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Resurrectionist PDF, ePub eBook Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood brings his own form of justice to the salons and slums of Regency London in the gripping sequel to 'Ratcatcher'. For the body snatchers, death is a lucrative business. But it's the corpse they leave behind, horribly mutilated and nailed to a tree, which sets Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood on their trail. A new term at London's anatomy Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood brings his own form of justice to the salons and slums of Regency London in the gripping sequel to 'Ratcatcher'. For the body snatchers, death is a lucrative business. But it's the corpse they leave behind, horribly mutilated and nailed to a tree, which sets Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood on their trail. A new term at London's anatomy schools stokes demand for fresh corpses, and the city's resurrection men vie for control of the market. Their rivalry takes an ugly turn when a grave robber is brutally murdered and his body displayed as a warning to other gangs. To hunt down those responsible, Hawkwood must venture into London's murkiest corners, where ever more gruesome discoveries await him. Nowhere, though, is as grim as Bedlam, notorious asylum for the insane and scene of another bizarre killing. Sent to investigate, Hawkwood finds himself pitted against his most formidable adversary yet, an obsessive genius hell-bent on advancing the cause of science at all costs.

30 review for Resurrectionist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Devi

    It's something of a guilty pleasure reading these books, incidentally not unlike watching a film in my favourite genre which generally involves gun fights, car chases, fisticuffs, shit blowing up and awesome BAMFs kicking ass and taking names. The only real difference is that the Hawkwood books are set before the invention of, oh, pretty much everything and seriously, if Guy Ritchie gets tired of Sherlock Holmes anytime soon, he could do a lot worse than look to McGee for inspiration for his nex It's something of a guilty pleasure reading these books, incidentally not unlike watching a film in my favourite genre which generally involves gun fights, car chases, fisticuffs, shit blowing up and awesome BAMFs kicking ass and taking names. The only real difference is that the Hawkwood books are set before the invention of, oh, pretty much everything and seriously, if Guy Ritchie gets tired of Sherlock Holmes anytime soon, he could do a lot worse than look to McGee for inspiration for his next film franchise. This book (the second in the series) was quite gruesome - kind of an action film mixed with a slasher film. The main antagonist is a Regency period Hannibal Lecter - i.e. smart and really super insane but minus the culinary skills - and as bodies continue to drop (or, you know, the opposite) the details just keep getting grislier and grislier. But what entertained me most while reading was the understanding that in a very extreme way, the crazy people in this book are kind of actually right. Part of what the antagonist was trying to achieve is something that is a reality now. Looking at it in that light, it makes the story somehow more horrific rather than less. No stranger fiction than truth, I guess! As McGee's notes at the end will attest. In terms of writing, McGee is fun and a teeny bit frothy, which made this book a really easy read. So easy, in fact, that I think I'll go start the next one! Hopefully there'll be more Hawkwood/Jago buddy movie adventures going on, because every hero needs his lethal sidekick!

