The Anatomist’s Apprentice

Written by Tessa Harris
Review by Diane Scott Lewis

In 1781, when young Lord Crick dies of convulsions, his sister Lydia seeks the help of Dr. Silkstone to ascertain the cause. Silkstone is a rising anatomist and pioneering forensic detective. At Crick’s Oxfordshire manor, the young doctor discovers that Crick had nasty proclivities and numerous enemies. Tales of greed and sexual depravity are rampant. The suspicion of murder through poisoning points the guilt at Lydia’s husband, an Irish fortune-hunter. Silkstone exhumes the decomposing body to extract its secrets, while fighting his attraction to Lydia.

Intricate forensic details and a host of intriguing characters drive the story. While the climactic scene is a little melodramatic, and Lydia needs more dimension, the action never wanes. The author will have you flipping the pages at each unexpected turn in the plot. The novel is an absorbing read with a shocking twist at the end.