Hot Best Seller

The Art of Dying PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

The Art of Dying

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: The Art of Dying .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


The Art of Dying PDF, ePub eBook Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron's name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths. Will and Sarah must unite and plunge into Edinburgh's deadliest streets to clear Simpson's name. But soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.

30 review for The Art of Dying

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    We return to Victorian era Edinburgh with Ambrose Parry, aka the husband and wife writers, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, in this superb sequel to The Way of All Flesh. Will Raven has been expanding his horizons in Europe, increasing his medical knowledge and experience in Paris, Vienna, Leipzig and in Berlin where he and Henry are seriously assaulted at night. Now a qualified medic, he is looking forward to returning to Edinburgh and Sarah Fisher, as he accepts a position as assistant to We return to Victorian era Edinburgh with Ambrose Parry, aka the husband and wife writers, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, in this superb sequel to The Way of All Flesh. Will Raven has been expanding his horizons in Europe, increasing his medical knowledge and experience in Paris, Vienna, Leipzig and in Berlin where he and Henry are seriously assaulted at night. Now a qualified medic, he is looking forward to returning to Edinburgh and Sarah Fisher, as he accepts a position as assistant to his mentor, Dr James Young Simpson, much lauded after his discovery of the medical applications of chloroform. He expects nothing to have changed but he is to be rudely surprised, the biggest shock that Sarah is no longer a housemaid, but assisting Simpson, no longer living at the house, and has moved on from Will. Even though he had judged Sarah as an unsuitable woman for a man looking to secure a career as an established doctor, he is bereft at the loss of Sarah. Simpson's reputation is being tarnished by some in the profession, blaming him for the death of a patient. Sarah wants Will to help her to challenge those impugning Simpson's reputation but Will refuses initially, not wanting to endanger his career. In the city, swathes of patients are dying at the hands of a mass murderer, with not a suspicion being raised. At first, Will labours under the misapprehension that a new malady is the source of the deaths but it is Sarah who begins to have the first inkling of the more horrifying truth, but an ambitious Will refuses to grant any credence to her theory. Sarah is facing challenging circumstances in her personal life, and a courageous, independent, dying female patient opens her eyes to the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, equality for women, as she still dreams of training as a doctor. The conservative medical establishment is riddled with jealousies, rivalries, seething ambitious men, and slow to accept innovatory new practices, whilst refusing to countenance any thoughts of women becoming doctors. Will slowly begins to become aware that he is robbing himself of the life he ought to have if he lets his fears hold him back. In an atmospheric narrative, Edinburgh itself holds centre stage as a main character, with its class distinctions and inequalities, the squalid conditions and dangers faced by the poor, the dark criminal underbelly, policing, the position of women, and the state of medical knowledge and practices of the era. The authors engage in skilful character development when it comes to both Will and Sarah, both of whom face major challenges in their lives, with major shifts in the way they think, for Sarah as she begins to envisage a future that she never would have entertained before and Will understanding that he should accept all that he is, as urged by Sarah and Gabriela. This is excellent and intelligent historical fiction, so well written, impressively researched with its rich authentic details and real life characters from the time, and above all else, it is such a gripping read. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Canongate for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    “Nobody knows the value of a life who has not ended one…” Having enjoyed, “The Way of All Flesh,” I was delighted to read the second in this series, written by Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The novel begins in Berlin. It is 1849 and Will Raven is touring, and studying, in Europe with his friend, Henry. After the men are attacked, Raven is, at first, relieved to be returning to Edinburgh, where he has accepted a post as Dr Simpson’s assistant. Raven has hoped that everything would remain th “Nobody knows the value of a life who has not ended one…” Having enjoyed, “The Way of All Flesh,” I was delighted to read the second in this series, written by Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The novel begins in Berlin. It is 1849 and Will Raven is touring, and studying, in Europe with his friend, Henry. After the men are attacked, Raven is, at first, relieved to be returning to Edinburgh, where he has accepted a post as Dr Simpson’s assistant. Raven has hoped that everything would remain the same, when he returns, but things have changed in Queen Street. Dr Simpson has been accused of negligence, money has gone missing and the new maid is suspected. For, to Raven’s surprise, Sarah Fisher has moved on. With some arrogance, Raven had decided that Sarah’s status was too low for her to be considered as a wife, but his nose is put out of joint when he returns to find that she has married and that her husband, a doctor, is happy for her to continue her work assisting Dr Simpson. Meanwhile, there is a murderer abroad and one that nobody suspects. Well, not until Sarah questions the sudden spate of unexplained deaths in the city. This is a series which is not only entertaining, but explores Sarah’s awakening and her changed status and understanding of where her life can take her, is fascinating to read. An interesting series and I look forward to reading on. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for open and honest review enjoyed this latest in the series a medical crime thriller based in 1849 Edinburgh and liked the part of the enlightened woman in the book some of the plot is based on actual events but its fast paced and drew me in until the end of the novel