  2. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    RESURRECTIONIST (Historical-England-early 1800s) – VG McGee, James – 2nd in series HarperCollins, 2007- UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780007212699 *** Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood is called to Bedlam. A prisoner has escaped by murdering a Reverend who came to visit, flawing his face and using it as a mask in order not to be recognized. Hawkwood tracks the prisoner down and watches as he dies in a fire, but doesn’t really believe the man is dead. *** Author James McGee tells the story of Resurrectionis RESURRECTIONIST (Historical-England-early 1800s) – VG McGee, James – 2nd in series HarperCollins, 2007- UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780007212699 *** Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood is called to Bedlam. A prisoner has escaped by murdering a Reverend who came to visit, flawing his face and using it as a mask in order not to be recognized. Hawkwood tracks the prisoner down and watches as he dies in a fire, but doesn’t really believe the man is dead. *** Author James McGee tells the story of Resurrectionists, the men who provide corpses to medical schools, and of politics. He does not paint a picture of the genteel aristocratic residents of the period but depicts the sights and smells of the slums of London and it’s not pleasant. There are points where the story almost crosses the line into horror but the author never quite crosses that line. Hawkwood is a character about whom we are learning little by little. The story is intriguing and really becomes exciting when his friend Jago comes on the scene. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but liked this even better. It’s not for the faint of stomach, but it’s a really good read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    James McGee takes us to the dark and murky streets of Napoleonic War-Era 19th Century London, England, and the reader is right there with all the sights, sounds, smells and feels of the period. I did not get a chance to read the first book, but I was thrilled to find this at the library, since a friend of mine had raved about this series years ago. I am glad I read this book, even if some of the scenery wasn't necessarily enjoyable. This book screams authentic atmosphere, and I like that it show James McGee takes us to the dark and murky streets of Napoleonic War-Era 19th Century London, England, and the reader is right there with all the sights, sounds, smells and feels of the period. I did not get a chance to read the first book, but I was thrilled to find this at the library, since a friend of mine had raved about this series years ago. I am glad I read this book, even if some of the scenery wasn't necessarily enjoyable. This book screams authentic atmosphere, and I like that it shows the darker side of this period that I don't get to see in the Regency romance novels I read that can be very pristine (and often too light in tone) and spend more time in the gilded ballrooms and elegant sitting rooms. You don't get to see the way the real people lived in those. No, this book takes place in the backstreets, and most of the characters are working class, either ex-soldiers, bully-boys, prostitutes and Bow Street Runners, like our hero, Matthew Hawkwood. Hawkwood is an enigmatic figure. You don't get that far into his head. You see more of how he reacts to situations or his thoughts at being faced with a series of murders that are incredibly disturbing. As the story builds, I obtained a sense of what kind of person he is, and I have to say that his personality appeals to me. He's very plain-speaking and doesn't curry favor. He has a sense of honor and he's like a dog with a bone. He doesn't give up until he solves the case. His sense of justice is hardcore. Money and power don't factor into right or wrong. Of course, that can cause friction when his prey is an insane doctor who thinks he's Dr. Victor Frankenstein and who has prominent connections. Hawkwood isn't the only intriguing character in this novel. I like that McGee is not afraid to give the POV of the 'dregs' of society, including streetwalkers. When I read these kinds of books, it makes me grateful that I don't have to resort to the acts that these characters have to commit to keep food in their mouths. I asked myself where does the line that you don't cross lie. Why is the idea of grave-robbing and selling dead bodies so repugnant? They are dead. It doesn't hurt them. But the idea made my skin crawl. And the resurrectionists in this novel have more heinous crimes on their soul. I also liked that one of the bad guys is a sociopathic female prostitute. Not that it's a good thing, mind you. I liked that it speaks of an unsentimentality on the author's part, what I consider a backward sexism that can be hard to avoid in literature. Yes, women can be so morally bankrupt to kill or to collude with such acts. Men aren't the only ones capable of great evil. And this particular outwardly beautiful young woman is like a sewer inside. This novel is like a maze that makes you travel a twisted path to its conclusion. When I started it, I had no idea where it would go. And with further reading, I was more surprised at the direction. While some aspects were unpalatable to the extreme, I did like how McGee examines the impact of the war on its survivors. Many of the characters were veterans and were personally affected by the war. Hawkwood is just one of them. They know personally that war isn't just a game. It's deadly serious and its effects are long-lasting. It brings out the worst in people, but it can also create lifelong bonds between people. I enjoyed this novel in that it was good suspense and a very descriptive view of historical London and the darker side of life in that city. I liked Hawkwood's character. He is a tough and driven man with a sense of justice that continually puts him in harm's way. I hope to read the first book and to continue this series. Recommended to readers who enjoy historical adventure/suspense.