The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries)
2 journalers for this copy...
The book is centered on young Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young American who's been living in England to study under the aging but brilliant Dr. Carruthers. (The prologue of the book pretty much names Silkstone as the world's first forensic scientist, and as I've read quite a bit about the history of forensics I got a little impatient at having so many different discoveries attributed to him! Still, it makes a neat premise for the books.)
The core of the story is the mysterious death of the not-very-nice Sir Edward Crick, whose sister winds up consulting Thomas about investigating the cause of his death - after her husband is accused of murdering him. (Since it's been some time since the murder by the time Silkstone sees the body, there are some nicely gruesome descriptions of the horribly decomposed corpse, not to mention the question of how much data can be gathered from a body in that condition.)
Silkstone faces class prejudice, the public's fear and anger over anatomists in general, and a more dangerous threat - once he gets into the investigation it seems that someone's desperate to stop him. Oh, and then there's his immediate attraction to young Lydia Farrell, whose husband he's trying to save...
Some nice twists and turns to the mystery, lots and lots of gritty period detail, and some interesting characters - a respectable start to a series.
In spite of these flaws, I couldn't put it down!
Dr. Silkstone was a sympathetic character, as was Lady Farrell. The unpleasant characters were unpleasant to an extreme. A real page-turner!
Some parts were, indeed, gruesome, and I'd never given much thought to how anatomists obtained bodies for study. Today you just fill out a form if you want someone to take you apart after you pass away, unless, of course, there's foul play suspected. But I digress.
I'll definitely look for the next book in the series, entitled The Dead shall Not Rest. It will be interesting to follow Dr. Silkstone's career.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Released for 2014 What's in a Name Challenge hosted by DragonGoddess, for the embedded "Tom".
Released for December 2014 Ultimate Challenge hosted by NancyNova. The theme this month is Person or People.
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