• Keely B

Another cracker of a story on those Victorian Edinburgh streets

It's great learning about Edinburgh as a city of that time and the standards of living - not fragrant, nor was cleanliness a top priority. This comes as no surprise but the reminder of the sheer enormity of the slums and everyday situation of people's lives is jolting. Some of the medical beliefs make you laugh out loud; how naive we were back then and how far we've come. My only slight niggle is that some of these facts about the time, the history and attitudes are shoehorned in a little clumsily, especially at the beginning. It felt like I was reading a history lesson at one point and took me out of the story ever so slightly, but this is nitpicking at its extreme. As before, the prose is extremely readable, slick and masterfully structured.

Sarah and Will are as likeable as ever, perhaps even more so, although I hope Sarah does make a few personal mistakes at some point as she is well on her way to sainthood at the moment! And the villains got a bit of history of their own to share, which I found very satisfying and wouldn't mind knowing even more.

There are twists and turns, some subtle and beautifully wrought, some more obvious but deliberately so, it seems. All great fun for a reader. A very enjoyable follow-up to their terrific first book, 'The Way of All Flesh'.

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