Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
Combines the brooding atmosphere of the best of Daphne du Maurier with the complex, compelling detail of Tess Gerritsen, moving from drawing room to dissecting room, coffee shop to country inn, and into the shadowy heart of 18th-century society.
It is June 1780, and for seven days London is in the grip of a mob; the anti-catholic Gordon Riots.
Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex, dominates its surroundings. Its heir is missing, and the once vigorous family is reduced to a cripple, his whore and his alcoholic second son, but its power endures.
Impulsive Harriet Westerman has felt the Hall’s menace long before she happens upon a dead man bearing the Thornleigh arms. The grim discovery cries out for justice, and she persuades reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther to her cause, much against his better judgement; he knows a dark path lies before those who stray from society’s expectations.
That same day, Alexander Adams is killed in a London music shop, leaving his young children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.