London, 1665. Hidden within the growing pile of corpses in his churchyard, Rector Symon Patrick discovers a victim of the pestilence unlike any he has seen before: a young woman with a shorn head, covered in burns, and with pieces of twine delicately tied around each wrist and ankle.

Desperate to discover the culprit, Symon joins a society of eccentric medical men who have gathered to find a cure for the plague. Someone is performing terrible experiments upon the dying, hiding their bodies amongst the hundreds that fill the death carts.

Only Penelope – a new and mysterious addition to Symon’s household – may have the skill to find the killer. Far more than what she appears, she is already on the hunt. But the dark presence that enters the houses of the sick will not stop, and has no mercy…

My review

With great thanks to Viper Books for allowing me to join this very suspicious and exciting blog tour, the plague death with a touch of murder too!

The story begins straight away as you are thrown into the storyline of the plague infected cities, gore and the smell of death is everywhere! The descriptions throughout the story are very vivid bringing the story to life and bringing the stench straight to your senses! The main characters are introduced well, understanding where they came from and what their involvement is within the plague.

The dark and witty comments between the main two characters; Rector Symon Patrick and Penelope are in plentiful. Symon has his own agenda with a distant love, however when he finds very strange and horrific injuries on the plague dead, his curiosity gets the better of him. He asks for the help of what some might call, not very professional medicine men, The Plague Society. They all have their own opinion of what might be needed to be done to eradicate the plague, however some feel this act of work on the dead is barbaric and unprofessional.

Penelope was introduced to the Rector household purely as she was very unwell, however now fighting fit, she is one very head strong and willing detective to investigate into these strange bodies, whether Symon likes it or not!

As the story moves from the killer preparing for their work, to the streets of the plague, it is a mix of more bodies arriving with marks and a hunt to find the killer, before there is no one left! Why would they do this, where are they hiding? Questions that keep you guessing right up to the end.

With houses being emptied, the dead just increasing, the murderer is still going, bodies keep being found as they are brought in for burying with the other plague victims, but no one seems to see who is putting the bodies there.

I enjoyed seeing the maps of the plague in between chapters, an additional historical insight.

With such dark and in-depth characters (likeable or despicable), the atmospheric descriptions along with a dark murder mystery, this book has it all. The historical research behind it, is very clear to see and you can appreciate the time spent, giving the reader more than they bargained for!

I personally liked the ghostly visits too, something I was not expecting!

An absolute must read!

Purchase it here from Amazon or here at Waterstones.

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