become engaged and is enjoying her life with lots to look forward to in the future.  She is not fond of looking back at the past as she has been estranged from her father, a medical examiner, for a decade.  When her mother died in a motor vehicle accident, her father shut down emotionally and refused to give Emily any answers about the suspicious accident.  Emily fled Freeport MI, the only home that she had ever known and began a new life in Chicago.

Ten years later, Emily receives a phone call advising her that her father has had a serious heart attack and she needs to come home.  There she finds her father alive, but frail and refusing his doctor’s recommendation that he have open-heart surgery.  Emily’s ex-boyfriend, Nick, is now the Sheriff of Freeport and is investigating the sudden death of a Senator’s teenage daughter.  As Emily’s father is incapacitated and cannot perform the autopsy, Nick asks Emily if she would perform the autopsy so that the case can move forward.

Emily declares the death to be a homicide and soon finds herself totally engaged with this mystery of who killed this young girl.  In between assisting Nick with aspects of the case, she is busy making living arrangements for her father, stick-handling wedding plans with her finance via phone and still attempting to get answers about her mother’s death.

This is Jennifer Graeser Dornbush’s first mystery novel and this book grabbed me from the beginning.  The characters were so well described it was like being in that same small town with them.  I understand that the book was inspired by her own experience of growing up with a father who was a medical examiner.

The ending of the book certainly leaves the door open for further stories with Emily and Nick and I certainly hope that the author continues with these characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.  I highly recommend it!

the Coroner

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