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    The Art of Dying is the second historical mystery collaboration between established thriller writer Christopher Brookmyre and his anaesthetist wife Marisa Haetzman, and follows last years’ The Way of All Flesh, which was brilliant, and this one is just as good. While it’s not essential to read the first one to enjoy this, as there is sufficient backstory, the characters will make much more sense if you read them in order. 1849, and Will Raven, now qualified as a doctor, returns to Edinburgh from The Art of Dying is the second historical mystery collaboration between established thriller writer Christopher Brookmyre and his anaesthetist wife Marisa Haetzman, and follows last years’ The Way of All Flesh, which was brilliant, and this one is just as good. While it’s not essential to read the first one to enjoy this, as there is sufficient backstory, the characters will make much more sense if you read them in order. 1849, and Will Raven, now qualified as a doctor, returns to Edinburgh from a tour of European medical schools following an attack, to assume the now vacant position of assistant obstetrician at Prof Simpson’s house. He is dismayed to discover that Sarah Fisher, for whom he had suppressed his romantic feelings because of her lowly status as a housemaid, is now married to another doctor and is working with Simpson. Sarah still dreams of a career in medicine but the staid Edinburgh establishment makes this impossible. When jealous competitors start spreading rumours about Simpson’s role in the recent death of a patient, Sarah is determined to promote the truth, but little do they know that a serial killer is actually responsible... The story is told in a mixture of traditional third person past, and the first person viewpoint of the killer, which works very well as we gradually discover what turned her into a cold-blooded poisoner. I had fun guessing the medical diagnoses and twists before they were revealed, but the limitations of treatment available and high mortality were a stark reminder of how lucky we are with what’s available now. The afterword reveals which characters were based on true historical figures and what inspired the story. The vivid descriptions of Victorian Edinburgh, with it’s hypocrisy, snobbery and social restrictions coexisting with the grinding poverty and casual violence of the lives of the working classes, truly brought the world portrayed to life, and remind us of the heroism of those few doctors willing to treat all comers regardless of ability to pay. For Britons who have only ever known the NHS, it’s a sobering illustration of the reality for people in most of the rest of the world. But fear not, this is no worthy morality tale, but a superbly written, highly enjoyable crime thriller. My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc which allowed me to give an honest review. The Art of Dying is published on 29th August.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Really enjoyed this! Excellent Victorian crime novel which mixes in comment on the position of women in 19th-century society (and medicine) with a a great deal of gripping plot. I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to read the first novel, so I'd better correct that as soon as I can. I loved getting to know Will and Sarah. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    The Art of Dying is the follow-up to Ambrose Parry's critically-acclaimed The Way of All Flesh in this thrilling medical crime series set in Victorian Edinburgh and featuring Dr Will Raven. It's a brilliant read with enough drama, mystery, medical shenanigans and vivid description of 1850s Edinburgh to keep even the most demanding reader satisfied. It's historical fiction at its finest with great attention to detail and nothing being left to chance. Well written and beautifully plotted, the atmo The Art of Dying is the follow-up to Ambrose Parry's critically-acclaimed The Way of All Flesh in this thrilling medical crime series set in Victorian Edinburgh and featuring Dr Will Raven. It's a brilliant read with enough drama, mystery, medical shenanigans and vivid description of 1850s Edinburgh to keep even the most demanding reader satisfied. It's historical fiction at its finest with great attention to detail and nothing being left to chance. Well written and beautifully plotted, the atmosphere the husband and wife writing team creates is astonishing; you can almost smell, taste and see all of the delights the Scottish capital had to offer. Just like the first book, there is a lot discussed about the role of women at that moment in time which highlights how far we have come in terms of equality between the sexes but sadly also indicates exactly how far we still have to go. I am not that fond of main character Will as he is quite snobby and narcissistic but he is beautifully developed and appears to have grown on me a little at least. You can tell the authors have extensive knowledge of the time period and this goes into making the novel as realistic and authentic as possible. With the conclusion being quite open-ended it looks like a third instalment could be in store. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Canongate for an ARC.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Puzzle Doctor

    Full review at classicmystery.blog

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    This is my first encounter with authors husband and wife Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman but I will be making it a point to read the previous book in this series and any more which follows the lives of Dr. Will Raven and his assistant Sarah Fisher. Set in Edinburgh, 1850 the story begins in Europe and a close encounter with a group of men that attack Will and his friends. In the scuffle, a man is killed by Will, but he flees and returns to Scotland. Will is a newly qualified Doctor and ac This is my first encounter with authors husband and wife Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman but I will be making it a point to read the previous book in this series and any more which follows the lives of Dr. Will Raven and his assistant Sarah Fisher. Set in Edinburgh, 1850 the story begins in Europe and a close encounter with a group of men that attack Will and his friends. In the scuffle, a man is killed by Will, but he flees and returns to Scotland. Will is a newly qualified Doctor and acquires a position with his mentor Dr. James Simpson. Sarah Fisher, a housemaid, and his lover had been told there wouldn't be a future for them due to her lower class than him before he left. He thought it would hold him back. In the time he has been away Miss Fisher has married another Doctor. Will knows not making Sarah his wife is the biggest regret he has. This is a book that brings everything to the table and kept me turning page after page. I was engrossed in the medical procedures, that are only three more generations back from my own timeline. It was a time when doctors had to tread a tightrope where advancements were made. This made it a gamble whether to go all out to save a life and risk their career or take the easy way out and let nature take its course. When Dr. Simpson makes a breakthrough, be it accidental, there are a couple of doctors wanting to jump on the bandwagon to discredit him and take the glory themselves. Sarah seeks the help of Will to prove his innocence. Sarah is far brighter than most of her peers but she has to tread carefully not to offend them. There are so many characters in this story but each one is truly distinctive and bursts from the pages as large as life. From the money lenders that have holds on the rich as well as the poor, to the vast differences of equality between men and women. The smells, the frustrations of helplessness of how much a doctor can do to save a patient, to the guilty that can hide in plain sight because what they do is so unbelievable. This story becomes a mix of medical, thriller and serial killer, with Will and Sarah making a top-quality pairing to work out the who and why is behind an increased death of patients that should have got better. The descriptions of this time period are not only fascinating but done in such a way that I absorbed it all making it all so very visual. A stunning book that I am blown away with. Very highly recommended. I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Cannongate Books for an advance copy of The Art of Dying, the second novel to feature Dr Will Raven, set in Victorian Edinburgh in 1850. Will returns from his tour of Europe to take up a position as assistant to Dr Simpson under whom he served his apprenticeship. People are dying and medicine is unable to prevent it so Will teams up again with former housemaid Sarah Fisher to solve this mystery and resolve the whispering campaign against Dr Simpson. I didn’t par I would like to thank Netgalley and Cannongate Books for an advance copy of The Art of Dying, the second novel to feature Dr Will Raven, set in Victorian Edinburgh in 1850. Will returns from his tour of Europe to take up a position as assistant to Dr Simpson under whom he served his apprenticeship. People are dying and medicine is unable to prevent it so Will teams up again with former housemaid Sarah Fisher to solve this mystery and resolve the whispering campaign against Dr Simpson. I didn’t particularly enjoy The Way of All Flesh, the previous novel, but Christopher Brookmyre is a favourite of mine so I wrote that opinion off on my mood but I didn’t really enjoy this one either. Don’t get me wrong, both are excellent pieces of writing they’re just not to my taste. The descriptions of Edinburgh and the “cutting edge” medical procedures are so vivid you can picture them but they come at the expense of the plot which is slow, plodding and not very exciting. I think it is too literary for me - I like a bit of excitement in my reading to hold my attention and this is exacerbated by the insertion of the killer’s thoughts which kills the suspense. It has taken me a week, rather than my more usual day to get through this one. I don’t think it helps that I actively dislike Will Raven, finding him pompous, self absorbed and conceited. On the upside he is obviously well enough drawn to get a reaction. The novel spends a lot of time on his relationship with Sarah and that again doesn’t really interest me. I’m sure that plenty of readers will really enjoy The Art of Dying as it is a detailed, atmospheric study of the time and location.

