Happy Sunday everyone!!! I’m thrilled to be welcoming the blog tour for The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry! I’ve got a seriously atmospheric extract to share with you that I hope will whet your reading appetite and make you want to go buy this historical crime novel!
Big thanks to the lovely Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on the blog tour.
A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh, by bestselling author Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman.
Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges. As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.
The Way of All Flesh is the first in a series of historical crime novels. It will appeal to fans of C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris and historical crime fiction, as well of fans of Brookmyre’s own writing.
No decent story ought to begin with a dead prostitute, and for that, apologies, for it is not something upon which respectable persons would desire to dwell.
However, it was the very assumption that the gentle folk of Edinburgh would shy from such a thing that set Will Raven upon his fateful path during the winter of 1847.
Raven would not have wished anyone to consider the discovery of poor Evie Lawson as the beginning of his own story, but what truly motivated him was the determination that neither would it be the end of hers.
He found her four flights up on the Canongate, in a cold and crooked wee garret. The place was reeking of drink and sweat, barely tempered by a merciful note of something more perfumed: a womanly musk to be sure, if cheap and redolent only of a woman who sold herself. With these scents in his nostrils, if he closed his eyes he could imagine she was still there, about to haul herself down to the street for maybe the third or fourth time in as many hours.
But his eyes were open, and he didn’t have to feel for the absence of a pulse to know otherwise. Raven had seen enough death to understand that her passing from this life into the next had not been an easy one.
The sheets on the bed were swirled up around her, testament to more writhing than she ever feigned in her counterfeit passion, and he feared it lasted longer than any of her customers ever did.
Her body, far from lying in repose, was in a state of contortion, as though the pain that had carried her off was still with her and there had been no release in death. Her brows remained contracted, her lips drawn apart. There were collections of froth at the corners of her mouth.
Raven laid a hand on her arm and quickly withdrew it. The cold was a shock, though it shouldn’t have been. He was no stranger to handling a corpse, but seldom one whose touch he had known when warm. In this moment of contact, something ancient in him was moved by how she had gone from a person to a thing.
Oh blimey….What an extract! I’ve got a copy of The Way of All Flesh and this has made me want to try and rearrange that mountain of a reading pile of mine!
Who Is Ambrose Parry?
Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series.