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Malicious Intent (2006)

Malicious Intent (2006)
3.78 of 5 Votes: 2
0060857951 (ISBN13: 9780060857950)
william morrow paperbacks
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Malicious Intent (2006)
Malicious Intent (2006)

About book: Review originally published at BookThing!Malicious Intent is a novel set in Australia and focuses on Forensic Physician Dr. Anya Crichton. I found her interesting and she was easily the most well rounded and likeable character in the story. Her own struggles throughout her life made her seem more believable.The subject matter she has to deal with, especially when she is called to assess and collect evidence of rape victims is quite traumatic and I couldn’t quite engage with it. Perhaps because Fox had to write Anya as detached from what she was doing, while still being sympathetic, it also left me unable to invest emotionally in the story, feeling as if it was mainly analytical.I also didn’t connect with Kate the cop at all, I thought she was brash and the explanation that she rubbed everyone up the wrong way didn’t quite cut it. Her decision to betray Anya’s confidence was, in my opinion, reckless and stupid and more importantly didn’t enhance the story for me.The pace was very slow and it seemed to take a long time to get to important pieces of plot, and the gaps were sometimes filled with technical and procedural descriptions that didn’t really add much to the story. When it was focussed on Anya’s life, it became a lot more interesting, and I wonder if Fox got lost in the technical detail.The plot itself was quite clever and the need to find out what on earth was going on, combined with liking Anya as a character, were the two things that kept me reading. The way Kathryn Fox sent her characters through identifying and then eventually finding how the victims connected to each other was really well done and I didn’t spot the bad guy at all; it was a complete shock and surprise.The psychological research must have been extensive, and it was well incorporated into the story allowing Fox to give us a truly disturbed and disturbing killer. As the author is a GP with an interest in Forensic Medicine, the medical side of things was pretty spot on but again I couldn’t quite engage with it, that same feeling of detachment.A sign for me that I wasn’t totally engrossed is that I kept putting it down to do other things. I did want to finish it though so kept reading and in the end my impression was that Malicious Intent isn’t an amazing book but is a decent enough read with a very interesting, if disturbing plot.

Dr Anya Chrichton has just started freelancing in the male dominated field of forensic pathology, but work is sparse - until she is asked to look into the seemingly non-suspicious death of a teenage girl from a Lebanese background. A few minor details from the case are disturbingly similar to another case she is working on....then another and another. Too bizarre to be a conincidence, Anya realises she has uncovered some kind of sinister plot and more frighteningly, that a serial killer is on the loose.I was a big fan of Patricia Cornwell's early work and this book reminded me a lot of that. With the strong female lead character working in the same male dominated field and the gory (yet fascinating) details of forensic pathology as the theme, I was hooked right from the beginning.You really get a sense of Anya right from early on in the story and can sympathise with her as she struggles to cope not only with career challenges, but also personal ones, including having lost custody of her only child. I thought she was a well-developed character and can see the potential for growth as the series continues.There is a fair amount of forensic/medical jargon within the storyline, but I didn't find it too bogged down in it. If you have read in this genre before, you would be familiar with most of it and if not, you do start to learn as you read. I enjoyed the Sydney setting and the realistic portrayal of the "boys club" when it comes to working with police and other related agencies.The book has got a good pace to it and the suspense builds nicely as the story moves to its conclusion.A great debut novel and I look forward to reading the other titles in the series.
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I was prepared to give this book only 4 stars, until I realized that I could not put it down. The first book in a series is always hard, since you have to introduce the character, as well as set the scene, and then build up the story, which the author accomplished very well. It was rather difficult to read in parts, sometimes due to an overload of medical jargon, and other times due to graphic content. The climax was rather delicious, full of suspense, and kept me turning pages, but the resolution didn't really happen. I can not wait to read the next one.
Kathleen Dixon
This is an Australian medical thriller, and one could be suspicious of another author jumping onto the forensic band-wagon, but why shouldn't she?! After all, if you can do something well, you should do it. And this author does it well.I was hooked in right from the start - a good opening (much better than the last book I read (the Colleen McCullough murder)). And it continued to insert little pieces that the reader knows are going to add into the whole eventually, but are intriguingly (uh oh, that's the 2nd time in 2 days I've used the word 'intriguing' - I'd better consider my vocabulary) separate(ish).I also liked the little sub-plot of the Lebanese problem in Sydney, and the life-story of the main protagonist, Anya.
3.5Kathryn Fox's books have been on my TBR for a while and I immediately moved Malicious Intent to the top when I found out that she was the co-author of James Patterson's Private Sydney. I have been searching for crime fiction set in Australia for a while but only recently have I started to read some of the books that I found. Malicious Intent is an enjoyable read and a great introduction into what I hope will prove to be a series worth reading through to the end. Dr. Anya Crichton is a pathologist and forensic physician and she is one of the only female freelancers in the field. The fact that she works freelance kind of makes her role in the book make more sense given that she becomes almost like an investigator as the case progresses. The story carries great authenticity because Kathryn Fox is a doctor herself and so the whole story is believable and written in a knowledgeable way. Anya is asked to look into the suicide of a teenage girl and she soon notices similarities between the girl's death and a number of others that she is working on with friend and colleague DS Kate Farrer. The police are reluctant to pursue the links that Anya believes she has unearthed and so she is forced to investigate alone to uncover the full, sinister truth. I was expecting Malicious Intent to be a little bit more gory than it was, but given the nature of the cases involved that wouldn't have been necessary. This is something I hope to see in future novels though as readers of my blog will know that I am a fan of the gore. The characterisation in Malicious Intent is brilliant, especially Anya who I liked from the word go. Her home life plays a role in the story and influences how she thinks and acts. She is in the midst of a custody battle with her ex-husband and it was different to read a story where it's the mother fighting for custody of her child. The fact that money is sparse is a deciding factor in the kind of work that Anya accepts. There's enough going on in the story to keep readers guessing but I think seasoned crime fiction readers will work things out far sooner than they are revealed in the story. That said the finale of the book is a thrilling one and has left me eager to read more from Kathryn Fox.
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