Grisly #Crimefiction In Edinburgh. Sherry reviews The Book Of Skulls by David Hutchison, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Sherry. She blogs here https://sherryfowlerchancellor.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Sherry has been reading The Book Of Skulls by David Hutchison

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Let me start by saying how much I love Edinburgh and historical novels so this was right up my alley. I think I was already half-inclined to love it just from the cover and the setting. The author did the rest. His writing is visual and visceral. Some parts were a bit gruesome but the story called for it, in my opinion. This was not a lovely picnic on Arthur’s Seat on an early fall day. This was a murder mystery with a number of grisly murders….all in the name of science. A touch of Burke and Hare and their life of crime/murder adds to the historical feel of the book.

The protagonist, Liz, is a medical student who happens to be female. An uphill battle in the 19th Century for sure. She makes friends with another female student as they fight for their rightful place in the school. She also makes friends with a young man and the local police medical examiner. She’s accepted as an assistant with the coroner and gets some valuable experience in actual medical science, albeit on dead bodies, not living patients. But then she is also asked to assist in a local clinic and learns valuable skills. She seems to be on her way to being successful as a doctoress even though the powers that be at the school want the females out.

The story has many twists and turns and a number of exciting sequences where the reader fears for the protagonist and her friends’ safety. It was a ride for sure. The author is excellent at building suspense and even though I figured out the villain early, the book was still a page turner and very enjoyable. The side plot with the medical examiner is a great addition to the tale.

Overall, this was a delightful read…even with the violence and macabre parts. I give it 4.5 stars.

It seems there will be more adventures with this protagonist and I, for one, plan to be on the lookout for the next volume.

Desc 1

A Victorian tale of gender-bending, hidden identity, obsession and gruesome murder, set in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

1875. Liz Moliette; a poor orphan of unknown heritage, and Amulya Patel; from a wealthy Indian family, are the only female students at the Edinburgh Medical School, where a hostile attitude towards women is driven by Professor Atticus. However Liz and Amulya have allies in fellow student Campbell Preeble, The Reekie reporter Hector Findlay and the charming Dr Paul Love.
In dire need of funds, Liz becomes assistant to gruff lecturer and police surgeon Dr Florian Blyth. When a series of grisly murders take place the doctor and Liz help Inspector Macleod in his investigation, which leads to the Edinburgh Asylum, the Burry Man festival and the quack science of phrenology.
The search for the killer comes dangerously close to Liz as she uncovers her own family secrets.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s ARC #Bookreview Of Edinburgh #Thriller THE SHADOW MAN by @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK #TuesdayBookBlog

The Shadow ManThe Shadow Man by Helen Fields

4.5 stars

The Shadow Man is a thriller set in Edinburgh. We are introduced to Dr Connie Woodwine, an American forensic psychologist and crime profiler. She’s been asked to work with DI Brodie Baarda on a kidnapping case. Connie is also interested in a recent murder case, and she adds her own unusual investigation methods into the mix.

When more kidnappings occur, the pressure to solve the case shifts gears; Connie offers a theory which seems bizarre, and which she just has to prove before time runs out for the victims.

I liked Connie, with her flaws and her brazen personality; she acted unexpectedly and it worked well with the story. The narrative goes back and forth between the police investigation and the kidnapped characters.  Some of these parts were particularly brutal, but no more so than what has come to be expected in this genre of fiction. The story moves at a good pace, and the build up to the ending had a twist which I hadn’t seen coming.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I am still able to say that I can happily recommend her to readers of police crime fiction, or those who like books set in Edinburgh and who don’t mind a bit of  gruesome content.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

He collects his victims. But he doesn’t keep them safe.

Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.

Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.

Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.

And he’s watching.

Due out 4th February 2021 AmazonUK | AmazonUS