CRIME The powerful combination of Coroner and doctor is one to watch for. NIRMAL SEBASTIAN
Title: A Dark Anatomy
Author: Robin Blake
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Set in Preston, England in the 1740’s, this murder mystery based in the mid-Georgian era, is perhaps our eye-glass into the first use of forensic sciences to solve a murder: the murder of the Squire’s “foreign” wife who was found in the forest with her throat slashed.In the case of any mysterious death, the local coroner is called to check and investigate. Enter Titus Cragg, a man with an eye for detail and exceptional intelligence. He seeks the help of a young doctor, Luke Fidelis, who agrees to do a post-mortem on the body. The duo are faced with many road-blocks. The local populace considered the murder to be an act of the devil. The Squire himself tries his best to stop all investigations and eventually the dead body went missing.
The great reveal
Upon recovering the body after a furious search, Dr. Fidelis proceeds to perform postmortem and it’s when he removes the victim’s clothes that the murder mystery turns on its head. Though this is a very slow paced novel and a bit too entwined in history, Titus Cragg and Luke Fidelis are an excellent double act, with both men very appealing in their own way and Cragg’s narration has this uncanny way of bringing even the less important characters alive. The final twist is just the icing on the cake.Robin Blake might not have managed to achieve the perfect combination of humour and wit used by Sir Conan Doyle, in this book. Yet, he somehow manages to keep the reader hooked. First in a series of Cragg and Fidelis mysteries, the powerful combination of coroner and doctor is certainly one to look out for.
Nirmal is a I Year MA Communication student at Madras Christian College.
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