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    From the historical notes in the book: "By any definition, body snatching is and was a foul trade, and yet there is no doubt that during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, prior to the Anatomy Act of 1832, which allowed corpses other than those of condemned murderers to be used in anatomy studies, it played a crucial role in the advancement of medical knowledge. There were very few surgeons who did not rely on the resurrection men to provide fresh cadavers for their research." From the historical notes in the book: "By any definition, body snatching is and was a foul trade, and yet there is no doubt that during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, prior to the Anatomy Act of 1832, which allowed corpses other than those of condemned murderers to be used in anatomy studies, it played a crucial role in the advancement of medical knowledge. There were very few surgeons who did not rely on the resurrection men to provide fresh cadavers for their research." The book deserves praise for the research and how it is incorporated into the story alone. The way medical practice and the life of the nineteenth century lower classes is described is more than disturbing, and heartbreaking at times. At one point in the story Hawkwood had to visit Bethlem Hospital. After those pages you will want to take a break. Or a really hot shower. And it won't be the first time. A surgeon's lecture he watched was upsetting enough even for a man like Hawkwood. I can imagine how men will feel when they get to this scene. "The patient’s nightshirt was lifted and rolled back over his chest. Beneath the gown, the man was naked. His skin was as pale as paper. On Carslow’s instructions, a strap was secured around each of the patient’s ankles. On a further nod from the surgeon, the patient’s knees were drawn up and back towards his chest, and his legs were pulled apart until his genitalia and buttocks were fully exposed." What happened in the next scene is horrible. My rational part understands why those surgeons are celebrated as pioneers in science, but since I am not a doctor, I don't feel very generous to accept it. If you have any human compassion in you, you will be furious. This is an unforgiving world. The way prostitutes are treated made me want to scream. But they are never treated badly by Hawkwood or Jago. They are greater men than that even if one is on the other side of the law. "There wasn’t a town in the land that wasn’t home to an ever-increasing number of war widows left to fend for themselves while the bodies of their menfolk lay bleaching under some foreign sun. For those with a child or children to support it was even worse, particularly for the widows of rank-and-file soldiers. Scores of women had been forced to take to the streets in search of crumbs and coin." Someone always dies. Not everyone can be saved by some last minute intervention, but even with all this darkness Hawkwood somehow manages to shine as a bright light (though glare would be more suitable for him), an anti-hero who fights even when everything around him is drowning in despair. The beautiful thing is he doesn't have to fight alone. Jago is never far, and some like the scarred Major Lomax with his dark sense of humour, will never refuse to help. The prologue takes place in Bedlam. You can't get worse than that place. There was a murder and Hawkwood was called to investigate. We don't get to see how Hawkwood got the body snatching case. When the book starts he is already on it and the first victim connected to the body snatchers is a murdered victim crucified in the churchyard. The rage Hawkwood feels at the injustices of their society is palpable. We don't get a satisfying resolution as we did in the first book, but the last Hawkwood's comment was enough to bring a huge smile to my face. This book is beautifully written. If you love historical fiction that is often disturbing and unapologetic, then this book is a great addition to your shelves.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    Not sure why I waited so long to get my hands on the second in this smashing series set in early 19th century London featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood. James McGee's Regency London is a dirty, smelly and dangerous place; a million miles away from the elegance described by writers such as Georgette Heyer. He is concerned with the criminal underworld and does a brilliant job of capturing this ambiance though some sections proved pretty difficult reading. He also focuses upon the medical Not sure why I waited so long to get my hands on the second in this smashing series set in early 19th century London featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood. James McGee's Regency London is a dirty, smelly and dangerous place; a million miles away from the elegance described by writers such as Georgette Heyer. He is concerned with the criminal underworld and does a brilliant job of capturing this ambiance though some sections proved pretty difficult reading. He also focuses upon the medical practices of the time, including the appalling treatment of those confined to mental asylums. Obviously there are elements of the Burke and Hare case here and Col. Hyde recalls Robert Louis Stevenson's infamous character. There is also a moment that recalls one of the most iconic scenes in Silence of the Lambs and indeed Hyde in some ways is a 19th century Hannibal Lecter.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Griep