  10. 4 out of 5

    wearethecuriousbookclub

    Absolutely loved this novel set in Victorian Edinburgh!! And it's definitely the right time of year to be reading it! I could feel the chill in the air, as it transported me to cobbled streets, with the feelings of panic as people in the city fell ill and died. Was it an epidemic, an unknown illness, or maybe something far more sinister?! At the time, the world of medicine was advancing as new discoveries were made about hygiene and surgical methods, and the novel is roughly based on fact as we Absolutely loved this novel set in Victorian Edinburgh!! And it's definitely the right time of year to be reading it! I could feel the chill in the air, as it transported me to cobbled streets, with the feelings of panic as people in the city fell ill and died. Was it an epidemic, an unknown illness, or maybe something far more sinister?! At the time, the world of medicine was advancing as new discoveries were made about hygiene and surgical methods, and the novel is roughly based on fact as we follow Dr Simpson who discovered chloroform and introduced it into use in surgery. Then, doctor's had to diagnose you on the spot, and potentially carry out life saving surgery right there in your living room! And having a baby really could mean life or death! So let's just say that I'm so grateful we have the NHS, and that doctor's today can scan and test you before they make their first incision!! Will Raven is a devilishly good-looking character, protogee to Dr Simpson, and Sarah Fisher, an amazingly inspirational woman of the time who wanted more. To learn. To become a doctor in her own right! And both work with Dr Simpson, trying to navigate the difficulties inherent to medicine at the time. The novel is written by two authors, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman (Ambrose Parry being their pseudonym), and the chemistry in their writing is very cleverly nuanced and balanced, and provides for an eloquent portrayal of a feminist voice, without devaluing male counterparts, and I genuinely loved this about the novel! Highly recommend this one! You can also enjoy it as a stand alone novel, even if you haven't read the first "The Way of all Flesh".

  11. 5 out of 5

    4cats

    Second in the series and I must say it grips you immediately. Will Raven, has recently returned from Europe to take up a position with Dr Simpson. Major changes have taken place in the house, and Simpson's household are experiencing upset and turmoil. However, Will once again finds himself thrown together with Sarah to hunt a serial killer. If you love historical crime reads The Art of Dying ticks all of the boxes. Many of the characters existed, with fact and fiction blending together to make an Second in the series and I must say it grips you immediately. Will Raven, has recently returned from Europe to take up a position with Dr Simpson. Major changes have taken place in the house, and Simpson's household are experiencing upset and turmoil. However, Will once again finds himself thrown together with Sarah to hunt a serial killer. If you love historical crime reads The Art of Dying ticks all of the boxes. Many of the characters existed, with fact and fiction blending together to make an entertaining, informative and exciting read. Unfortunately I now have to wait months for the next installment in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Another atmospheric and intriguing adventure with Will Raven and Sarah. A lot has changed since the last book. Will has returned from his European travels to take up his place with Dr. Simpson and is dismayed that his youthful prejudices have cost him dearly. This book is as much about Sarah and Will growing up, accepting their own foibles and starting to carve their own place in society as it is about the mysterious spate of deaths across Edinburgh. Working together Will and Sarah's relationshi Another atmospheric and intriguing adventure with Will Raven and Sarah. A lot has changed since the last book. Will has returned from his European travels to take up his place with Dr. Simpson and is dismayed that his youthful prejudices have cost him dearly. This book is as much about Sarah and Will growing up, accepting their own foibles and starting to carve their own place in society as it is about the mysterious spate of deaths across Edinburgh. Working together Will and Sarah's relationship deepens as they race to solve the crimes and restore their mentor's reputation. It is a tense and exciting read and once again ends leaving me wanting more, much more. I do hope that this series continues as I want to know what direction the pair go in next and whether it will be together or apart. My thanks go to the publishers and Net Galley for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kath Middleton

    In the second of these excellent historical/medical murder mysteries we find Will retuned from abroad to a married Sarah. Much angst. The two work together again to unravel the mystery of several deaths exhibiting strange symptoms. Nineteenth Century Edinburgh is once again well portrayed with its fine town houses and its nasty tenements. Places to be seen in and places you wouldn’t be seen dead in – or maybe you would. There are echoes from the previous book and many dilemmas for Will, which I In the second of these excellent historical/medical murder mysteries we find Will retuned from abroad to a married Sarah. Much angst. The two work together again to unravel the mystery of several deaths exhibiting strange symptoms. Nineteenth Century Edinburgh is once again well portrayed with its fine town houses and its nasty tenements. Places to be seen in and places you wouldn’t be seen dead in – or maybe you would. There are echoes from the previous book and many dilemmas for Will, which I found quite gripping. Seeing which way he chose to live his life, as he feared the devil within – his mother’s expression. The ending of the book is both exciting and satisfying. I would highly recommend it to all who love an historical mystery. Thanks to Netgalley for a pre-publication copy.

  14. 4 out of 5

    4cats

    Second in the series and I must say it grips you immediately. Will Raven, has recently returned from Europe to take up a position with Dr Simpson. Major changes have taken place in the house, and Simpson's household are experiencing upset and turmoil. However, Will once again finds himself thrown together with Sarah to hunt a serial killer. If you love historical crime reads The Art of Dying ticks all of the boxes. Many of the characters existed, with fact and fiction blending together to make an Second in the series and I must say it grips you immediately. Will Raven, has recently returned from Europe to take up a position with Dr Simpson. Major changes have taken place in the house, and Simpson's household are experiencing upset and turmoil. However, Will once again finds himself thrown together with Sarah to hunt a serial killer. If you love historical crime reads The Art of Dying ticks all of the boxes. Many of the characters existed, with fact and fiction blending together to make an entertaining, informative and exciting read. Unfortunately I now have to wait months for the next installment in the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I absolutely loved this book. It was proper on the edge of your seat stuff. It's one of those books where you find yourself saying "One more chapter, one more chapter." and end up reading several more chapters. In this book, Will Raven returns to Edinburgh from Europe where he has qualified as a Doctor and is back at Queen street working at Dr Simpson's practice. As Will gets settled into his new career, rumours are going round that Dr Simpson is responsible for the death of a patient in suspiciou I absolutely loved this book. It was proper on the edge of your seat stuff. It's one of those books where you find yourself saying "One more chapter, one more chapter." and end up reading several more chapters. In this book, Will Raven returns to Edinburgh from Europe where he has qualified as a Doctor and is back at Queen street working at Dr Simpson's practice. As Will gets settled into his new career, rumours are going round that Dr Simpson is responsible for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances and Sarah Fisher - Dr Simpson's former housemaid - asks Will to help clear the good Doctor's name.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vikki Patis

