A gripping debut thriller set in 19th-century Turin from the winner of the 2012 GOOD HOUSEKEEPING new novel competition, for fans of CJ Sansom and Imogen Robertson.
The brightest mind meets the darkest killer...
1887. When James Murray, a young Scottish doctor fascinated by the workings of the criminal mind, travels to the vibrant city of Turin, it is to study with Cesare Lombroso, the world-renowned criminologist. But just hours after his introduction to Lombroso, the discovery of a horrifically mutilated body in the nearby Piazza Statuto, and a note that appears to implicate the celebrated criminologist himself, changes everything.
With the help of his fellow apprentice, a local investigator and Lombroso's beautiful but enigmatic housekeeper, Murray must put his learning to the test and endeavour to understand the mind of a serial killer if he is to stop the rapidly escalating bloodbath and clear the name of his mentor.
Meet the world's first criminologist in this compelling, fast-paced historical thriller.
In 1887, Scottish doctor James Murray, the hero of British author Bretherick's intricate debut, travels to Turin, Italy, to study under Cesare Lombroso (1835 1909), a leader in the nascent field of criminal anthropology. Soon after Murray's arrival, a mutilated corpse is discovered in the Piazza Statuto. On the body, written in blood, is a note that reads: "A Tribute to Lombroso." When the police believe Lombroso may be implicated and he declines to defend himself, Murray and a colleague mount their own investigation. Relatives of the criminals Lombroso's theories have helped convict are likely suspects as similar crimes continue. So are rivals eager to discredit him, all in town for his annual symposium including Walter Horton, a sinister American alienist. Meanwhile, Murray struggles to hide a family secret, as well as his attraction to Sofia, Lombroso's alluring housekeeper. Vivid evocations of Turin and the scientific milieu of the day balance the inept detective work.