    This book is NOT in any way, shape or form for the squeamish of heart. It's gritty, intense, and at times, downright shocking. Nor is it written from a Christian worldview. It's a dark tale with an even darker theme. So why did I give it a 4? The main character, Matthew Hawkwood, has gotten under my skin, so much that I ordered #4 i in the series. Plus, the historical aspects are fascinating. Resurrectionist uncovers the horrific trade of body snatching during the Regency era. The idea wasn't new This book is NOT in any way, shape or form for the squeamish of heart. It's gritty, intense, and at times, downright shocking. Nor is it written from a Christian worldview. It's a dark tale with an even darker theme. So why did I give it a 4? The main character, Matthew Hawkwood, has gotten under my skin, so much that I ordered #4 i in the series. Plus, the historical aspects are fascinating. Resurrectionist uncovers the horrific trade of body snatching during the Regency era. The idea wasn't new to me, but the fantastic descriptions by author James McGee certainly made it all the more real. I like his fast-paced style.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Deanne

    Historically accurate and really well written, makes you feel like you're there in regency London. Hawkwood is one f my favourite characters and can't wait for the next installment of his adventures.

  8. 5 out of 5

    ShanDizzy

    Certainly not for the faint-hearted. Reading this one made me realize why I allow much time to pass before reading the next in the series. I have to gear up for these stories. This one was gritty and dark. It definitely painted a picture of Regency London that rang true and vastly different from the drawing room aristocratic lives. James McGee gets down and dirty, literally, in the slums, pubs and back alleys of London taking real people and real history to tell a riveting story. McGee has you s Certainly not for the faint-hearted. Reading this one made me realize why I allow much time to pass before reading the next in the series. I have to gear up for these stories. This one was gritty and dark. It definitely painted a picture of Regency London that rang true and vastly different from the drawing room aristocratic lives. James McGee gets down and dirty, literally, in the slums, pubs and back alleys of London taking real people and real history to tell a riveting story. McGee has you smelling the slums and effluvia of the overflowing river at high tide, the stench that wafts through the city, the unwashed bodies, and smell of despair and hopelessness of the lower classes. The main antagonist is insane and McGee helps you to feel it and be repulsed by it. He certainly puts you into that world and into the mindset of the different characters causing you to ask the hard questions about medical advancement and war. Is it worth it? How far does one go? Very interesting... I agree with one reviewer who said that Matthew Hawkwood is the Regency era version of Jack Reacher. He's tough and intimidating and lives by his own code and sense of justice.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Towton1461

    Second in the Hawkwood series really good thriller which bounces out of the pages right at you close and personal, great read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    A.M.

    Resurrectionist is the sequel to Ratcatcher and again, follows the exploits of Matthew Hawkwood working as a Bow Street Runner in London of the early 1800’s. Hawkwood is called to attend Bedlam asylum; an inmate has escaped. In doing so, he has murdered the pastor who was playing chess with him but also, he has stolen the man’s face so that he could leave unhindered. The face has been removed with surgical precision. Hawkwood starts to investigate the escapee and discovers links to the military, Resurrectionist is the sequel to Ratcatcher and again, follows the exploits of Matthew Hawkwood working as a Bow Street Runner in London of the early 1800’s. Hawkwood is called to attend Bedlam asylum; an inmate has escaped. In doing so, he has murdered the pastor who was playing chess with him but also, he has stolen the man’s face so that he could leave unhindered. The face has been removed with surgical precision. Hawkwood starts to investigate the escapee and discovers links to the military, medical schools, the government and the resurrectionists. It’s interesting to think that half the surgical procedures we routinely do now would be considered heinous crimes or mortal sins in Hawkwood’s time. We replace organs (even hearts), do blood transfusions, keep people alive by machines and we experiment on people. It is this world he has fallen into. The world of exploratory medicine. And in this world, they needed bodies to experiment and practice dissection on. This is all factual. A number of main characters are real historical figures. It wasn’t until 1827, when Burke and Hare decided to kill people rather than dig them up, that the law acted to stop it. McGee still has a tendency to info dump, but I didn’t mind it here. So Hawkwood has an escaped lunatic to find and his old friend Jago comes to him with a missing street walker story. McGee writes the seamy, filthy London very well. The sewers, the drains, the stench all seem real. He does better here for no female distractions. And there is some vague mystery of Hawkwood’s past and some of his more spectacular scars… hmmm. Guess I will have to read the next book to find out more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    The Resurrectionist by James McGee- Ooo- this is one creepy, gory book. It tells the story of the people who robbed graves in England in the early 1800s and a policeman, Hawkeswood, who is trying to catch them. I am not a squeamish person, but there were times I found myself swallowing a lump in my throat. Do not read this one while you eat. It is pretty well written, the main character is well developed and it seems is a series character. The book opens with the murder of an inmate in an asylum The Resurrectionist by James McGee- Ooo- this is one creepy, gory book. It tells the story of the people who robbed graves in England in the early 1800s and a policeman, Hawkeswood, who is trying to catch them. I am not a squeamish person, but there were times I found myself swallowing a lump in my throat. Do not read this one while you eat. It is pretty well written, the main character is well developed and it seems is a series character. The book opens with the murder of an inmate in an asylum (Bethelm=Bedlam). The murderer has escaped which leads Hawkeswood into the world of the resurrectionists: those who rob graves and sell the bodies to hospitals, doctors and anatomy schools. the cold and brutish world of London at that time is well explored and described. The only reason it gets such a low score is the OTT details of the practices, which I really had a hard time stomaching.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terrie

