Book Review: The Anatomy of Ghosts

The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor

The blurb:  1786, Jerusalem College, Cambridge.

The ghost of murdered Sylvia Whichcote has been sighted prowling the grounds by Frank Oldershaw, a disturbed fellow commoner. When his anxious mother employs John Holdsworth, author of The Anatomy of Ghosts – a stinging account of why ghosts are mere delusion – to investigate the sighting, the uneasy status quo at Jerusalem is rapidly torn apart.

Holdsworth grows to realise that the sinister Holy Ghost Club governs the privileged life at Jerusalem with a rigour far more effective than anything the Master, Dr Carbury, could muster. And when Holdsworth finds himself haunted – not only by the ghost of his dead wife, Maria, but also Elinor, the very-much-alive Master’s wife – his fate is sealed. He must unravel the circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s death … or the hauntings will continue.

My review: I loooved this book! First a disclaimer, this is an incredibly hard book to read if you have a short commute! It takes me twenty minutes to get to work and I was struggling to get into this book, there are slightly complicated names, many characters (it seems to begin with) and locations so I really recommend taking an hour, or less and really absorbing this book, it requires your full attention and deservedly so!

Andrew Taylor paints a vivid picture of 18th Century Cambridge with the environs and historic buildings of that illustrious university. The characters are well drawn,  John Holdsworth especially so and the antics of the Holy Ghost Club are cleverly worked. Two villains roam this piece and although it’s clear who’s to blame from the start there are twists and meanderings that keep you hooked until the last page!

The historical detail in many a book can overwhelm the narrative, not so here, just the right amount to set the tone and flavour of a fantastic historical crime novel. I’ll definitely be reading more of Andrew Taylor!

7.5 out of 10 stars! *******.5

BUY ME! The Anatomy of Ghosts

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