The Coroner's Daughter Paperback – 15 February 2018
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- ISBN-10 : 1781620210
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1781620212
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 2.13 x 2.03 cm
- Publisher : TRANSWORLD IRELAND (15 February 2018)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
An exceptionally good book . . . Abigail is a marvellous character, who half-inhabits a Jane Austen-like world of balls and fine clothes, yet whose real interest and talent is in science, especially forensic science . . . [she] speculates ceaselessly, and that and her humanity are what makes her such a rich and satisfying character. -- C J SANSOM
The Coroner's Daughter starts with the best first sentence I have read in an age . . . Abigail is a wonderful heroine; fascinated by the macabre, scientifically minded and spiked with wit. Historical fiction is awash with amateur sleuths following ye olde clues but this sparkling crime novel breathes life into the genre. -- Antonia Senior ― THE TIMES
The Coroner's Daughter is that rare thing, a beautifully-crafted novel that is also gripping and powerful. It’s superb. -- WILLIAM RYAN, author of The Constant Soldier
The plot is intriguing and the father-daughter relationship honest and delightful, but it is Abigail – one of the most attractive heroines in a long time – who carries the day. -- Elizabeth Buchan ― DAILY MAIL
About the Author
Born in Co. Wexford, ANDREW HUGHES was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. A qualified archivist, he worked for RTE before going freelance. It was while researching his acclaimed social history of Fitzwilliam Square – Lives Less Ordinary: Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square, 1798-1922 – that he first came across the true story of John Delahunt that inspired his debut novel, The Convictions of John Delahunt.
Andrew Hughes lives in Dublin.
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Abigail Lawless is an unusual young woman, an only child of the Dublin Coroner, and she has an unusual fascination with the natural sciences and also anatomy, whereas her friends and acquaintances are more interested in who is attending the latest levee at Dublin Castle or who has the nicest gowns. This however does not make Abigail an oddity among her friends but she is highly intelligent and asks a lot of questions. The novel is a slow burn, so persevere with it.
There is a religious group called The Brethren (possibly the Plymouth Brethren as their followers wear sombre clothing) who are active in Dublin and the surrounding area and its leader is a man called Darby. Darby is not all he appears to be - he is something of a zealot and his followers are in total thrall to him - and Abigail become suspicious of him and he of her. A young nursemaid in a pious household is found dead only days after killing her own child and the plot thickens from there on.
The writing style of Hughes is atmospheric and he had a close eye for period detail - the time frame is 1816. I enjoyed the novel and look forward to reading more of Miss Lawless's adventures.
This story encompasses multiple murders, infanticide, intrigue, mystery, religious fanaticism and a great surprise twist at the end.
However, where this book really stands apart is in it's description of the life and culture of the time, bringing it alive and tangible. Although most of the characters are members of the gentry, we also get insight into the position of servants and the poorer classes. We learn of the scientific developments of the time and even a look at the trending fashions.
I look forward to Abigail Lawless having further adventures