    Oh Hawkwood, You're so.. so.. hot damn. He's back and absolutely floored by the latest rash of devilry. Excellently written, painfully descriptive and a totally addictive read. I look forward to Rapscallion!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Craigb

    This is easy to follow but very well written. Hawkwood is becoming one of my favourite fictional characters. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series, Rapscallion, if I can find a copy of the book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Grim and grisly look at the 19th Century practice of grave-robbing and interesting story about the science of surgery during the same period. A horrific look at how mental illness was treated. I can't say that this was my favorite book, but it is one of the most interesting I've read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Mulcahy

    WHEW! What a wild ride!. I like to sit with my trashy romance, my gin and my popcorn, but this book was more like whiskey straight. Above all, NOTHING to do with food. Good thing I have a strong stomach.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Stimpson

    really do like this series of books ...Hawkwood is not a super hero ..no silly story lines of super human feats..you really get a feel for the regency time ...now onto RAPSCALLION

  17. 4 out of 5

    C.A. A. Powell

    I read the first Matthew Hawkwood story. Therefore, I decided to give the second Hawkwood a go too. I've managed to read it in two days. The plot is fast paced and there are some rather gruesome and nasty characters in this story. Our hero is Matthew Hawkwood. He is an ex-Green Jacket from the Napoleonic wars in Spain and Portugal. I think the year is about 1813. Hawkwood is now a Bow Street Runner in London. His new found employment is that of the early police militia. This Gothic Tale of grave I read the first Matthew Hawkwood story. Therefore, I decided to give the second Hawkwood a go too. I've managed to read it in two days. The plot is fast paced and there are some rather gruesome and nasty characters in this story. Our hero is Matthew Hawkwood. He is an ex-Green Jacket from the Napoleonic wars in Spain and Portugal. I think the year is about 1813. Hawkwood is now a Bow Street Runner in London. His new found employment is that of the early police militia. This Gothic Tale of grave robbing and wanted murderers borders on horror as well as historical crime. The Napoleonic wars are still in progress and Hawkwwod has been invalided out of the army around 1808 or 1809, I think. He works for the magistrate who sends him out on an investigative role. This diabolical plot is very intriguing as Hawkwood is hunting grave robbers and a mad doctor who is conducting diabolical experiments. I can't say too much about how this doctor comes about in crime invested London as it would spoil the story. Needless to say, I would recommend this historical/crime/horror tale to any reader of fiction. Great fun, great entertainment even though it is rather grizzly in parts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This was pretty great from the research aspect (what can I say, it revolves around a pet topic of mine), and the thriller aspect set in regency London was rather fun as well. However, the writing relies on pages of passive-voice sentence structure that serves to distance the reader from the already distant main character, and the pace felt much slower than a thriller should -- this took me almost 2 weeks to read! I also wanted more in the character development department, and I became weirdly di This was pretty great from the research aspect (what can I say, it revolves around a pet topic of mine), and the thriller aspect set in regency London was rather fun as well. However, the writing relies on pages of passive-voice sentence structure that serves to distance the reader from the already distant main character, and the pace felt much slower than a thriller should -- this took me almost 2 weeks to read! I also wanted more in the character development department, and I became weirdly distracted by the naming convention for random minor characters (there are SO many random minor characters). One-syllable names, and doubled-up letters: Ragg, Twigg, Dodd, Grubb, Leech... and those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. A decent read if you are already a fan of the genre and time period.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Phil Shaw

