Jefferson Bass, a collaboration of Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson, have written a prelude to their bestselling "Body Farm" series, "Cut to the Bone."
(William Morrow, 357 pages)
In this introduction to the series, forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Brockton recalls the early days of his research at the University of Tennessee. Stymied in his ability to establish time after death in his investigations of various homicides, Brockton embarks on what many would view as macabre, but nonetheless critical, research. This is a facility in which the process of human decomposition would be thoroughly studied as a means of establishing accurate assessments of "time after death" pertaining to bodies found in isolated locations.
The result of his research would be the famous "Body Farm" of the University of Tennessee.
While working on this important contribution to the science of forensics, Brockton is confronted with a murder that bears similarities to a previous case he had investigated and he finds himself matched against a sadistic killer who enjoys torturing prostitutes. The suspect, Satterfield, is no ordinary serial killer, but a highly trained ex-Navy SEAL.
The magnitude of this monster's cruelty forces Brockton to confront the theological problems of evil as he contemplates the Genesis account of man's fall from grace. As pertains to the sociopathic Satterfield, another biblical passage seems appropriate, that dealing with "the sins of the (step)father being visited upon the son."
A victim of sexual and physical abuse as a young child, Satterfield matured into a vicious predator who stalked prostitutes, who, ironically, often share his trauma of early sexual abuse.
Adam's sin is so easily perpetuated in the cycle of violence which begets violence and victims of violence.
Jefferson Bass fans will be interested in reading about the origins of the famous "Body Farm" which has been such a vital contribution to forensic science and the criminal justice system.