My thirteenth #bookvent selection is one which I’ll admit I was drawn to through a touch of cover love. I knew nothing about the book but I saw it on Netgalley and it was pretty and shiny and I just had to have it. Then I actually stopped to read the blurb and it sounded pretty tidy. Then I read who had actually written it and I was seriously intrigued. Because this book isn’t by one person, but two. A husband and wife actually. Mr Writer has excellent pedigree in writing crime books. Mrs Writer has excellent credentials in medicine. Together they created a piece of historical fiction, drawing on real life characters, which captured my attention from the start and had me racing through the pages. My thirteenth #bookvent choice is …
The Way of All Flesh
by Ambrose Parry
Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges.
As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.
If I thought the outside looked pretty, it was nothing to when I received my hard copy of the book and looked inside it. Totally one of those very classy looking book with illustrated pages front and back that looks fabulous in any book collection. And you know what, after all that cover love, the middle bit is pretty dang tidy too. Now I don’t read much by the way of historical fiction but I was really intrigued to see how the writing partnership of Chris Brookmyre and his (super talented) wife, Marisa Haetzman, would work. Brilliantly was the answer. I was very fortunate to hear then read a passage from the book at Bute Noir, and again at bloody Scotland, and it was absolutely cracking, with just he right blend of humour, authenticity and tension to keep any reader hooked. I really grew to like Will Raven, despite him appearing to be a bit of a pillock to being with, and Sarah’s determination and desire to gain as much experience and education as her status, both financial and gender related, would allow made for a brilliant character. This was a woman who wasn’t going to let something as simple as gender to hold her back. The language is completely accessible and the story truly compelling. Mix in the true to life historical references which add that extra layer of authenticity, and you have a cracking book which will keep you fascinated from first page to last. I can’t wait to read more from our intrepid duo (both fictional and not).
If you want to read my full review of The Way of All Flesh you can find it here. You can purchase a copy of the book from the following links:
Happy #bookvent reading all