An American anatomist plunges into a case of sorcery, slavery, and cold-blooded murder in this historical mystery for fans of Caleb Carr.
When the sole survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition to Jamaica goes missing upon his return to London, Dr. Thomas Silkstone—entrusted with cataloging the expedition’s New World specimens—feels compelled to investigate. There are rumors of a potion that has the power to raise the dead—and the formula is suspected to be in the private journal that has disappeared along with the young botanist.
As Dr. Silkstone searches for clues to the man’s whereabouts, he is drawn deeper into a dark and dangerous world of vengeance, infidelity, murder, and the trafficking of corpses for profit. Without the support of his beloved Lady Lydia Farrell—from whom he has been forcibly separated by law—he must confront the horrors of slavery, as well the very depths of human wickedness. And after a headless corpse is discovered, Dr. Silkstone begins to uncover the sinister motives of those in power who would stop at nothing to possess the Lazarus potion…
Praise for The Lazarus Curse
“Stellar…Harris’s prose and characterizations have only become more assured.”—Publishers Weekly
“An American physician in post-Revolutionary War England takes on a potent drug, a baffling murder and a determined rival…Harris successfully balances history, homicide, science, sorcery, and social justice in her idealistic hero’s fourth case.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Impossible to put down…. With each book, the mysteries have become stronger…. Silkstone is an admirable character and he captures readers' emotional interest.”—RT Book Reviews, Top Pick
Conflicting attitudes toward slavery in Georgian England propel Harris's stellar fourth historical starring American anatomist Thomas Silkstone (after 2013's The Devil's Breath). In 1783, the president of the Royal Society, Joseph Banks, honors Silkstone by inviting him to catalogue the flora and fauna gathered on a recent expedition to the West Indies. Two of the three expedition's leaders died before their ship made the return voyage to England. The disappearance of the third leader, botanical artist Matthew Bartlett, and a notebook filled with essential details about the voyage's discoveries further complicate the assignment. As Silkstone looks into Bartlett's fate despite Banks's opposition, he aids a gravely wounded slave, which draws him into the national debate on human freedom and dignity. Certain aspects of the plot resemble the storyline of Lloyd Shepherd's The Poisoned Island, but they are sufficiently different to distinguish it, and the subplot neatly sets up the next book. Harris's prose and characterizations have only become more assured.