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Dark Asylum (Jem Flockhart Book 2) by [Thomson, E. S.]
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Dark Asylum (Jem Flockhart Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in Jem Flockhart (2 Book Series)

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Beloved Poison is a marvellous, vivid book with a thoughtful, engaging protagonist at its centre - and a fascinating story to tell. It's immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark. Elaine Thomson's descriptive powers are so great that that I was surprised to see twenty-first century London rather than grimy, smelly St Saviour's around me when I - eventually - looked up from its pages (Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher’s Hook)

Beloved Poison is a marvellous, vivid book with a thoughtful, engaging protagonist at its centre - and a fascinating story to tell. It's immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark. Elaine Thomson's descriptive powers are so great that that I was surprised to see twenty-first century London rather than grimy, smelly St Saviour's around me when I - eventually - looked up from its pages (Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher’s Hook )

Following on from the events of acclaimed debut Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum vividly portrays the Gothic horror and questionable science of Victorian mental asylums in chilling detail. Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale (Daily Express)

Dark Asylum positively oozes gothic menace, and the author's evocation of the city at that time is visceral and engagingly morbid . . . A first class piece of historical crime writing (Doug Johnstone Big Issue)

Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night (Alex Gordon Evening Telegraph on Beloved Poison)

You can almost feel the evil miasma rising from the page (Kirkus Reviews on Beloved Poison)

This outstanding debut historical enthrals with its meticulously researched details (Library Journal on Beloved Poison)

From the first page to the last, I enjoyed every brilliantly written, and often hideous, detail ... A splendid read (Cambridge Magazine on Beloved Poison)

A historical novel to be savoured (Lesley McDowell The National on Beloved Poison)

Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E S Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale. (Daily Express)

Book Description

Set in a crumbling Victorian asylum where a gruesome murder is committed, this novel deals with the early 'science' of brain study and lobotomy, as well as giving a chilling insight into the asylum's workings, inmates and doctors, many of whom are more insane than their poor patients.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1566 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (2 Mar. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01LXHGPP3
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second of the Jem Flockhart novels and for me, even better than the first, as it comes across as more self-assured. The characters have bedded down, and along with the Victoriana, there is also a more modern feel to the psychology. As before, it is fantastically researched and this just adds interest and depth to the whodunnit, plus there are new characters to add a whole range of colour. It is never predictable, full of twists and turns, dark alleys and hidden meanings. It is entertaining, informative and surprising so all is all, a very good read and time well spent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must confess to not having finished this excellent second book just yet, but it is shaping up to be a brilliant yarn. I am delighted that Thomson has stuck with Jem and Will as amateur "Victorian CSI", and she develops the plot at a cracking pace while still managing to cram in the most deliciously macabre descriptions and beautifully researched period science, all delivered with a fiendishly dark humour. More to follow when I am done...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another phenomenally accomplished novel by writer E S Thompson. It is meticulously researched in every conceivable dimension yet is effortlessly and addictively readable. At times it is harrowingly gruesome and disturbingly macabre but ultimately enlightening. The reader comes to empathise with the characters, questioning the definition of victim and further analysing it in the context of the complexity of social and gender inequalities of the period which are still relevant to our constant re-evaluation of gender in the 21st Century. It's a 'must read'.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This second in the Jem Flockhart series is, in my opinion, better than the first, which I also really enjoyed. It is slightly less gruesome which some may prefer, and it is tightly plotted and well written. I love the author's historic detail and obvious enjoyment of her subject - she makes everything so vivid but doesn't fall into the trap some do of over-describing scenes. She leaves just enough to the reader's imagination to make it a real joy to read. I can't wait for number three!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another exciting and mysterious instalment from E. S. Thomson - Jem Flockheart is rapidly becoming a very genuine and intriguing character and can't wait for the next book to be released.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Utterly fantastic! A superb second masterpiece in the Jem Flockhart series. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great follow up to Beloved Poison - I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
It is 1852 and St Saviour’s monastery in London is no more, its hospital relocated. But Jem Flockhart, the apothecary to the infirmary, has stayed behind thanks to roots too deeply embedded. Jem isn’t quite what he seems, and not only because of the large birthmark that obscures the top half of his face like a Venetian mask. Jem is a woman, brought up as a boy and then a young man by a father who turned mad. And now Jem works as apothecary in the place where her father died, the Angel Meadow Asylum across the road from what survives of the monastery and Jem’s beloved infirmary garden.

The head doctor of Angel Meadows, Dr Hawkins, has been away for some time, having left the care of the asylum in the hands of Dr Rutherford, a man with his own brutal theories about the ways in which to treat the souls in his care. Few mourn when, on Dr Hawkins’ return to the asylum, Dr Rutherford is found murdered in his rooms. But this is no typical murder – Rutherford’s head is bashed in, his ears cut off, his eyes and lips are sewn shut. There will be many suspects, not all of whom are locked in their rooms at night, and Dr Hawkins gives the case to Jem and his close friend Will Quartermain. Jem and Will have proven their detective skills already and both are indefatigable in their pursuit of truth and justice as they move through a society that is as black as night for its cruelty, madness and punishment.

Dark Asylum is the second novel to feature Jem and Will. It follows close on the heels of Beloved Poison, an outstanding historical crime debut from E.S. Thomson. Each book stands alone well but I certainly recommend that you read them both.

Dark Asylum takes us into a part of Victorian London at its very worst.
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