The Art of Dying
Edinburgh, 1849. Despite Edinburgh being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson. A whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.
Reviewed on 14th February 2021
The second book about Sarah Fisher and Will Raven, medical professionals of mid-nineteenth century Edinburgh, joins Will as he returns from a year away in Europe to take his place as a qualified doctor.
As with the first novel, there are some fairly graphical medical moments that might be uncomfortable reading for some. There are some sad and traumatic events, so might be best read with awareness of this going in.
The style is reminiscent of the author’s usual approach of telling half the story in retrospect - this time with one character’s memories of their past interwoven with events experienced alongside the other characters. This allows for quite a grim but realistic exploration of the historical context of the novel in an era quite different from today.
It is another good story, with characters that I found very engaging and world building that does a huge amount to paint the picture of the time. I’m enjoying reading this series and look forward to finding out where the characters will go next.