The prize-winning author of Edinburgh Twilight returns to the darkening shadows of nineteenth-century Scotland to track a killer on a profane mission of revenge.
A wicked Scottish winter has just begun when pioneering female physician Sophia Jex-Blake calls on Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton to investigate the suspicious death of one of her patients—a railroad lineman who she believes succumbed to the horrific effects of arsenic poisoning. The most provocative aspect of the case doesn’t escape Hamilton: the married victim’s numerous sexual transgressions.
Now, for the first time since the unexplained fire that killed his parents, Hamilton enters the Royal Infirmary to gain the insights of brilliant medical student Arthur Conan Doyle. Then a second poisoning occurs—this time, a prominent banker who died in the bed of a prostitute. It appears that someone is making Edinburgh’s more promiscuous citizens pay for their sins.
As the body count rises and public panic takes hold, Hamilton and Doyle delve into the seedy underbelly of the city, where nothing is as it seems, no one is immune to murder, and even trusted friends can be enemies in disguise.
Author Carole Lawrence is an award-winning novelist, poet, composer, and playwright. Her previous novels include Edinburgh Twilight, the first Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton novel. She is also the author of six novellas and dozens of short stories, articles, and poems—many of which appear in translation internationally. She is a two-time Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee and winner of the Euphoria Poetry Prize, the Eve of St. Agnes Poetry Award, the Maxim Mazumdar playwriting prize, the Jerry Jazz Musician award for short fiction, and the Chronogram Literary Fiction Award. Her plays and musicals have been produced in several countries as well as on NPR; her physics play Strings, nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award, was recently produced at the Kennedy Center. A Hawthornden Fellow, she is on the faculty of NYU and Gotham Writers, as well as the Cape Cod and San Miguel Writers’ Conferences. She enjoys outdoor sports such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and you can often find her cooking and hunting for wild mushrooms.