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Devoured (A Hatton and Roumande Mystery) Paperback – 25 Feb 2013
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'You'll devour this brilliant, classy Victorian crime novel in hours. It will stay with you a lot longer, though, thanks to the extraordinary atmosphere and detail, as the first days of forensics are brought to life. 5 stars!' DAILY MIRROR 'This is a literary thriller. A slow burner, it takes a while for the excitement to build, but once the plot takes off its a roller coaster ride to its shocking conclusion... I really enjoyed this book.' NEW BOOKS MAGAZINE '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, bestselling author of The Dante Club and The Last Dickens
About the Author
D.E. Meredith has travelled far and wide to some of the remotest places on earth which has fuelled her imagination and continuing lust for travel. After reading English at Cambridge University she became a campaigner for the WWF, and spent ten years working for the environment movement. She has flown over the Arctic in a bi-plane, skinny-dipped in Siberia, hung out with Inuit and Evenki tribespeople and dodged the Russian mafia in downtown Vladivostok. Meredith later became a spokesperson for the British Red Cross, spending six years travelling through war zones and witnessing humanitarian crises. The experience strongly influenced her crime writing, with its themes of injustice and inequality. She currently lives on the outskirts of London with her husband and two teenage sons. When not writing she runs, bakes cakes and does yoga to relax. www.demeredith.com
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Top customer reviews
However, the subject-matter was intriguing and different enough to make me keep going - forensics in early Victorian times, and a crime that was complex, a veritable web of clues and non-clues, that kept me reading. The characters, I found, not so well-drawn, and in some cases verging on the stereotypical. There were no clear-cut 'baddies' or 'goodies', and it wasn't that they were all drawn in shades of grey, but that they all felt two-dimensional. The period detail, the historical research, the ambiance of the city in the grip of a winter freeze, and the atmospherics of the mortuary itself, however, made up for all these faults. As I said, I kept reading, and if you like period crime and want it with a bit of a twist, this one might be for you. There's another, I see, but I'm not sure that I'll be rushing to read it. Then again...
We experience the extreme poverty of the era, the sight and sensations of the jungles of Borneo plus the immunity enjoyed and power exerted by London's influential middle and upper classes.
I have always been fascinated by Darwin's voyages and theories yet have never before given much thought to the effect on society at the time, reeling under the onslaught of a science which proposed the giant apes as its brothers.
Devoured introduces us to the deeply mistrusted science of forensics via the doggedly determined efforts of Hatton and Roumande. They find themselves drawn into a race to solve a series of elaborate murders, seemingly motivated by a batch of letters from the jungle which could potentially rock society, religion and the lives of certain well-connected individuals who have everything to lose by the letter's revelations.
This book is a gem - a real page turner with everything; history, mystery, murder and manipulation. It's one of those books that you're loathe to put down and eager to pick up again. When can I read the next one? :-)