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Devoured: 1 (Hatton & Roumande)
 
 

Devoured: 1 (Hatton & Roumande) [Kindle Edition]

D.E. Meredith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Review

This debut novel by Denise Meredith is an entertaining read. It reminded me of Masterpiece Mystery... The author does a good job of bringing the wintry streets of Victorian London and the steamy jungles of Borneo to life as she tells her story. - -Historical Novel Society

Devoured steeps us in the danger of Victorian London and the discovery of modern forensics, combining classic storytelling with a finely-executed historical moment. Meredith packs her debut with charm and wit enough to carry us into any adventures to come with these sparkling characters. - - Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Dickens

Devoured is an absorbing mystery, with an atmosphere that captures wonderfully the contrasts of science and superstition, of domesticity and imperial exoticism, that made the Victorian era so richly interesting. Hopefully a sequel is already on the way! - - Charles Finch, author of The Fleet Street Murders

Lovers of Victorian mystery will delight in Denise Meredith's terrific debut, where murder, the science of specimen collecting, and early forensic medicine combine into a riveting adventure.
--Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award-winning author of In the Shadow of Gotham

Meredith' TMs debut novel delves into the ugly secrets of that straight-laced time and believably renders life among the different social strata... Think Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night) meets Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist). Strongly recommended for fans of historicals. --Library Journal, starred review

If this debut is any indication, we are in for a long run of entertaining and thoughtful books. Dark, creepy and fascinating Devoured is a book that lingers long after the reading is done. --Crime Spree magazine

Meredith' TMs debut novel delves into the ugly secrets of that straight-laced time and believably renders life among the different social strata... Think Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night) meets Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist). Strongly recommended for fans of historicals. --Library Journal, starred review

If this debut is any indication, we are in for a long run of entertaining and thoughtful books. Dark, creepy and fascinating Devoured is a book that lingers long after the reading is done. --Crime Spree magazine

Meredith' TMs debut novel delves into the ugly secrets of that straight-laced time and believably renders life among the different social strata... Think Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night) meets Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist). Strongly recommended for fans of historicals. --Library Journal, starred review

If this debut is any indication, we are in for a long run of entertaining and thoughtful books. Dark, creepy and fascinating Devoured is a book that lingers long after the reading is done. --Crime Spree magazine

Meredith' TMs debut novel delves into the ugly secrets of that straight-laced time and believably renders life among the different social strata... Think Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night) meets Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist). Strongly recommended for fans of historicals. --Library Journal, starred review

If this debut is any indication, we are in for a long run of entertaining and thoughtful books. Dark, creepy and fascinating Devoured is a book that lingers long after the reading is done. --Crime Spree magazine

Product Description

London in 1856 is gripped by a frightening obsession. The specimen-collecting craze is growing, and discoveries in far-off jungles are reshaping the known world in terrible and unimaginable ways. When the glamorous Lady Bessingham is found murdered in her bedroom, surrounded by her vast collection of fossils and tribal masks, Professor Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant Albert Roumande are called in to examine the crime scene – and the body.

In the new and suspicious world of forensics and autopsy examinations, Hatton and Roumande are the best. But the crime scene is not confined to one room. In their efforts to help the infamous Scotland Yard detective Inspector Adams track down the Lady's killer, Hatton and Roumande uncover a trail of murders connected to a packet of seditious letters that, if published, would change the face of society and religion irrevocably.

D.E. Meredith's measured prose and eye for exquisite detail moves seamlessly from the filthy docks on the Isle of Dogs to the jungles of Borneo and the drawing rooms of London's upper class. Her slow-burning mystery builds to a shocking conclusion, consuming Victorian London – and victims – as it goes.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B003P2WJ68
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (20 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008R676ME
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #149,600 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

D.E. MEREDITH read English at Cambridge, then ran the press office and the land mines campaign for the Red Cross, travelling extensively to Bosnia, Afghanistan and Rwanda during the conflicts. She worked as a consultant on media relations for Greenpeace and other worthy causes before embarking on "The Hatton and Roumande Mysteries" series for St Martin's Press (DEVOURED, Oct 2010, THE DEVIL'S RIBBON Oct 2011). She has two boys, a tall husband, a barking (mad) Parsons Terrier and lives at a secret location on the River Thames. When not writing, she runs, rides her bike like a lunatic or eats home made cake.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just OK 16 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I struggled with this. The premise is exciting, but for me the writing was stilted and uninteresting and the dialogue flat. Its not bad, but its not that good either. I see the rave reviews and wonder whether we were reading the same book. Then I noticed that many of these 5 star reviewers have reviewed no other books, so perhaps one can assume that they are reviews from D.E Meredith's friends. Who knows?? But I was bored with it, and irked by its cliched dialogue and lumbering prose. At one point I dumped in in favour of Louise Welsh's The Cutting Room, which only served to reveal yet more clearly how a good mystery should be written. If you want to read a tip top historical mystery book try Fingersmith (sarah waters). 'Devoured' is undergraduate by comparison. But perhaps these Hatton books will get better as the series progresses... I don't think I'll be buying another to find out.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real gem! 6 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover
I opened the pages of "Devoured" hoping for a good murder mystery but in fact it is much more than that. This is an excellent thriller beautifully written within a perfectly drawn setting of Victorian London in the mid-19th century. The characters are vivid and the attention to detail extraordinary. In addition to the main story, I was fascinated by the world of the newly-discovered forensic science and the wider attitude towards it - the author never gets too bogged down with the detail of this but the reader nevertheless discovers all sorts of fascinating historical detail along the way. Make sure you read this one - a real gem!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent debut - creepy and enthralling 27 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I am of a strange, divided opinion about the Victorian world. As a historian it bothers me, since it is almost too current and understandable to class as history in my mind, and the fact that it feels too recent often steers me away from it. I have, of course, watched and/or read the staple works of the era. I find Sherlock Holmes to be a little awkward and badly-tied together in literature and often too gung ho or arty in cinema (with perhaps the exception of some recent re-imaginings). But regardless, there is something about Holmes that speaks to the mystery lover within. Victorian literature generally leaves me cold. Dickens produced some nice pieces, but I was schooled on the like of Thomas Hardy and frankly I would rather read a Shanghai phonebook. Similarly, there are pieces of crime history and folklore of the era that do hook me: the infamous `ripper' killings; Spring-heeled Jack (not heard of him? Then look him up); the Eilean Mor lighthouse (same again). You see, I deny the pull of the Victorian era as too modern and too dour and monochrome, and yet I will find myself wandering in the Brompton Cemetery in London and it steals my breath and transports me to a beautiful chilling world...