    A really good sequel, The Art of Dying brings back the brilliant Raven, now Dr Raven, and Sarah, now married. I love how these books tackle important topics such as women's access to education and social class, as well as offering an insight into Victorian Edinburgh. A strong follow-up, looking forward to the next instalment.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chrys

    Shaping up to be a great series. There's a mix of history, medicine, and murder with an insightful look at women and their place in society. Edinburgh in 1849 is not somewhere I'd chose to visit, if such things were possible. The characters are well written and I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ceris

    This may have been even better than the first book in the series! I loved spending time with Will and Sarah again in Ambrose Parry's wonderfully depicted 1800s Edinburgh. I read it in two sittings (would have been one if I'd read it during the weekend rather than starting it on a school night), and can't wait for book three.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A cunning jigsaw of medicine, murder and mayhem, whose title, The Art of Dying, perfectly portrays the puzzle that lies ahead of Doctor Will Raven and medical assistant Sarah Fisher. Much has changed since their last encounter. Will has been abroad, expanding both his knowledge and horizons, still finding that his past is stealthily stalking him. Although Sarah remains an assistant at their mutual mentor’s surgery in 52 Queen Street, Edinburgh, time proves that nothing, not even a lowly ‘housemai A cunning jigsaw of medicine, murder and mayhem, whose title, The Art of Dying, perfectly portrays the puzzle that lies ahead of Doctor Will Raven and medical assistant Sarah Fisher. Much has changed since their last encounter. Will has been abroad, expanding both his knowledge and horizons, still finding that his past is stealthily stalking him. Although Sarah remains an assistant at their mutual mentor’s surgery in 52 Queen Street, Edinburgh, time proves that nothing, not even a lowly ‘housemaid’, can stand still for too long. Combine the era and their chosen professions and yes, as you’d expect, a queue of unpleasant (but morbidly fascinating) ailments raise their ugly heads. Regardless of your social status, wealth, or moral standing, only a professional offering an accurate diagnosis, followed by the correct remedy, and a period of dutiful after-care may save you. Whether you flourish or flounder is quite literally in their hands. Given the means, motive and opportunity this is something the more perverse among us might take advantage of – a horror not synonymous with such a respected field. These ‘primitive’ times make investigating anomalies remarkably more challenging than your average contemporary crime thriller. The characters are restricted by technology, communication and rely on the calibre of a witness, living or deceased, and how far they want to personally pursue the matter. It’s a great story that leaves a question mark over the next stage of this impressive duo’s lives. It also demonstrates the massive gender inequality at that time, and the competitive nature of those wishing to be celebrated by their peers for their achievements above all else. Thoroughly looking forward to the next :) (I received a digital copy of this title courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley with my thanks, which it was my pleasure to read and review.)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Loves Books and tea

