A Jem Flockhart Mystery
By E. S. Thomson
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.
E. S. Thomson's work has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the William MacIlvanney Crime Book of the Year Award. She has a PhD in the social history of medicine, and tries to fit as much medical history into her books as possible. She works as a university lecturer by day, and writes by night. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.
- Other details
- Publication date:
02 Mar 2017
- Page count:
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
Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted . . . [Thomson] vividly portrays the horror and menace of the city with harrowingly gruesome and disturbingly macabre prose which at the same time is engagingly morbid and addictively readable — John Cleal, Crime Review
Smart, spine-tingling and sprawling, this second outing shows Thomson has the staying power for a long and delightfully grotesque series — Jaclyn Fulwood, Infinite Reads