Devoured by D.E. Meredith.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books;(October 26, 2010)
Like the Victorian era that provides its setting, Meredith’s first novel is a carefully contrived surface, hiding dark things. For a while. The MacGuffin here is a series of letters the botanist Benjamin Broderig sends from steamy Borneo to his wealthy benefactress in London. She is murdered. The letters are stolen. The scientific establishment is even more desperate than the police to get back the letters because, we’re told, their contents would rock the known world. But excerpts will have readers scratching their heads. This is soft-core Darwinian stuff. Surely more is going on? There is, and fear of disclosure precipitates a series of murders whose details are comprehended only by the overworked pathologist Hatton and his assistant, Roumande. Their investigation goes from morgue to sweatshop to drawing room, all told in a polite, muted style that would seem to make this a lap-robe and pot-of-tea sort of novel despite the horrors that finally emerge.
This was certainly something different. It seems there are two things going on here...it's the beginning of forensics, and the second story is about botanist Broderig's trip to Borneo and while there winds up doing searching in some of Darwinian's theories. As always I get somewhat confused flipping back and forth between the two story lines and it takes me time to finally see how they are meshing together. Once that happened the book got very interesting!
Much more of the pathology and forensics then in normal mysteries, probably because there are a number of deaths to deal with and the mystery of how they would ever come together.
It's not a long book. I wouldn't have minded it being a bit longer to be honest.
As always I've used the Amazon review for telling what the book is about..