Review

Unnatural Instinct

by Robert W. Walker



UNNATURAL INSTINCT is Robert W. Walker's latest addition in a long
line of INSTINCT books (KILLER, FATAL, PRIMAL, PURE, DARKEST,
EXTREME, BLIND, BITTER). Characters from his EDGE series also put
in an appearance in this title.

Dr. Jessica Coran, the series' well-known FBI Medical Examiner, is
enjoying some free time with Richard Sharpe, who has left England
and Scotland Yard behind to be with her. They are interrupted by a
phone call from Jessica's colleague, John Thorpe, who informs
Jessica that her longtime adversary, appellate court judge Maureen
DeCampe, is feared to have been abducted from the underground
garage at the courthouse. Jessica agrees to take up this
high-profile case, which is bound to generate a lot of media frenzy
and political pressure. While there is no love lost between her and
the judge, she recognizes the tacit bond that exists between law
enforcement personnel and throws herself wholeheartedly into
solving the case.

The judge recovers consciousness with the vague impression of being
in big shadowy place. She can't see much as she finds herself naked
and bound tightly and gruesomely, body part to matching body part,
to a decaying corpse, while her kidnapper is just outside her range
of vision, taunting her. Slowly the decaying body is eating away at
her healthy one, condemning her to a grisly and hideous form of
living death. To solve the case Jessica must unveil the kidnapper's
identity and learn how he managed to so easily kidnap the stalwart
judge who was armed with a gun. The urgency of the situation is
further augmented as Kim Desinor, FBI agent and resident psychic,
feeling a strong psychic connection to the tortured judge, begins
to display the same symptoms of decaying as the judge. Jessica is
in a race against time to solve the case and to save both the judge
and her good friend Kim.

The plot line is nothing very extraordinary, except for the
gruesome form of torture to which the judge is subjected. While
solving the mystery surrounding the Judge's kidnapping, Jessica
Coran and others make presumptions without any supporting evidence,
for which the author repeatedly cites Coran's past successes as
justification. This may convince the fans of this series, but tends
to leave a new reader cold. And another mystery about a racial
murder is thrust into the main storyline, with quite a few pages
devoted to this completely unnecessary and tangential story line
that will most likely be solved in the author's next book.

Although Walker delves deeply within the minds of all of the main
characters and skillfully reveals their complicated thought
processes, it is, while being interesting, too frequent and becomes
tedious after a while. However, it has to be said that his word
imagery is unusually good and definitely will send chills up
readers' spines. Walker has done some good research as well, as is
proved by what details he gives in this book of the controversial
Body Farm, known officially as the University of Tennessee Forensic
Anthropology Facility.

All in all, a good mystery –-- interesting, chilling and
disturbing.

Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas on January 24, 2011

Unnatural Instinct
by Robert W. Walker

  • Publication Date: August 6, 2002
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
  • ISBN-10: 0425184927
  • ISBN-13: 9780425184929