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Devoured [Reading] ➶ Devoured ➽ D.E. Meredith – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk London in is gripped by a frightening obsession The specimen collecting craze is growing, and discoveries in far off jungles are reshaping the known world in terrible and unimaginable ways When the g London inis gripped by a frightening obsession The specimen collecting craze is growing, and discoveries in far off jungles are reshaping the known world in terrible and unimaginable ways When the glamorous Lady Bessingham is found murdered in her bedroom, surrounded by her vast collection of fossils and tribal masks, Professor Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant Albert Roumande are called in to examine the crime scene and the bodyIn the new and suspicious world of forensics and autopsy examinations, Hatton and Roumande are the best But the crime scene is not confined to one room In their efforts to help the infamous Scotland Yard detective Inspector Adams track down the Lady s killer, Hatton and Roumande uncover a trail of murders connected to a packet of seditious letters that, if published, would change the face of society and religion irrevocablyDE Meredith s measured prose and eye for exquisite detail moves seamlessly from the filthy docks on the Isle of Dogs to the jungles of Borneo and the drawing rooms of London s upper class Her slow burning mystery builds to a shocking conclusion, consuming Victorian London and victims as it goes.


About the Author: D.E. Meredith

D E Meredith is the author of the HATTON AND ROUMANDE historical crime series DEVOURED Book One , THE DEVIL S RIBBON Book Two feature the first forensic scientist, Professor Adolphus Hatton, and his trusty French morgue assistant, Albert Roumande After reading English at Cambridge, D E Meredith ran the press office at the British Red Cross, where she oversaw media response all international humanitarian disasters, and spearheaded the landmines campaign She s travelled extensively to humanitarian disasters, including Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Afghanistan She now writes full time and lives with her family in south west London You can contact her via the website or follow her on twitter at DEMeredith.



10 thoughts on “Devoured

  1. Bev Bev says:

    D E Meredith s Devoured struck me as an incredibly interesting historical mystery when I started seeing reviews of it strewn about the blogosphere I felt like everybody but me was reading this novel which features an early Victorian era forensic detective and his assistant That being the case, I ordered it up from the library to add to my Everybody But Me Book Bingo reading list.The mystery begins with the death of Lady Katherine Bessingham a bohemian and a free thinker, who collects spec D E Meredith s Devoured struck me as an incredibly interesting historical mystery when I started seeing reviews of it strewn about the blogosphere I felt like everybody but me was reading this novel which features an early Victorian era forensic detective and his assistant That being the case, I ordered it up from the library to add to my Everybody But Me Book Bingo reading list.The mystery begins with the death of Lady Katherine Bessingham a bohemian and a free thinker, who collects specimens and fossils and who subscribes to the rather dangerous new theories of evolution Inspector Adams, the well known hotshot detective from Scotland Yard, calls in Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant Albert Roumande two early forensic practictioners to examine the crime scene and perform the autopsy Their investigations will take them from the sewing room work house where fine lady s garments are created by the extreme poor to the well appointed rooms of the wealthy from the shop of an out of the way bookseller to the British Museum.The story alternates between a narrative of current events in London and letters written while one of the main characters was on a specimen collecting journey in Borneo It becomes clear that the events which took place in Malaysia are firmly tied to the spate murders that have thinned the ranks of Britain s scientific community But are the radical views held by these botanists and specimen collectors really the catalyst Or is there abasic motive driving this killer who seems able to stay one step ahead of the police and the forensic investigators This one is a bit of a mixed bag for me It is quite obviously a well researched novel Lots of excellent detail about the period particularly the conditions for the working poor The letters detailing Ben Broderig s trip are quite interesting if a bit heavy at times with descriptions of various collectors pouncing on specimens and rattling off the Latin names The premise is an interesting onebut a bit unevenly told And I quite liked the motive behind the murders wellmost of the murdersbut an explanation of what I mean by that would be a thundering spoiler BUT I don t like the protagonists much I particularly don t like Inspector Adams.for such a celebrated detective, he s awful slow on the uptake It seems evident that he didn t rise in the force based on his skill and the second half of the novel would seem to bear this out Hatton and Roumande could have beeninteresting if their forensic detective work had been givenscope It seemed to me that most of the time they were just brought along to show how non effectual Adams really is without moving the investigation along nearly as much as they should The denouement shows them in their best light butas men of action than as men of science.All in all, a decent debut novel that is solid enough to make me interested in reading the next installment The Devil s Ribbon I hope that Meredith builds on the strengths of her debut and I hope to see Hatton and Roumande usedeffectively in their chosen profession.This was first posted on my blog My Reader s Block Please request permission before reposting Thanks


  2. Denise Denise says:

    I m never sure what to do with a mystery Can I just sit back and enjoy it, or am I supposed to be trying to solve it Not knowing the answer to that plays havoc with my rating I loved the subject matter of Devoured It is set in mid nineteenth century London at the time natural sciences are developing and the public are being exposed to all that means Some are not happy about it I won t give awaythan that My problem with rating it is that I loved the subject matter, but would a regula I m never sure what to do with a mystery Can I just sit back and enjoy it, or am I supposed to be trying to solve it Not knowing the answer to that plays havoc with my rating I loved the subject matter of Devoured It is set in mid nineteenth century London at the time natural sciences are developing and the public are being exposed to all that means Some are not happy about it I won t give awaythan that My problem with rating it is that I loved the subject matter, but would a regular reader of the mystery genre agree that it was a well written mystery I don t know Unlike a few that I know I didn t like, it didn t conclude with an unknown outside character being the culprit for some last minute made up reason I saw a few reviews that were unhappy about how it unfolded, but I thought it was plausible and an enjoyable read


