Kaite Welsh's thrilling medical mystery THE UNQUIET HEART is the second in the gothic Sarah Gilchrist series, following a medical student turned detective in Victorian Edinburgh. For readers of Natasha Pulley's THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET or Laura Purcell's THE SILENT COMPANIONS
This powerful novel combines a disturbing look at late Victorian attitudes towards women and morality with a satisfying murder mystery - Sunday Express
Sarah Gilchrist has no intention of marrying her dull fiancé Miles, the man her family hope will restore her reputation and put an end to her dreams of becoming a doctor, but when he is arrested for a murder she is sure he didn't commit she finds herself his reluctant ally. Beneath the genteel façade of upper class Edinburgh lurks blackmail, adultery, poison and madness and Sarah must return to Edinburgh's slums, back alleys and asylums as she discovers the dark past about a family where no one is what they seem, even Miles himself. It also brings her back into the orbit of her mercurial professor, Gregory Merchiston - he sees Sarah as his protegee, but can he stave off his demons long enough to teach her the skills that will save her life?
Set in Edinburgh in 1893, Welsh's richly evocative second Sarah Gilchrist mystery (after 2017's The Wages of Sin) finds headstrong Sarah, a first-year medical student, trying to balance family expectations and her own desire to become a doctor. Sarah's parents will pay her medical school fees on one condition: she must marry Miles Greene, the colorless second son of a respectable family who agrees to overlook Sarah's scandalous past (she was once sexually assaulted). Sarah may not want to marry Miles, but when he's arrested for his father's murder, she's unwilling to let him take the blame. In order to prove his innocence, she enlists the help of her volatile professor, Gregory Merchiston, to uncover the real killer. The mystery is secondary to Welsh's depiction of the plight of intelligent, ambitious women in 19th-century Britain, long before anyone dreamed of #MeToo, when a spotless reputation and a suitable marriage was the end all and be all for a woman, her own wishes and desires be damned. Sarah's plight is an infuriating one indeed, and readers will cheer her every step of the way.