A Corruption of Blood by Ambrose Parry

Today Mandie takes the helm with a review of book three in the Will Raven/Sarah Fisher series by Ambrose Parry, A Corruption of Blood. This series is a favourite of ours and if you want to know what I thought about it, you can find my review here. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 19 August 2021
Publisher: Canongate Books

About the Book

Edinburgh, 1850. This city will bleed you dry.

Dr Will Raven is a man seldom shocked by human remains, but even he is disturbed by the contents of a package washed up at the Port of Leith. Stranger still, a man Raven has long detested is pleading for his help to escape the hangman.

Back in the townhouse of Dr James Simpson, Sarah Fisher has set her sights on learning to practise medicine. Almost everyone seems intent on dissuading her from this ambition, but when word reaches her that a woman has recently obtained a medical degree despite her gender, Sarah decides to seek her out.

Raven’s efforts to prove his former adversary’s innocence are failing and he desperately needs Sarah’s help. Putting their feelings for one another aside, their investigations take them to both extremes of Edinburgh’s social divide, where they discover that wealth and status cannot alter a fate written in the blood.

Mandie’s Thoughts

There will always be certain authors that you will turn to when you want a guaranteed great read, a book that will keep you turning page after page well into the night and for me Ambrose Parry sits well and truly in that category. This highly talented husband and wife writing team blend history with murder and mystery that gives the reader both an insight into the past whilst appealing to their inner detective. A Corruption of Blood seed Will Raven reunited with Sarah Fisher as they are both starting to make real plans for their futures, ones that may not eventually include each other.

When a former acquaintance from medical college is accused of his father’s murder, Will is asked to prove his innocence. He is not convinced that he will be able to help or that his own feelings toward him will not colour his investigations. Sarah finds herself looking into the seedier side of life in Edinburgh when she is enlisted by a maid working in Dr Simpsons house to find out what has happened to the child she temporarily gave up into care when she found herself alone, unmarried,and pregnant.

Its not long before Will and Sarah find themselves working together on both cases as they find their unique skills complement each other and open doors where alone they may have struggled to obtain the answers they sought. Their investigations lead them to some dark and dangerous places, once again putting themselves in danger and also confront a part of history and its practices that are unpleasant but unfortunately were also not ended quite as quickly as we would like to believe they were.

What I love most about this series is that the characters, no matter how big a part they play in events have a depth to them, making them seem more real. The blend of real people and events with the fictitious ones are seamless. For a history/crime nut like myself this series is just perfect. Neither element detracts from the other and with each book I am learning more about a part of history that I am finding truly fascinating.

Although this is the third in the series they can each be read as a stand alone but I would recommend that you start from the beginning so you can follow the relationship between Will and Sarah from the start and like me become more invested in their future with each new chapter.

About the Author

Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. 

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