Friday, 3 May 2019

#BlogTour The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Way of the Flesh by Ambrose Parry. It's historical crime fiction with accurate historical facts, strong characters and a compelling plot.

About the Author
Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series.

Follow @ambroseparry on Twitter,
Buy The Way of All Flesh

About the book
Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges. As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.

Ambrose Parry is the pseudonym of a writing duo who have combined their respective talents to create this compelling crime fiction. Parry reminds me of Anne Perry, CJ Sansom and Laura Shepherd-Robinson. The fluid combination of historical facts and intriguing fiction with a great cast of characters.

Will Raven and Sarah Fisher seem like an unlikely sleuthing duo at first glance. They butt heads, because Raven acts like a boorish snob and Fisher oversteps the boundaries of her station. The truth is the two of them probably have more in common than they realise, aside from both of them living in a slightly eccentric household. Raven stumbles across a connection in a series of deaths, which propels the both of them into the dangerous path of quite ruthless individuals.

What drives this story is the medical history, discoveries and advancement made during that era, whilst the crime element of the story flows smoothly alongside. Simultaneously Parry shows the gender inequality and how society tries to repress the intellect,  and educational and career development of women.

The majority of well-researched historical fiction, even crime fiction, will often include facts or events that readers may previously have been unaware of or had little knowledge of. I like that aspect of reading, the feeling of acquiring something, whilst enjoying the worlds created and penned by others.

However those facts or events can be shocking, disturbing and unpleasant at times. I would certainly put some of the elements and scenes from this story into those categories. In particular the details surrounding the birthing process, in particular the craniotomy procedure. Reading it made me glad I had my children in the 20th and 21st century, although maternal mortality rates, stillbirth and infant mortality are still quite high considering we are in the 21st century. We have come a long way since the barbaric methods tested, tried and used in previous centuries.

It's historical crime fiction with accurate historical facts, strong characters and a compelling plot. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series and hope this is the first of many more.

Buy The Way of All Flesh at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Canongate Books; pub date 30 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Waterstones.

Raven and Fisher will return in The Art of Dying, publishing in hardback 29.08.19.

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