The first novel in the Westerman and Crowther historical crime series that The New York Times Book Review called “CSI: Georgian England” and Tess Gerritsen called “chillingly memorable”
Debut novelist Imogen Robertson won the London Telegraph’s First Thousand Words of a Novel competition in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness. The finished work is a fast-paced historical mystery starring a pair of amateur eighteenth-century sleuths with razor-sharp minds. When Harriet Westerman, the unconventional mistress of a Sussex manor, finds a dead man on her grounds, she enlists reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer. Moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from dark London streets to the gentrified countryside, Instruments of Darkness is a gripping tale of the forbidding Thornleigh Hall and an unlikely forensic duo determined to uncover its deadly secrets.
Set in West Sussex in 1780, Robertson's auspicious debut introduces the unlikely sleuthing team of anatomist Gabriel Crowther and independent-minded Harriet Westerman, mistress of Caveley Park. When Westerman happens on the stabbed body of a man, eventually identified as Carter Brook, on her land on the track to Thornleigh Hall, Crowther agrees to help her catch the murderer. The secretive Crowther, who's maintained a reclusive existence since moving to the area, finds that Brook's death may be connected to the search for a long-lost heir to the Thornleigh estate. Meanwhile in London, someone knifes to death Alexander Adams, who bears the same first name as the lost heir, in Adams's music shop. While the killer's identity will surprise few, the book works splendidly as a period thriller, with complicated leads and informative details that illuminate 18th-century England for modern readers. Dry humor leavens what otherwise would be a grim story line.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Excellent Historical Whodunit
As you read this mystery, you find yourself living and feeling in the mid eighteenth century quite literally as if you were there. Very well written with lots of passion. The read literally takes you to another place and time. Very, very well done...
this book was great. sometimes characters are so evil you end not really invested in the outcome. this is not the case. all of the characters in the book were human, thus flawed. some more than others. but you can really get the emotions. i really hope to see more from this author.
Instruments of Darkness
A real page turner that will hold your interest, as well as a good story.