The Minutes of the Lazarus Club

Written by Tony Pollard
Review by Mike Ashworth

London 1857. Dr George Phillips, a young, ambitious surgeon, is invited to join the Lazarus Club. The members of this exclusive club are some of the finest minds of the Victorian era, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Darwin and Charles Babbage. They meet to discuss unorthodox ideas and inventions that challenge conventional thinking. As a result of his membership, Dr Phillips becomes embroiled in an intrigue to prevent the theft of one of Brunel’s inventions that could potentially be subverted to a dark use that will challenge Britain’s maritime power. Meanwhile, a steady stream of mutilated bodies washed up from the Thames leads the police directly to the surgeon, who must try and clear his name or face arrest.

I was intrigued by the concept and ideas that formed the plot and was not disappointed. The story travels along at a cracking pace with both plotlines dovetailing seamlessly together. The characters of Brunel, Darwin, Florence Nightingale, et al. are convincing and well rounded. The London of Victorian England is portrayed without resorting to pages of description. A pleasure to read. This is Mr Pollard’s first novel; I look forward to reading his next.