    Even better than James McGee’s first instalment of the Hawkwood series. I sometimes wonder why some authors are not better known, this being a case in point. McGee writes a rollicking good story with truly excellent characters. Baddies are really baddies - I mean you really do want them to get it at the end of the book, and Hawkwood is a great hero, flaws and all. The supporting cast is believable and again, I always find myself liking who I am supposed to like and not liking those of a more dis Even better than James McGee’s first instalment of the Hawkwood series. I sometimes wonder why some authors are not better known, this being a case in point. McGee writes a rollicking good story with truly excellent characters. Baddies are really baddies - I mean you really do want them to get it at the end of the book, and Hawkwood is a great hero, flaws and all. The supporting cast is believable and again, I always find myself liking who I am supposed to like and not liking those of a more dislikeable nature. I highly recommend this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    A fascinating tale that involves you in its grim and murky world of body snatchers and lunatic asylums while educating you as to some of the realities of life in the early 19th century. I love the historical background in the Hawkwood stories as well as the actual characterisations ( though not necessarily all the characters) and the plotting. A sharp contrast to the Regency romances I also like to read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    Maybe not for the squeamish, given all the gruesome details about corpses and body snatching—yet I found the hero, Hawkwood, and his loyal band of friends very engaging. I might try another in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Lear

    Totally hooked on this series I don't know why I hadn't read this author sooner. Love the historical facts woven in.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Very enjoyable book . Quite a lot of fact among the fiction . A reflection on how parts of London were 200 years ago .

  24. 5 out of 5

    William

    I've liked both of the books that I've read so far in this series, but not quite as much as the Sir John Fielding series which covers the same topic / time period.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lois Scott

    An enthralling view into the world of the Bow Street runners, the body snatchers and the madness that lurks on the other side of scientific frontiers. Great characters; thoroughly recommend.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mick

    The second entry in this Regency-era detective series, featuring the bow-street runner Matthew Hawkwood, is a definite improvement over the original, Ratcatcher. Resurrectionist sees the bow-sreet runner investigating a murder in the notorious Bedlam hospital and the illicit trade in cadavers for medical purposes (which actually existed at the time, as only executed prisoners could be legally dissected for anatomical studies). The real life body-snatching trade and the backdrop of the Peninsular The second entry in this Regency-era detective series, featuring the bow-street runner Matthew Hawkwood, is a definite improvement over the original, Ratcatcher. Resurrectionist sees the bow-sreet runner investigating a murder in the notorious Bedlam hospital and the illicit trade in cadavers for medical purposes (which actually existed at the time, as only executed prisoners could be legally dissected for anatomical studies). The real life body-snatching trade and the backdrop of the Peninsular War provides excellent source material for a historical mystery, and McGee spins a great story from it. Here, he wallows in the details, both of London's alleys and rookeries and the grim trade in bodies. Hawkwood's London seems every bit the real place, a living, breathing city with all the nasty smells and sights which accompany that. Hawkwood himself remains the greatest problem with the series. He's a dull character, or at least less interesting than a former rifle-officer turned bow-street runner should be. He's fiercely honorable, and clever, and is certainly competent both as a fighter and a detective, but if there's much more to him we don't get to see it. I feel that this series would benefit greatly if the author allowed the reader inside Hawkwood's head a little bit, but the hero is unyielding in that regard. It's an even greater pity, because McGee does well with most of the rest of his cast to the point that the gang of psychopathic grave-robbers basically steal the show from the main character (although as with the first novel, McGee's few female characters suffer from poor characterisation, a pet hate of mine in historical fiction). Overall, though, this is an enjoyable, if troublesome, historical adventure novel. McGee's regency London is definitely somewhere I want to return to, even if his main character doesn't make for the most interesting guide.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I found this book in the New Mysteries section and decided to give it a try based on the cover art and the subject matter. I was previously reading a book on murder and death in the Victorian era, so this seemed like a fitting follow-up, though the time period is a little bit earlier. I enjoyed the incredible detail given by the author, which really drew you into the story. There were a lot of twists and turns in the book, which really keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how t I found this book in the New Mysteries section and decided to give it a try based on the cover art and the subject matter. I was previously reading a book on murder and death in the Victorian era, so this seemed like a fitting follow-up, though the time period is a little bit earlier. I enjoyed the incredible detail given by the author, which really drew you into the story. There were a lot of twists and turns in the book, which really keep you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out how the story will resolve itself. Officer Hawkwood is a Bow Street Runner, the precursor to the police in London, in Regency era England. He has come to Bedlam Mental Hospital to check out a recently murdered inmate, a Colonel Titus Hyde, recently back from the Peninsula War. Only things aren’t as they seem and now Hyde is on the loose. Hawkwood also goes to investigate a man who has been killed and crucified in a graveyard, with his tongue and teeth removed. As the story develops, he realizes that he has stumbled into a turf war between rival gangs of Resurrection men, who dig up and sell recently dead bodies to medical facilities. At this point in history, it was illegal to dissect anything but criminals in medical schools. Will Hawkwood be able to discover the truth behind Colonel Hyde’s escape? Just what is his true purpose and reason for escaping Bedlam? To find out, read the exciting 2nd book in the Hawkwood series. I didn't know this was the second book until after I started it, so now I want to read books 1 and 3. 4 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    David

