E. S. Thomson - Dark Asylum - Little, Brown Book Group

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  • Hardback £19.99
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    • ISBN:9781472122315
    • Publication date:02 Mar 2017
  • Paperback £8.99
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    • ISBN:9781472122308
    • Publication date:07 Sep 2017
Books in this series

Dark Asylum

A Jem Flockhart Mystery

By E. S. Thomson

  • Paperback
  • £13.99

Set in a crumbling Victorian asylum where a gruesome murder is committed, this novel deals with the early 'science' of brain study and lobotomy, as well as giving a chilling insight into the asylum's workings, inmates and doctors, many of whom are more insane than their poor patients.

The lips had been darned closed with six long, black, stitches. Clumsily executed, they gave the face a crude deaths-head appearance, like a child's drawing scrawled upon a wall . . .

1851, Angel Meadow Asylum. Dr Rutherford, principal physician to the insane, is found dead, his head bashed in, his ears cut off, his lips and eyes stitched closed. The police direct their attention towards Angel Meadow's inmates, but to Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain the crime is an act of calculated retribution, rather than of madness.

To discover the truth Jem and Will must pursue the story through the darkest corners of the city - from the depths of a notorious rookery, to the sordid rooms of London's brothels, the gallows, the graveyard, the convict fleet and then back to the asylum. In a world where guilt and innocence, crime and atonement, madness and reason, are bounded by hypocrisy, ambition and betrayal, Jem and Will soon find themselves caught up in a web of dark secrets and hidden identities.

Biographical Notes

E. S. Thomson was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire. She has a PhD in the history of medicine and works as a university lecturer in Edinburgh. She was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472122322
  • Publication date: 02 Mar 2017
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Constable
Following on from the events of acclaimed debut Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum vividly portrays the Gothic horror and questionable science of Victorian mental asylums in chilling detail. Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale — Daily Express
Dark Asylum positively oozes gothic menace, and the author's evocation of the city at that time is visceral and engagingly morbid . . . A first class piece of historical crime writing — Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night — Alex Gordon, Evening Telegraph on Beloved Poison
From the first page to the last, I enjoyed every brilliantly written, and often hideous, detail ... A splendid read — Cambridge Magazine on Beloved Poison
A historical novel to be savoured — Lesley McDowell, The National on Beloved Poison
Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E S Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale. — Daily Express
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The object I drew out was dusty and mildewed, and blotched with dark rust-coloured stains. It smelt of time and decay, sour, like old books and parchments. The light from the chapel's stained glass window blushed red upon it, and upon my hands, as if the thing itself radiated a bloody glow.Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors the doctors bicker and fight. Ambition, jealousy and hatred seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything, but says nothing.And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past - with fatal consequences.In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating theatre and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of Newgate and the gallows, Jem's adversary proves to be both powerful and ruthless. As St Saviour's destruction draws near, the dead are unearthed from their graves whilst the living are forced to make impossible choices. And murder is the price to be paid for the secrets to be kept.'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' - Evening Telegraph'Beloved Poison is a marvellous, vivid book with a thoughtful, engaging protagonist at its centre - and a fascinating story to tell. It's immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark' - Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher's Hook

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