A Dark Anatomy

Robin Blake

A Dark Anatomy

The year is 1740. George II is on the throne but England’s remoter provinces remain largely a law unto themselves. In Lancashire a grim discovery has been made: a Squire’s wife, Dolores Brockletower, lies in the woods above her home, Garlick Hall, her throat brutally slashed. Called to the scene, Coroner Titus Cragg finds the Brockletower household awash with rumour and suspicion. He enlists the help of his astute young friend, doctor Luke Fidelis, to throw light on the case. But this is a world in which forensic science is in its infancy, and policing hardly exists. Embarking on their first gripping investigation, Cragg and Fidelis are faced with the superstition of witnesses, obstruction by local officials, and denunciations from the Squire himself. 2.8 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
A Dark Anatomy

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Crime, Thrillers & Mystery, Historical Fiction
Format Hardback
Pages 304
RRP £12.99
Date of Publication March 2011
ISBN 978-0230748354
Publisher Macmillan
 

The year is 1740. George II is on the throne but England’s remoter provinces remain largely a law unto themselves. In Lancashire a grim discovery has been made: a Squire’s wife, Dolores Brockletower, lies in the woods above her home, Garlick Hall, her throat brutally slashed. Called to the scene, Coroner Titus Cragg finds the Brockletower household awash with rumour and suspicion. He enlists the help of his astute young friend, doctor Luke Fidelis, to throw light on the case. But this is a world in which forensic science is in its infancy, and policing hardly exists. Embarking on their first gripping investigation, Cragg and Fidelis are faced with the superstition of witnesses, obstruction by local officials, and denunciations from the Squire himself.

Reviews

The Financial Times

Christopher Fowler

Despite hinging on an improbable act of physics, coupled with an 11th-hour surprise that makes Preston seem rather exotic, this is rollicking stuff. Cragge and Fidelis are an engaging duo, and their first investigation is like crossing Robert Louis Stevenson with The Archers.

04/04/2011

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The Guardian

John O'Connell

Cragg is an elegant, urbane narrator with a knack for making even minor characters come alive — woodsman Timothy Shipkin is "the only man I have ever met who frowned with his whole face". Recommended.

12/03/2011

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The Sunday Times

Joan Smith

… the human body is revealed as the focus for strong and at times unbearable emotions, in what the author says is the first Cragg and Fidelis mystery.

17/04/2011

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