This beautifully crafted story had me riveted from start to finish!
The story centers around a young woman named Madeleine Karno. Madeleine lives in Varbourg, France in 1894. She is the only child of a local doctor whose nickname is “Doctor Death”. Not only does he treat the living but he is also the one who determines cause of death, much like what we know today as the coroner. Forensic science is not even a phrase yet but this is exactly what Dr. Karno is doing with the help of his daughter. Madeleine hopes to follow in his footsteps.
On a snowy night in February a young woman is found dead on her doorstep and Madeleine and her father are drawn into a twisted tale of murder. Shortly after the girl’s death the priest who watched over her body is also found dead and a young boy has gone missing. Is there a connection? What are the strange mites that are found on the bodies on the young woman and the priest? How does the missing boy fit in and is he dead or alive? Tracking down the answers will take Madeleine to a convent where the nuns are keeping wolves and where the young woman had been a student. She will also journey to Heidelberg to meet a leading scientist in the field of parasites who will end up changing her life. Because her father has been injured in an accident she will be given the opportunity to be the one to examine the evidence, practically unheard for women at the time, and give testimony in court. It’s all very exciting!
I found this story to be so well written that I felt like I was there with Madeleine as she is searching for clues to the mysterious deaths, interviewing those closest to the victims, and finding herself on the wrong end of a gun more than once. And just when you think they have it all figured out there is a spine-tingling and completely unexpected twist. I highly recommend this book to mystery lovers and forensics buffs alike. I will definitely be looking for more of Lene Kaaberbol’s books to add to my reading list.
This book is scheduled to be released Feb. 17, 2015.