Wednesday, 18 February 2015

CSI Preston 1740.

A truly brutal murder in the medieval charter town of Preston is just the beginning of a series of events that suggest the roots of evil run deep beneath its tranquil surface. Robin Blake, the author of the book A Dark Anatomy, overturns a clod of sleepy English turf to reveal a dark soil teeming with life and humanity itself red in tooth and claw. In the absence of modern investigative and forensic techniques Preston's coroner Titus Clegg must use all his wits to get to the heart of the mystery that threatens to tear apart the peace of his hometown. Aided by his Doctor friend Luke Fedelis he must overcome the medieval beliefs and religous prejudices which litter the path to truth with shards of brutality and ignorance.
                A Dark Anatomy is a defly written and wonderfully atmospheric novel with the principle cast and the whole unwashed humanity of the era coming alive between the covers. Mystery and clues abound, some more obvious to the modern minds of the average reader than the medieval minds of the fictional characters that people the village, most as yet unenlightened by the touch of any form of education. Clues that present themselves to those medieval minds as the footprints of the otherworldly or the supernatural. which in turn leads to greater acts of brutality as the climate of fear escalates.
               Clegg and Fedelis; it has a late smoky autumnal feel to it does it not? From an era when all acts of cruelty reeked of brimstone. At times the atmosphere of the book reminded me of such films as the awesome Blood On Satans Claw or the masterful A Field In England.
                Hellfire and brimstone, wit and wisdom collide in this defly composed and written novel based in a time and a location that would have induced a panic attack in the great Sherlock Holmes.
                The Game Is Afoot.
                Or perhaps a Hoof.