Book Review- The Way of All Flesh

Thursday, 4 April 2019
Title: The Way of All Flesh
Author: Ambrose Parry
Published: 2nd October 2018
Pages: 416
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh, from husband-and-wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman
Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.
Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.
Simpson's patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.
With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh's underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive. -Goodreads
I received a copy of this novel from Net Galley and Canongate in return for an honest review.
This novel tells the story of Raven and Sarah, an unlikely team who work together in 1840s Edinburgh to solve a series of murders. It's a gripping historical crime novel with a background of medicine and the discovery of anaesthetic.
This novel is the excellent work of 2 authors; Chris Brookmyre crime and sci-fi writer and Marisa Haetzman a consultant anaesthetist, who happen to be husband and wife! Here they have joined forces to write a novel full to the brim with action and excitement and incredible historical accuracy. Sometimes I find, that with two authors the writing can be fairly clunky and the different authors' work is very obvious which makes reading the novel difficult and jarring as the styles change. However, with this novel this was not an issue. The whole novel flows seamlessly. It is impossible to see the seams between what the two authors have written and where they link together.
The setting of the novel is well-crafted, the attention to detail is excellent. It's an atmospheric novel, and this well-created setting/atmosphere of 1840s Edinburgh is crucial in this. The authors perfectly manage the setting, it has depth and dimension and seems to come off the page and totally envelope the reader in the smoke of the city.
This is a very quick read. The plot is so fast-paced. The combination of historical novel and crime novel means the novel is difficult to put down! The plot twists and turns as suspects are met and dismissed, and the action takes the reader and the main characters on a rollercoaster of adventures and emotions as we all try to figure out "who-dunnit"! 
I really loved the character in the novel too, Sarah was my particular favourite. I was so frustrated by the lack of options and opportunities available to her and other woman in similar situation in the past, and the way she felt during the novel was so understandable and made her very easy to relate to.
Overall I loved this novel. It's an excellent historical crime novel and the medical background makes it interesting and different from other historical crime novels set in the 1800s. If you like E.S Thomson or Laura Purcell you should check this novel out!!

Let's chat books:
Have you read this novel? What are your thoughts? Or what are you currently reading?


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