Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Blood Doctor - Barbara Vine

Let me first apologize. I am no longer able to post at work and my computer at home is, well, a dinosaur of sorts. Thus, if it is okay with everyone, I will not post a picture of the book until/unless I can figure out how to do it correctly via e-mail!

The Blood Doctor.

Based upon the title, my immediate thought was that this was about a vampire or something to do with a hospital. If I hadn't enjoyed the previous Vine book, I am not sure that I would have started reading this one. But I did.

Martin Nanther, Vine's main character, finds himself in the midst of a mystery involving his great grandfather in Victorian England. Nanther is a biographer. He has chosen, for his current subject, his great grandfather, Henry Nanther, who served as a doctor in the court of Queen Victoria and was a specialist in the field of Hemophilia. Henry appears to be an upstanding citizen in his time. Queen Victoria thought so highly of him that she gave him (and his family) a seat in the House of Lords.

As Martin performs his research - combing through letters and interviewing relatives, he discovers that there is information missing. The pieces of the puzzle that is Henry do not fit together as nicely as they should. A missing notebook, a murder, interaction with a family and marriage into that family from below his station, children dying, and his desire to learn all he can about Hemophilia - each fact leaves Martin searching for answers that may be lost in the passage of time.

While Martin attempts to uncover the truth about Henry, his position as a Lord is in doubt as the House of Lords evolves and his wife battles with infertility. Martin must come to terms with his past, his present and in future as represented in the three storylines.

This book was neither fast paced nor a page turner. The characters were well developed as was the primary storyline - the mystery surrounding the life of Henry Nanther. I enjoyed the plots, but also the descriptions of the House of Lords and Victorian England.

The Blood Doctor is a book worth checking out!

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