'Just brilliant.' DONAL RYAN 'An exceptionally good book.' C. J. SANSOM 1816 was the year without a summer. A rare climatic event has brought frost to July, and a lingering fog casts a pall over a Dublin stirred by zealotry and civil unrest, torn between evangelical and rationalist dogma. Amid the disquiet, a young nursemaid in a pious household conceals a pregnancy and then murders her newborn. Rumours swirl about the identity of the child's father, but before an inquest can be held, the maid is found dead. When Abigail Lawless, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Dublin's coroner, by chance discovers a message from the maid's seducer, she is drawn into a world of hidden meanings and deceit. An only child, Abigail has been raised amid the books and instruments of her father's grim profession. Pushing against the restrictions society places on a girl her age, she pursues an increasingly dangerous investigation. As she leads us through dissection rooms and dead houses, Gothic churches and elegant ballrooms, a sinister figure watches from the shadows - an individual she believes has already killed twice, and is waiting to kill again... Determined, resourceful and intuitive, Abigail Lawless emerges as a memorable young sleuth operating at the dawn of forensic science.
"What a story he tells and what a voice he uses to tell it: Abigail Lawless is a joy. This is the kind of writing that pushes you gently into a different world then holds you there until the last sentence. Just brilliant." DONAL RYAN 20161130