Calum MacLeod is a reporter for the Inverness Courier and had been writing for SHOTS since its early days. In 2009 the Highland and Islands Media Awards' judging panel awarded him “Highly Commended Feature Writer of the Year”.
Even the Enlightenment had a dark side.
So Harriet Westerman and anatomist Gabriel Crowther discover when Harriet’s brother-in-law is found with a dead German aristocrat and accused of her murder.
So, in the fourth novel to feature Robertson’s 18th century sleuthing duo, Harriet and Crowther and their entourage up sticks from the gentle comforts of Sussex and head to the precariously independent Duchy of Maulberg where their investigations are tolerated by the seemingly indolent Duke and his sharp witted chief of police.
As murder follows murder, each killing ripe with mystical symbolism – one victim drowned on dry land and another choked with earth – the commonsensical Harriet and the archly rational Crowther find themselves in a world of private passions and political plots, a world of alchemy and secret societies and a place where intricate automata are created for the wonder and entertainment of the aristocracy.
It is a world where Harriet and Crowther find themselves in uneasy alliance with the castrato and freelance spy Manzerotti, a suave villain surely closely related to Wilkie Collins’ seductively evil Count Fosco, and the man responsible for the death of Harriet’s husband.
The gothic tropes might be familiar, but they are handled with an attention to detail and to character that is closer to the literary thrillers of a Peter Ackroyd than the info dump heavy school of Dan Brown and his followers.
Vividly written, this is impressive and gripping stuff and moving her central cast out of leafy England to a decaying Holy Roman Empire makes for an attractive and unusual setting for a history mystery.
Robertson certainly does better than her characters when it comes to creating (narrative) gold out of familiar, if exotic, material.
abortion pills website
abortion pill buy online