Newly divorced Julia Hamill is digging in her back garden when she uncovers a human skull belonging to a woman which, according to medical examiner Maura Isles, is over a century old. So begins a story that goes back to the 1830s; to a teaching hospital in Boston where doctors with dirty hands spread infection, when labouring mothers are crammed ...
Newly divorced Julia Hamill is digging in her back garden when she uncovers a human skull belonging to a woman which, according to medical examiner Maura Isles, is over a century old. So begins a story that goes back to the 1830s; to a teaching hospital in Boston where doctors with dirty hands spread infection, when labouring mothers are crammed two a hospital bed on sheets still encrusted with the foul discharges of those who have died before them; to a medical student, Norris Marshall, who is forced to perform the most disgusting and secretive job of all. Norris is a resurrectionist - a body-snatcher - a man who procures cadavers from grave robbers in order to further his study of human anatomy. And he is aided in his pursuit of knowledge by a fellow student, Oliver Wendell Holmes. Together they will hunt down the most notorious killer of their time who preys on the unwary; a shadowy figure whom Norris and Holmes track through graveyards and autopsy suites, through glittering ball rooms and the luxurious drawing rooms of Boston Brahmins. What neither of them realise is that the killer is far closer than they think ...Woven into this historical story is Julia's present-day narrative. With Maura Isles' help, she will work to uncover a secret that, over a century later, proves more shocking than she can imagine.
When you read this book, remember that O.W.H. originated the modern approach to forensic analysis of cadavers. His real life was more amazing than a novel.
Mar 27, 2008
Page Turning Novel
I really liked this book. It kept my interest so much, that I decided to start Tess Gerritsen's books from the very first one. She is a terrific writer with hospital scenes that are very realistic. Enjoyed this novel very much.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-08-13 At the start of this disappointing stand-alone thriller from bestseller Gerritsen (The Mephisto Club), 38-year-old divorcee Julia Hamill discovers a skeleton buried in the garden of the Boston house she's just moved into; the ring found with the remains was in fashion in the 1830s, the fractured bones suggest murder. Flashback to 1830: medical student Norris Marshall, an outcast among his wealthier classmates, meets Rose Connolly in a Boston maternity ward, where Rose's sister recently died of childbirth fever. When several gutted bodies turn up in deserted alleyways, Rose and Norris are the only ones to catch a glimpse of the killer, dubbed the West End Reaper. Norris, Rose and Norris's fellow student, Oliver Wendell Holmes, race to uncover the truth behind the slayings, which will remind many of Jack the Ripper's crimes. In the present, Julia is able to trace their progress with the help of a relative of the house's former owner. Unfortunately, neither the present nor the historical story line maintains the suspense necessary for a whodunit spanning several generations. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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