Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

Sir Edward Crick is loved by few and disliked by most. He has a tendency to drink too much, gamble the same, and care mostly for himself. He is a sickly man...or say they say...and takes ill quite a lot.

Gossip meanders about, like a lady of the night, when he dies abruptly and painfully, it seems, in the grand estate he lives. Most suspect his brother-in-law, the man who was known to hate Edward most of all. But, Sir Crick's sister Lydia has much faith that her husband did not, in fact, do this horrible deed. So she searches for someone who can prove to everyone who the culprit truly is.

Enter Dr. Thomas SIlkstone, an anatomist from Philadelphia, who is currently studying in England under the tutelage of a renowned and retired surgeon. He is considered an outcast in his surroundings due to the nature of his particular line of work. What does he do, you might ask? Well, he relishes in working with corpses, Relishes might be a strong word. In fact, it is not the state of the body that he relishes (be it alive or dead), it is the fascination with the human body in general.

Anyway, Lydia makes her way into Silkstone's path, hoping he can do what others have refused. An autopsy on her brother's dead body. She has been told that the decaying process is too far gone for the cause of death to be determined as anything but natural. However, her heartfelt pleas about proving her husband's innocence in the eyes of the gossipers catches Silkstone's heartstrings, and he agrees to perform the autopsy on the badly decayed corpse.

He soon finds that Edward's death was, in fact, murder. But how...and why?

Could it have been a crime of passion or could the reasons behind his death be part of a much larger plot?

The moment I laid eyes on this book, I knew I just had to read it. It somewhat reminded me of The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary. Well...the cover at least. The Anatomist's Apprentice is a phenomenal story and will definitely keep you guessing until the very end.

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