- first published by Harper Collins 2013
- ISBN 978-0-7322-9369-7
- 325 pages
- #2 in the Dody McLeland series
- source: my local library
Set in Edwardian London, this fantastic mystery series features Britain's first female autopsy surgeon.
When an act of compassion misfires, autopsy surgeon Dr Dody McCleland must fight not only for her career, but also for her life. The body of a scullery maid is discovered in her room. When it emerges that she had recently begged Dody to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, the coroner recommends Dody be tried for criminal abortion causing death. Meanwhile, the one man who might be able to help her, Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, is nowhere to be found.
After another woman's body is discovered bearing all the hallmarks of the same crime, Dody suspects that a rogue doctor is on the loose. Amid the turbulence of Edwardian London with its mix of strikes, suffragettes, German spies, exotic dancers and an illicit drug trade, Dody must unmask the killer before more girls are butchered and her own life ends on the gallows.
Australian crime fiction author Felicity Young does a good job with a historical setting, giving her novel a feeling of authenticity, at the same time presenting the problems which women faced in the medical profession in the early 20th century.
Set in London in 1911, when conducting an abortion is a criminal offence, and encouraging women to practice birth control is also illegal, Dody assists the famous Sir Bernard Spilsbury in autopsies. But even with the great man's patronage, she treads a very thin line as she advises women towards better contol of their child bearing.
Dody faces not only public opposition to women like her breaking into the professions, but also opposition among males already working there. And treachery comes from an unexpected place, almost resulting in her death.
My rating: 4.5
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