    The sequel to 2006's Ratcatcher, Resurrectionist again follows the exploits of Matthew Hawkwood: a former army officer now working as a Bow Street Runner. While Ratcatcher, in many respects, was a straight-forward action/adventure set in Regency London, this novel is more of a mystery/crime novel. This time, Captain Hawkwood is on the trail of body-snatchers - colloquially known as 'Resurrection men' - and of an escaped convict from Bedlam Hospital. Initially believing the two cases to be distinc The sequel to 2006's Ratcatcher, Resurrectionist again follows the exploits of Matthew Hawkwood: a former army officer now working as a Bow Street Runner. While Ratcatcher, in many respects, was a straight-forward action/adventure set in Regency London, this novel is more of a mystery/crime novel. This time, Captain Hawkwood is on the trail of body-snatchers - colloquially known as 'Resurrection men' - and of an escaped convict from Bedlam Hospital. Initially believing the two cases to be distinct, this later proves to be far from the case ... Body-snatching was - and is - a pretty gruesome business, and McGee doesn't shy away from the full import of what the grave-diggers were involved in, with some of the scenes described not for the squeamish! Similarly, the early years of medical science are also touched upon - again, some of those scenes are not for the squeamish.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate Forsyth

    This is Book 2 in a series of Regency thrillers featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood. This time round, the ‘ratcatcher’, as the Runners were nicknamed, is called in to investigate a strange murder in the mental asylum known to most as Bedlam. Hawkwood also finds himself dealing with ‘resurrectionists, men who dig up dead bodies to sell to doctors for their research. Before long, he realises the two cases are connected and he is dealing with the most ruthless and macabre villain ever. The This is Book 2 in a series of Regency thrillers featuring Bow Street Runner Matthew Hawkwood. This time round, the ‘ratcatcher’, as the Runners were nicknamed, is called in to investigate a strange murder in the mental asylum known to most as Bedlam. Hawkwood also finds himself dealing with ‘resurrectionists, men who dig up dead bodies to sell to doctors for their research. Before long, he realises the two cases are connected and he is dealing with the most ruthless and macabre villain ever. These Regency thrillers are a long way from the romantic and genteel worlds of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. The London of McGee’s book is dark, gritty and violent, populated by thieves and cut-throats and prostitutes and war-damaged ex-soldiers. Gripping and dramatic stuff.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lissa Notreallywolf

    The ressurection men were gangs who stole corpses to sell to the antomists and medical schools in their day. This is a story that takes you from Bedlam, the famous mental hopital through the back alleys of London, haunted by desparately poor women driven to prostititution, mudlarks and docommissioned soldiers in various states of ill repair and evil ways. Again Hawkwood is mysterious and not overly described. We live in his head and seems realistic even as he penetrates the foulest of enviornmen The ressurection men were gangs who stole corpses to sell to the antomists and medical schools in their day. This is a story that takes you from Bedlam, the famous mental hopital through the back alleys of London, haunted by desparately poor women driven to prostititution, mudlarks and docommissioned soldiers in various states of ill repair and evil ways. Again Hawkwood is mysterious and not overly described. We live in his head and seems realistic even as he penetrates the foulest of enviornments. This is a novel with many pungent smells and groos scenes, reader be wary. But all in all it was well written and fairly realistic in my reading. Cheers.

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