    I adore historical crime fiction so I jumped at the chance to read this on Netgalley. I wish I had read the first book in the series though as it probably would have given me more background on the characters. However, I still really enjoyed this book and I fell in love with the writing style and the historical setting; it was interesting to read a book set in historical Edinburgh rather than London. I also enjoyed learning about all the medical practices and ideas of the time. The book was a ni I adore historical crime fiction so I jumped at the chance to read this on Netgalley. I wish I had read the first book in the series though as it probably would have given me more background on the characters. However, I still really enjoyed this book and I fell in love with the writing style and the historical setting; it was interesting to read a book set in historical Edinburgh rather than London. I also enjoyed learning about all the medical practices and ideas of the time. The book was a nice mix of adventure, thriller, detective story and romance and I feel that the author really researched the setting and the historical period and this shone through in the writing. I will definitely read the first book in the series and any more that the author writes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Thanks to Canongate for a review copy. Sarah and Will return in the second of Ambrose Parry’s Edinburgh based medical crime thrillers set during the mid nineteenth century in the midst of the medical revolution caused by the discovery of anaesthesia. Ambrose Parry is the pen name of Christopher Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a powerful and effective writing team who combine to tell a gripping and realistic tale with a realistic historical backdrop. I loved the first book in the series. ‘The Way of Thanks to Canongate for a review copy. Sarah and Will return in the second of Ambrose Parry’s Edinburgh based medical crime thrillers set during the mid nineteenth century in the midst of the medical revolution caused by the discovery of anaesthesia. Ambrose Parry is the pen name of Christopher Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a powerful and effective writing team who combine to tell a gripping and realistic tale with a realistic historical backdrop. I loved the first book in the series. ‘The Way of All Flesh’ and was very excited to see what further adventures lay in store for Will and Sarah. The book opens with a monologue by the killer which continues at intervals throughout the story. The reason for this only becomes apparent at the end of the novel but it is a highly effective way of presenting her point of view (this is not a spoiler!) Although there is no secret as to the true identity of the killer the writers’ skill with misdirection makes the final dénouement no less exciting or unexpected than that of a more conventional whodunit. When the story starts we find Will in Berlin having spent a year abroad furthering his medical education. He and a group of friends are attacked as they go home one night and, after a fight, one of the attackers lies dead and Henry, one of Will’s friends has been shot. After patching up Henry Will decides he has had enough of travel and returns to the household of Doctor Simpson, this time as his assistant rather than his apprentice. He finds many changes since he left, not all of them to his liking. Although to say more would be to give away too much it was heartening to read how the humanity of Doctor Simpson has rubbed off on Will, especially in his dealings with another doctor whom he has grave cause to despise. There are many plot strands skilfully woven together in this tale, the truth of the Berlin attack being one, an attempt to harm Doctor Simpson’s reputation another. As they try to investigate on Doctor Simpson’s behalf Will and Sarah soon find themselves on the track of a brutal and almost unsuspected serial killer with an almost incalculable number of victims stretching back for years. Danger and peril await of course as Will and Sarah’s discoveries force them to try to come to terms with the concept of a killer who murders solely for the gratification which it provides but whose methods are as devious as the cleverest of criminals. On the way we meet many characters from the previous book, including the money lender and his gang of ruffians and the deeply unpleasant Inspector McLevy, here portrayed very differently from his persona in the radio series. Some of these characters are fleshed out much more in this story, especially Gargantua, and it is to be hoped that this will continue in future entries in the series. We also see how any new innovation is always a source of inspiration to criminals, chloroform after all, knocks people unconscious so it is no surprise that an enterprising crook decides to try employing it during a robbery. The book is an easy read with some good Scottish phrases thrown in which echo around our home from time to time. My wife is a native of Edinburgh and my late mother was a consultant anaesthetist which added an extra layer of enjoyment for me. Had my mum still been alive I have no doubt that she would have loved these stories and been cheering Sarah on in her quest for women to be accepted as equals both in the medical profession and the wider world. There are also some entertaining little Easter Egg style nods to popular culture with the Crocodile Dundee moment causing me to laugh out loud. Whilst I would recommend this book unhesitatingly to anyone who enjoys an excellent and well written historical crime story I would strongly suggest that they read the earlier novel first as knowing about Will and Sarah’s first adventure together will undoubtedly increase the enjoyment of this second outing as well as providing a better knowledge of the characters and their motivations at the start of the story. I very much hope that this team of authors will continue to write about Sarah and Will’s adventures. The ending of the story leaves open the possibility that their future exploits may not all be in Edinburgh and I look forward to seeing what awaits them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    ‘Raven thought he was looking for a new disease. Sarah thought that something more sinister was afoot.’ I really enjoyed the first in this series from husband and wife co-authors writing under the pseudonym of Ambrose Parry, and I was very much looking forward to this, the second. And I wasn’t disappointed. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think readers will get more of the nuances between the characters, and understand them better, if they come to this having read The Way of All Flesh. Two ‘Raven thought he was looking for a new disease. Sarah thought that something more sinister was afoot.’ I really enjoyed the first in this series from husband and wife co-authors writing under the pseudonym of Ambrose Parry, and I was very much looking forward to this, the second. And I wasn’t disappointed. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think readers will get more of the nuances between the characters, and understand them better, if they come to this having read The Way of All Flesh. Two years on from the events of the first book and Will Raven is now living in Europe, qualified as a doctor, but still unable to escape the sinister violence that seems to follow him wherever he goes. As we open, he and his friend Henry, together with their two female ‘friends’, are attacked in an alley in Berlin. Henry is shot in the leg, and Will manages to fight off the attackers, killing one n the process. The repercussions of this are felt later in the book and, I suspect, in other books to come. Whilst not the only reason, the attack convinces Will that he should return to Edinburgh, accepting the post of assistant to his one-time mentor, Dr James Simpson. But two years have passed, and the Simpson household and its inhabitants have changed – not least the situation of Will’s sleuthing accomplice from the first book, Sarah Fisher. On his return Will is plunged into a complex series of seemingly unconnected events: colleagues of Dr Simpson accuse him of causing the death of one of his female patients; Will’s nemesis and loan shark, Flint, drags him into further problems; a new member of the household is tidying up Simpson’s affairs but the mysterious James Quinton hides his own secrets; and all the time unexplained deaths, often several members of the same family, are confounding the medical establishment. For fans of historical crime fiction this is a joy: the characters get deeper and more complex as we go on, and in particular Will and Sarah come to represent aspects of wider society. Sarah is passionate about medicine, and in the face of a male-dominated profession she is desperate to find a way to succeed. She finds a mentor in the figure of Mrs Glassford, a champion of women’s rights campaigner Mary Wollstonecraft. Inspired, Sarah dreams of finding ways of achieving her aims, and the lure of studying in America raises itself as a possible future. Will is also determined to make a name for himself, but his background and dark past seem to hold him back. Together the pair start to investigate the malpractice claims against Simpson and discover a shocking truth that neither of them can have imagined. Parry uses a sly technique of giving us, from the start, the thoughts and motivations of the killer, whose identity is revealed about half-way through the book. The book then becomes a hunt across Edinburgh for the killer, with enough twists and turns to mirror the wynds and closes of Edinburgh’s Old Town. For indeed the grand city of Edinburgh is a character in itself, the disjunction between the rich and the poor, the establishment and the shady criminal underworld, the New and Old Towns. It has been used often in the past by authors and suits the mood of the Parry novels perfectly. This is developing into an excellent series, and the conclusion of this particular novel sets up a third book very nicely. What will happen to Will and Sarah? Without giving anything away, their relationship in this book is a story in itself, with tragedy and missed opportunities giving them the classic ‘will they, won’t they’ plot device. This is an excellent, thoroughly enjoyable crime thriller, with enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing, a superb setting, and characters that are more than just two-dimensional. Definitely recommended.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Picken

    I loved The Way of All Flesh, the first Sarah Fisher and Will Raven book, so I was really fired up to read the follow up, The Art of Dying. Brookmyre and Haetzman have together created a distinctive and compelling pair of characters and their voices resonate down the path of the history of medicine in this fascinating and intriguing historical crime story. One of the reasons this collaboration is so successful is that much of it is based on fact and Haetzman’s interest in the medicine of the era I loved The Way of All Flesh, the first Sarah Fisher and Will Raven book, so I was really fired up to read the follow up, The Art of Dying. Brookmyre and Haetzman have together created a distinctive and compelling pair of characters and their voices resonate down the path of the history of medicine in this fascinating and intriguing historical crime story. One of the reasons this collaboration is so successful is that much of it is based on fact and Haetzman’s interest in the medicine of the era and her immaculate research has provided a wealth of fascinating and true stories from the 19th Century which are the foundation for these books. Sarah and Will are such great characters. Sarah is a strong woman who is only beginning to learn what she may be capable of. In the first book she was a housemaid, quick witted, learning as she watched. Now she has more resources and a firmer place in the world. As she meets some of the women for whom medicine has been their world, she is slowly beginning to realise that what she wants may, after all, be attainable. Meanwhile Will Raven, newly returned from Europe where he combined his medicinal learning with a romantic dalliance, is beginning to regret his own deferment to what he perceived would have been hostile public opinion. He has missed Sarah more than he wants to admit, but is now realising that he may have to repent his hesitation at leisure. Set in 1850, this is an Edinburgh alive with all its bustle, class distinctions and maps of the less salubrious areas as well as the more affluent Trinity and Queen Street. The wit is ever present too, even that old Edinburgh joke about not being offered tea when a visitor comes to call. From the outset, readers are given a glimpse into the mind of this murderer; one who is responsible for the deaths of four family members within a fortnight as well, we learn, as countless others. Then Will and Sarah, working together to try and clear Dr Simpson’s name after being accused, sotto-voce, of the death of one of his patients, begin to see a pattern. By comparing symptoms that relate to Dr. Simpson’s unfortunate patient and to the four family members, plus a patient that Will has advised on, they realise there is a common denominator. Will, a man easily overexcited at the prospect of enhancing his reputation, thinks he has discovered a new disease, one which he quickly names, ‘Raven’s Malady’. Sarah is the one to come up with a more likely working hypothesis, but it takes Will longer to see what Sarah knew from the start – that they are up against a dangerous foe. The Art of Dying has a number of different plot strands, neatly intertwined with an emotive storyline that brings the whole Queen Street household bustling into life. A number of the more dubious, colourful characters from Will’s past also make a welcome return. Then just when you think you’ve got it all sussed out, there’s a nice little surprise or two waiting for you. Verdict: I loved this book for its rich characterisation; for a setting that springs out from the pages and comes to life; for a storyline that makes you want to cry and cheer alternately and for a nice line in cutting wit that leavens a sometimes very dark scenario. Bring on the next one – but where will it be set?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jemima