And that's what this book did. It would not be unfair to throw in a phrase such as `CSI Victorian London'. This is about the very birth of the forensic art in a world that distrusts too much `Godless' science. I expect the comparison annoys the author, so I won't dwell on it, but it gives you a clue of the direction of the books. The tale is a story of two forensic pathologists from the famous St Bart's in London, drawn into a murder investigation that just becomes more obscure and complex the more they dig.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping début 2 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover
`Devoured' is a stunning book with all the elements of a Victorian mystery. Set in London in 1856, Ms Meredith transports the reader to the most compelling and often seedy parts of the city, beginning with the morgue at St Bart's, which is described in gloriously evocative detail with flickering candles and eerie shadows. This is the workplace of early forensic pathologists, Adolphus Hatton and Albert Roumande.

The main characters are skilfully drawn with entirely credible mannerisms and foibles. The chemistry between them, as they work together, is palpable. They are a great duo, with enormous potential for further tales. Following the murder of Lady Bessingham, we journey with Hatton and Roumande as they investigate the underworld of Victorian London in search of the killer. The plot is complex with many twists and turns. It is cleverly interwoven with intriguing letters from exotic Borneo. The dénouement was completely unpredictable; the mark of a true crime writer.

`Devoured' gives a tantalising insight into Victorian forensics at the very beginning of this fascinating science, within the context of contemporary superstitions and opinions. It is a gripping début and I can't wait to read the next instalment of Hatton and Roumande's adventures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Devoured 14 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
In 1856 the least fashionable and thus least socially acceptable area of medicine in which to practice was forensics. Being a surgeon rather than a decent, respectable doctor was considered bad enough but pursuing a living that involves dissecting folk was just beyond the pale. In addition to the social stigma, those few brave men of science willing to devote themselves to forensics also had to overcome the problem of funding their research. The gentlemen scientists of the Victorian era had to rely on wealthy patrons to sponsor their work and, unsurprisingly given the mood at the time, forensic specialists did not enjoy an abundance of generosity. It is this difficulty in funding the development of their science that leads Professor Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant Albert Roumande to assist the police with their investigations in the hope of securing a nice annual stipend from the local constabulary.

In Devoured, the first Hatton and Roumande mystery, the proto-CSIs are called upon to assist Inspector Adams of Scotland Yard in solving the murder of glamorous society contrarian Lady Bessingham. While Lady Bessingham might have courted controversy with some of her intellectual pursuits and her patronage of certain adventuring scientists and rare specimen collectors, there appears no reason for her murder. Employing their cutting edge forensic techniques (no smoking near the corpse, sniffing said corpse for peculiar odours, making use of cutting-edge [ha!] German bone saws, etc), Hatton and Roumande find themselves on the trail of a cache of seditious letters that has the potential to change the face of society and religion irrevocably.

Devoured is an intriguing historical murder mystery. D. E.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like this more
I like historical crimes stories a lot, so when my mum found this one, I was looking forward to it. Straight up, I had a real problem with the way it was written. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jolene
3.0 out of 5 stars More like chewed
Some awkward prose and repetitious analogies, together with the fact that it snowed throughout without any consequence, made me look forward to the end.
Published 11 months ago by Howard Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating!
This well written novel for me at least,is a mixture of fascinating historical facts, and a critical look at part of the dark underbelly of Victorian London with some rather... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Aftermath
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read
An excellent read. Nice to see Alfred Russell Wallace being featured and his too oft neglected contribution to science warranting more than a passing mention. Read more
Published 12 months ago by James G. Hartman
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay holiday reading
Quite good once I was into it, liked the Victorian setting too. Would maybe read more by this author in future
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and bit different
But overall very Sherlock Holmes / Bones...Good storyline, can be bit confusing so needs to be read in chunks rather than little by little.
Published 18 months ago by SueB
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Research and a fascinating story
I read this book some time ago, and have just been reminded how good it is. The research is impeccable, the writing, somehow, bautifully within period. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lesley Cookman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I had read quite a number of reviews of this book and was really looking forward to reading it. I wasn't disappointed but at the same time at the end there was a quiet little voice... Read more
Published 20 months ago by lovereading
4.0 out of 5 stars Sars book
I bought this book for my daughters birthday as she had seen a review for it in another magazine. She was really pleased with it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Published 20 months ago by george
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, nothing out of the ordinary
This was a gift for someone and at start he enjoyed it. With the development of the book it started to be less interesting
Published 21 months ago by Sérgio Marques
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