From its grime-crusted back alleys to its blood-spattered operating tables, The Blood emanates atmospheric appeal. Victorian England, in all its smog, lace and polluted waters, is compellingly conjured in every sentence, giving the setting not only a historical bent, but a macabre horror aesthetic as well. Meanwhile, Jem, who seems to pace the pages with flurried intellect as well as desperation, is a refreshing twist on the Sherlock Holmes archetype. Disguised as a man to get ahead in her career and seeking her long-lost love, Jem provides the otherwise plot-driven book's contemplative moments that strengthen larger themes of gender, power and ambition. Featuring a feminist Sherlock Holmes in a Dickensian setting, The Blood delivers quick pacing and satisfyingly grotesque set pieces.
Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night
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
A historical novel to be savoured
Deliciously dark and vividly atmospheric, menace oozes from every page. Terrific for lovers of historical noir
Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E S Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale.
It's rare that a book is Gothic enough for me, but Beloved Poison is killing it. The blood, the bones, the crumbling hospital . . .
Jem Flockhart is a marvel. Cautious yet daring, a pursuer of the truth yet steeped in deceit herself, she is the best kind of detective - flawed, clever, conflicted, principled and determined to get to the bottom of whatever mystery comes her way. Her latest foray into the filth and grime of 1840s London is an atmospheric dissection of prejudice past and present set aboard a decaying hospital ship. With snakes, pox, strange tattoos and the scent of Henbane in our nostrils, this vivid journey into the dark side of the human soul is a thoroughly engrossing tale.
. . . a tale of darkest London in the 1850s. This fine novel, featuring a most unusual detective, blends Victorian melodrama and historical reality
I hugely enjoyed E.S Thomson's The Blood . . . mesmerising . . . evokes the sights and the smells of the seedy dockland area brilliantly. Her protagonist Jem Flockhart is an inspired invention - a female apothecary disguised as a man, whose life and loves are as complex a secret as the cases she investigates
Jem Flockhart's London is vivid, pungent and perilous. The Blood takes you to places you will love to picture but be grateful you can't smell
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
This outstanding debut historical enthrals with its meticulously researched details
From the first page to the last, I enjoyed every brilliantly written, and often hideous, detail ... A splendid read
Love evocative descriptions of Victorian London and brilliant plotting? Then grab a copy of this!
ES Thompson's Jem Flockhart books are the best I've read in years. Jem is just my kind of heroine: scarred, smart, complex, and unapologetically queer
You can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the page
Dark and vividly imagined, this Jem Flockhart mystery captures the squalor of Victorian London as it tells an engrossing story of medical misdeeds
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. Elaine Thomson's descriptive powers are so great that that I was surprised to see twenty-first century London rather than grimy, smelly St Saviour's around me when I - eventually - looked up from its pages