    3(.5) [Review first posted on beawareofbooksblog.wordpress.com] Before I get into this review, I just want to note that this is the second book in a series – the first being The Way of All Flesh (one of my absolute favourites) – but I shall try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible for both of the books in the series so far. Something about a historical mystery set in the medical sphere of 19th century Edinburgh really appeals to me, and The Art of Dying didn’t disappoint. We predominant 3(.5) [Review first posted on beawareofbooksblog.wordpress.com] Before I get into this review, I just want to note that this is the second book in a series – the first being The Way of All Flesh (one of my absolute favourites) – but I shall try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible for both of the books in the series so far. Something about a historical mystery set in the medical sphere of 19th century Edinburgh really appeals to me, and The Art of Dying didn’t disappoint. We predominantly follow the perspectives of two characters – Will and Sarah – as they both become increasingly involved in experimental medicine and the sometimes unfortunate and dark consequences. If I’m comparing this second book to the first, I did note that it felt as though there were fewer lengthy descriptions about medical procedures. Any procedures were described, but not in painstaking details and as someone who generally loses interest in lengthy descriptions I appreciated that the action kept moving at a good pace. Generally speaking the characters were as before, but with a few developments since the end of the first book. Will Raven has become an established doctor, and is perhaps more aware of his reputation than before which definitely plays into the plot. However, a lot of the narration following Will’s perspective felt a little repetitive towards the beginning of the novel and whilst it did have something of a purpose, it did begin to get a little irritating and something I was aware of whilst reading. Sarah’s position has also changed since the end of The Way of All Flesh; I won’t go into it (because of spoilers) but it has made room for some interesting developments in her character. There was an additional perspective added of an initially unnamed character and to begin with I wasn’t completely on board. However, the further into the plot I got, the more I appreciated what this additional narration added to the characterisation of the core antagonist. Through these additional chapters, the antagonist felt genuinely unsettling without being heavy-handed or too obvious. The plot felt a little too different from the first book, focusing on the personal lives and relationships of Will and Sarah; I’m not sure whether I am totally on board with that. I feel that it was treading a fine line of taking the focus away from the core plot of 19th century medicine and murders which is the appeal of this series for me. Additionally some of the developments with regards to the character’s personal lives were a little predictable and I saw them coming, but I didn’t find that disappointing or annoying. In fact, I think its fair to say I found myself getting a little invested in this plot, more than I usually do. Overall, The Art of Dying was a fantastic sequel, but there was something missing. I just didn’t find myself getting invested in the plot as much as before. Perhaps a little too much time was dedicated to the relationships between the various characters which took the focus away from the core mystery plot. If I’m honest, the way in which the book left off I’m not sure whether I will continue if there are anymore books coming. Despite the small things which impeded my enjoyment, it was a good read and I’m glad I have read it; definitely worth the read if you enjoyed the first book. [ebook provided through netgalley for review]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    Last year one of my favourite books was The Way of all Flesh by Ambrose Parry (the pseudonym of crime fiction author, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist). The Art of Dying is its sequel, continuing the story of Will Raven and Sarah Fisher. Once more this is a combination of historical fact and fiction; the social scene, historical and medical facts slotting perfectly into an intricate murder mystery. Beginning in Berlin in 1849 with a dramatic scene, as Will Raven is Last year one of my favourite books was The Way of all Flesh by Ambrose Parry (the pseudonym of crime fiction author, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist). The Art of Dying is its sequel, continuing the story of Will Raven and Sarah Fisher. Once more this is a combination of historical fact and fiction; the social scene, historical and medical facts slotting perfectly into an intricate murder mystery. Beginning in Berlin in 1849 with a dramatic scene, as Will Raven is attacked by three masked men, it is mainly set in 1850 in Edinburgh, when a mysterious illness baffles doctors, who are unable to identify the disease, let alone cure their patients. Will Raven, now a qualified doctor has returned from studying in Europe to take up the post of assistant to Dr James Simpson, who was Professor of Midwifery at Edinburgh University. Still in love with Sarah, he yearns to be re-united with her, but Will is dismayed to find that she had married during his absence. She was formerly Dr Simpson’s housemaid. Now she is an unqualified nurse, helping with Dr Simpson’s patients in the clinic he runs from his house. But when Dr Simpson is blamed for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances, Sarah and Will join forces to clear his name. In doing so they uncover more unexplained deaths. Will thinks he may have discovered a new illness when he finds that four members of the same family in a wealthy area of the city have died within two weeks. Sarah’s has her own problems as she is keen to be more than Dr Simpson’s assistant, but is hampered by the limited choices that women had, and she battles for more equality. There is so much packed into this novel. As well as a feminist theme with its strong female characters, it focuses on medical advances and practices, including the use of chloroform and the ethics and the dilemmas that presented. It also highlights the differences between the affluent professional classes and the poor working class. And it is an intriguing medical murder mystery, with several sub-plots and a wide cast of characters. I really liked the setting, giving a great sense of place and full of atmosphere that adds to the tension and suspense of the murder mystery. I also liked the way the narrative is interrupted by short passages in the first person giving glimpses into the mind of a murderer – based on a real 19th century figure – and gradually the identity of this person becomes apparent. The Art of Dying is a well written and complex novel with credible characters, some based on real historical people and using nineteenth century textbooks reflecting the medical thinking of the period. I loved The Art of Dying and I’m hoping there will be a third book as I really want to know what happens next to Will and Sarah. Although I think it is perfectly possible to read this as a standalone novel, I recommend reading The Way of All Flesh, focusing on Dr Simpson’s discovery of the anaesthetic properties of chloroform, before reading The Art of Dying. Many thanks to Canongate Books for an e-book review copy via NetGalley.

