`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.