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Book review: 'Deadly Undertakings' is an exiting read

By Shelby Scoffield

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Sept. 8 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"DEADLY UNDERTAKINGS," by Gregg Luke, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 286 pages (f)

“Deadly Undertakings” by Gregg Luke is an exciting piece of fiction. Though the storyline is sometimes distracting, it is still a fun read for those of all ages.

Rebekah Smith is an assistant to the state medical examiner in Salt Lake City. Smith loves to study the anatomy of the human body. Because of her advanced medical knowledge, Smith loves to try and figure out the cause of death in the multiple bodies that are delivered to the morgue.

Under the direction of her boss, Smith begins to investigate the abnormal death of a 100-year-old woman. Not only was the woman healthy, she was embalmed before anyone discovered the body.

Eventually two similar cases surface. With the help of her police officer boyfriend, Smith discovers unsettling truths about the murders. As the couple digs deeper into the deaths, they are unknowingly preparing themselves to become the killer’s next victims.

“Deadly Undertakings” is a well-thought-out mystery novel. However, the book has references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that seem out of place. For example, Luke mentions things like temple marriage and LDS missions. These references are awkward, especially since the book is a murder mystery. Ultimately, they are unnecessary to the main plot.

The book does have several strengths. The reasoning behind the murders is intricate, complicated and reminiscent of the storyline in “The Da Vinci Code.”

The ending of the book is the most satisfying. Luke ties things together in a neat and precise way. All readers will be content with the outcome.

Luke lives with his wife and children in Cache Valley, and he's a practicing pharmacist in Logan. He is the author of "Bloodborne," “The Survivors,” “Altered State,” “Blink of An Eye” and “Do No Harm.”

Shelby Scoffield has a bachelor's degress in English from Brigham Young University and a master's in rhetoric and composition from Stanislaus State University. She is currently working on her teaching credentials so she can teach high school English.

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