  26. 5 out of 5

    S. Naomi Scott

    ++DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.++ Following on from last year’s The Way of All Flesh, this is the second outing by the writing duo of Dr. Marisa Haetzman and Christopher Brookmyre under the pen-name of Ambrose Parry, and it’s at least as good as their first. The novel opens three years after the first, with Will Raven gallivanting around Europe with his friend Henry as part of an educational tour. Follow ++DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.++ Following on from last year’s The Way of All Flesh, this is the second outing by the writing duo of Dr. Marisa Haetzman and Christopher Brookmyre under the pen-name of Ambrose Parry, and it’s at least as good as their first. The novel opens three years after the first, with Will Raven gallivanting around Europe with his friend Henry as part of an educational tour. Following a foiled robbery in the streets of Berlin, Raven returns to Edinburgh expecting to more-or-less pick up his life where he left off. Unfortunately, things have changed more than he could have expected, with Sarah having married in his absence and Professor Simpson facing serious allegations of malpractice that could lead to the loss of his great reputation. Amidst the drama of Raven’s attempts to rebuild his life and Sarah’s attempts to clear the Professor’s good name, a killer works in the shadows, cleverly hiding the evidence of their macabre occupation. In brief first-person interludes we are shown that the killer in question is a woman, and one born to low status at that, but because she hides her tracks so well it takes half of the narrative before either of the main protagonists even come close to suspecting anything other than innocent answers to the mystery surrounding the sudden spate of deaths they have uncovered. As with the first novel, this one works best when it’s showing us the details, the little things that make Sarah and Will’s actions so frustratingly understandable. Even though we as the reader know there’s murder afoot, we’re dragged along by the two of them almost stumbling from one revelation to the next, and when they finally do put the pieces together and figure out what’s going on you can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, that relief is only short-lived, as there’s still a good third or so of the book to go before they catch the culprit, and there are more than enough setbacks before the end of the story to keep the reader going. It has to be said that this book is somewhat darker than the first. The stakes for both of the main characters become much more personal in this one, with both of them having to deal with some pretty heavy situations at various points throughout. I don’t want to give too much away but you might want to make sure you have a hanky or two at hand before you sit down to read this one. As I mention at the top of this review, I’d say this one is at least as good as the first, perhaps even just a touch better. The structure and pacing are different enough from the first to keep you on the edge of your seat for a lot of the book, and once again the attention to historical detail is superlative, with the core plot of the novel being loosely based on real events from the time, albeit geographically transplanted for the sake of the story. I’m not quite ready to give it four and a half stars, but it’s not far off. If there’s a third one coming along next year then I’ll definitely be adding it to my pre-order list as soon as it appears.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    It's not often that I read what would be called 'historical fiction', not even crime, and certainly not anything this historically historical. Yet from the very first time I heard the authors give a reading from The Way of All Flesh I was hooked, and I have loved every minute of reading these books. The Art of Dying sees the story move on a couple of years after the end of the last book. Will Raven is now a qualified Doctor, expanding his knowledge in Europe, and Sarah ... Well Sarah has moved on It's not often that I read what would be called 'historical fiction', not even crime, and certainly not anything this historically historical. Yet from the very first time I heard the authors give a reading from The Way of All Flesh I was hooked, and I have loved every minute of reading these books. The Art of Dying sees the story move on a couple of years after the end of the last book. Will Raven is now a qualified Doctor, expanding his knowledge in Europe, and Sarah ... Well Sarah has moved on too, in a way that Will could never have imagined. Now things wouldn't be quite the same if Will wasn't getting himself into some kind of scrape, and this rest assured that it is not long before our hero finds himself with every possible reason to accept a post with his former mentor, Dr Simpson, as his assistant back in Edinburgh. Quite dramatic, it makes me wonder just who he has upset in a former life as trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. But it is not this scene which opens the novel, not does it dominate the storyline, the truth being far darker and more twisted than anyone can imagine. Back in Edinburgh people are dying from unexplained symptoms, and Dr Simpson is being accused of negligence something that Sarah is determined to prove him innocent of. And that's all I want to say about the story. to say more would potentially damage your enjoyment or anticipation of the story and we wouldn't want that now would we. What I love about this series is the way that the authors have seamlessly blended medical fact with medical fiction. Dr Simpson is a very real, very important figure from medical history, the characters of Will Raven and Sarah Fisher much less so. Certainly the cases they find themselves wrapped up in did not necessarily happen within the Simpson household, but they are drawn from real life and all the richer for it. We are treated to a wealth of understanding and passion for the very subject they are discussing, but never to a point that would exclude or alienate readers. In fact, the factual elements of the story actually draw you in every bit as much as the fictional, although it is in the fiction that greatest amount of conflict, and therefore tension, lies. The suspense builds from the very first page, the sense of jeopardy and the characters having so much to lose clear from the outset. The characters are brilliantly drawn. Will Raven is what can really only be described as a bit of a prat at times, but he is very much of his time. His fears, his prejudices and his mistakes are symptomatic of the very misogynistic views of the day, and yet there is something about him, a hesitant willingness to change and to bow to Sarah's wishes, which still makes him appealing. You can't help but like hims really as he means well, wishes to act morally, most of the times, and do the right thing, but his old fashioned nature doesn't quote keep up with the speed of change. Sarah, on the other hand, is a thoroughly modern young woman. Determined not to be stuck with her lot, and striving at all times to better herself, she sees the limitations of her gender in society, even her social standing, but is determined to rise above them. I love her strength, her generosity of spirit and her bravery. She is a perfect counter to Will. The chemistry between the pair is as electric as ever but there are new obstacles in their way, the least of which is Will's fear of courting someone of a lower social status than his own, although if you've read book one you will understand some of the hypocrisy in this assessment of Sarah. I love this layer of conflict which just adds to the story and gives it an air of authenticity. The secondary characters in this book are all important too. Dr Simpson is delightfully madcap and generous, but still all knowing and insightful, stepping up when it matters most. From Will's old nemeses, Flint, Weasel and Gargantua, through to the characters that they meet whilst trying to prove Simpson's innocence, all add colour and texture to the story. And as for the portrayal of Edinburgh - it becomes a character in itself. The streets, the weather, the difference between the haves and have-nots all add tension and atmosphere to the tale which help to drive the action onward. I flew through the reading, feeling somewhat bereft when I finished as I love being in this world. Still, it's fair to say that I am excited to see where the series goes from here and that there are definitely going to be more books as there is so much of history to draw from, the authors admit they are only just scratching the surface. Good news for us book lovers, huh? With chapters alternating between Will and Sarah't to the point of view of the antagonist in this novel, this is one dark and deadly story, so very full of heart and humour, that I would most definitely recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ross Thompson

    * I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review * Ambrose Parry returns with a second book set in Victorian Edinburgh during its medical and scientific revolution. Where the first book centred around Sir James Young Simpson (and others!) search for the perfect anaesthetic, this book focuses more on the man and his reputation. Edinburgh is still a thriving centre of medical science, and reputation is everything. The book starts with Simp * I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review * Ambrose Parry returns with a second book set in Victorian Edinburgh during its medical and scientific revolution. Where the first book centred around Sir James Young Simpson (and others!) search for the perfect anaesthetic, this book focuses more on the man and his reputation. Edinburgh is still a thriving centre of medical science, and reputation is everything. The book starts with Simpson's reputation being besmirched by rivals and former colleagues, looking to suggest negligence. Will Raven and Sarah Fisher team up again to gradually peel away at the facts underlying the case in question and reveal some disturbing trends. While the plot itself, and its numerous twists and turns, is not exactly ground-breaking, it is excellently told, with clues scattered here, there and everywhere. And to weave this tale around actual historic events and cases really appeals to my mind. This book, and its predecessor, is one of the most immersive books I have read in a long time. The reader really gets to feel as if they are in Victorian era Edinburgh. Admittedly, I read a fair part of this book while commuting to work in Edinburgh (indeed my children were all born in the Sir James Young Simpson maternity unit of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary), but I feel the reader with less connection to the city would still get that same feeling. There is again an underlying message of the treatment of women during those times (and indeed today), both how they are treated in the household and society and also their opportunities for a career and to explore their skills. Sarah Fisher is a strong female character who tolerates her place in society but yearns to break through the glass ceiling, proving her worth to all and sundry as she goes. In contrast, Will Raven is somewhat spineless in this regard. He sees the issues with society but doesn't do much to act on it. Indeed, he starts the book having run away from Edinburgh and his chances of a relationship with a mere housekeeper, for fear of his heart dooming his medical career. Raven does get some amount of development, both in terms of his medical career, and also in terms of becoming the Victorian equivalent of "woke". Parry's prose is fantastic and she (they?) truly allow the reader to feel the story unfold around them. An utterly wonderful book with some interesting history lessons and important messages about the past that should help us build a fairer society today.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Narah Quinn

    I was thrilled to be granted an early copy of this book, having not long finished the first (which I bought before I finished the advance copy) and pre-ordering the second (The Art of Dying) as soon as I realised there was going to be more! I was so happy to be back in the company of Will Raven and Sarah, and I simply adored the way their relationship continues to grow in this 2nd instalment - what I need to know, immediately, is will there be more? Edinburgh was bought back to life, we were int I was thrilled to be granted an early copy of this book, having not long finished the first (which I bought before I finished the advance copy) and pre-ordering the second (The Art of Dying) as soon as I realised there was going to be more! I was so happy to be back in the company of Will Raven and Sarah, and I simply adored the way their relationship continues to grow in this 2nd instalment - what I need to know, immediately, is will there be more? Edinburgh was bought back to life, we were introduced to new characters and spent time with old favourites, and all the twists and turns left me with 6 pages of notes and numerous ideas as to who, what and why - turns out I was only part right! The real life events that inspired this particular novel are intriguing and I really loved that we had the chapters from the view of the murderer this time too, it added a wonderful, extra, level of creepiness to the whole thing. I adored the inspiring new female characters in this one, they lent a depth to Sarah's continued frustrations about her lack of options, and allowed her to head off (as she does) with even more purpose this time. During one conversation with a patient who worries her illness maybe punishment for the sin of not doing as her father bid, but forging her own life with a man she loved instead of one picked for her, Sarah tells her, "You simply lived your life as you wanted to, and I can see no fault in that. The sin is that more of us do not do likewise." The beauty of this continuation, that by the end of it Raven would chose Sarah over his own reputation, something he failed to do in the first instalment, and also that she has made him realise that 'the devil in him' is his to control, not the other way around. For Raven (and Sarah) moving forward, I feel it will be his making! Highly recommended, entirely possible to read as a single novel. but much better enjoyed as part of the series, it should be on the shelf of anyone who loves Edinburgh, the history of medicine, strong female characters and forward thinking men. Plus with a multi stranded tale that is woven together fantastically to bring us to a thoughtful and satisfying conclusion you would be a fool to miss out.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Even though Edinburgh in 1850 is at the forefront of modern medicine, patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their treatments ineffective. However it is not just these deaths that dismay Dr James Simpson. It's the campaign by other doctors looking to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson’s protégé Will Raven returns from Germany after a year away, now as a fully qualified doctor but is shocked to find that Sarah Fisher, another reason he c Even though Edinburgh in 1850 is at the forefront of modern medicine, patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their treatments ineffective. However it is not just these deaths that dismay Dr James Simpson. It's the campaign by other doctors looking to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances. Simpson’s protégé Will Raven returns from Germany after a year away, now as a fully qualified doctor but is shocked to find that Sarah Fisher, another reason he chose to return, has moved on in her life in his absence and married another doctor. Once again with the former housemaid Sarah, Will teams up with her eventually persuaded to clear Dr Simpson's reputation. Will and Sarah have to visit Edinburgh’s various neighbourhoods but soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths is a different matter from what they think. Will and Sarah begin to see connections between a number of deaths due to mysterious ailments; it seems an angel of death is stalking the sick. Can the killer who strikes without trace be found before another death occurs? I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, so was excited to read the next. Some of the chapters are from the killers point of view, interspersed with Will and Sarah at the surgery, visiting homes to interview relatives and the such. Also contained in the novel is a loud underlying message of the treatment of women during those times, both how they are treated by society, in the home and also their chances for a career. In some ways, thrusting feminism down my throat so often throughout the novel is a little off putting. A few mentions are okay but not all the time, just too strong for me. However, overall the story was a good one, with the killers identity not being known until the end even though we hear there story throughout and I enjoyed reconnecting with Will and Sarah again and seeing how their relationship turned out. There were lots of medical terms used and the use of the general language made me dig out my dictionary many times to look up a non-medical term. I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.