  3. Jim Puskas Jim Puskas says:

    Raymond Chandler meets Arthur Conan Doyle meets Edgar Allen Poe A Victorian era murder mystery that s about as noir as it can get Darkly atmospheric, overcast with scenes of evil, it reeks with the stink of the London docks, beset with wretched poverty and oppression, a corrupt constabulary and an aging aristocracy hell bent on preserving the status quo while the newly emerging forces of science intellectualism and social ferment boil below the surface In such an environment, it seems hardly Raymond Chandler meets Arthur Conan Doyle meets Edgar Allen Poe A Victorian era murder mystery that s about as noir as it can get Darkly atmospheric, overcast with scenes of evil, it reeks with the stink of the London docks, beset with wretched poverty and oppression, a corrupt constabulary and an aging aristocracy hell bent on preserving the status quo while the newly emerging forces of science intellectualism and social ferment boil below the surface In such an environment, it seems hardly surprising that a trail of murdered corpses land at the doorstep of the morgue.Just the stuff to read by the fireside on a gloomy winter night


  4. Shiela Shiela says:

    Historical fiction set in England, early forensics, science versus religionwhat s not to like That s what I thought when I picked up this novel, I SOOO wanted to love it Sadly, Devoured left a lot to be desired My main complaint is that the story plodded along at a snail s pace without much character development especially the main two forensics experts and the little vignettes from all the different perspectives felt really choppy and not cohesive The mystery aspect of the plot I fel Historical fiction set in England, early forensics, science versus religionwhat s not to like That s what I thought when I picked up this novel, I SOOO wanted to love it Sadly, Devoured left a lot to be desired My main complaint is that the story plodded along at a snail s pace without much character development especially the main two forensics experts and the little vignettes from all the different perspectives felt really choppy and not cohesive The mystery aspect of the plot I felt was weak also The only thing I did enjoy was the whole science versus religion debate Because there is so much potential with the characters, plot and setting of the series, I will give the second book, The Devil s Ribbon a try Hopefully it ll be better


  5. Johanna Johanna says:

    I kept thinking this book would get better and it never did The characters were poorly drawn I couldn t have cared less about them It felt like a poor replication of an Anne Perry.


  6. Cathy Cole Cathy Cole says:

    First Line The door creaked open as the maid stepped into the room.The year is 1856, and the London elite find themselves gripped by the craze of collecting specimens Expeditions are being sent to far off jungles to gather the known and the unknown Combine this addiction with the new theories of evolution that are changing the ways people think about themselves and the world around them, and a potentially explosive situation is being created.Glamorous Lady Bessingham prides herself on being a First Line The door creaked open as the maid stepped into the room.The year is 1856, and the London elite find themselves gripped by the craze of collecting specimens Expeditions are being sent to far off jungles to gather the known and the unknown Combine this addiction with the new theories of evolution that are changing the ways people think about themselves and the world around them, and a potentially explosive situation is being created.Glamorous Lady Bessingham prides herself on being ahead of all her friends in anything from fashion to the latest scientific discoveries She s the recipient of letters from Benjamin Broderig, a young man just recently returned from an expedition to Borneo When Lady Bessingham is found murdered and those letters stolen, Medical Jurisprudence adviser Adolphus Hatton and his assistant Albert Roumande, are called in to examine the crime scene The new world of forensics and autopsy examinations are viewed with suspicion, but Scotland Yard has found Hatton and Roumande capable of very useful observations However, they ve barely begun when one murder turns into a series of them all with those letters at the heart.I can always be tempted with a good historical mystery, especially one featuring the beginnings of forensic science In Devoured, Meredith s setting and time period are extremely well done I felt as though I were right in the middle of Victorian London, and the author s building tension through a creepy, gloomy atmosphere was quite effective Unfortunately, too many other elements were uneven and confusing.Although we re told what marvels Hatton and Roumande are at interpreting crime scenes, we see very little of it If you re a CSI fan and want to read a book with quite a bit of detail about your favorite science, you re not going to find it here In addition, Meredith gives just enough information about her two main characters to make them intriguing Very little about the two, their backgrounds or motivations, is actually shared with us, which made it difficult to empathize with either of them.As I read, I kept feeling that this book would have benefited fromediting The narrative often felt very disjointed a character would be doing something and I d wonder How did we get here A secondary thread involving the murders of prepubescent girls really wasn t necessary it deflected attention away from the Borneo letters murders and would have been better used as the focus of a separate book While I m on the topic of those letters, people are being murdered left and right because of them, but guess what The letter writer himself is in London Why were no attempts made on his life Although I did find this book a bit muddled, I can also see that, as a series, it does show considerable promise It will be interesting to see what Meredith does with the second book in the series, The Devil s Ribbon


  7. The Lit Bitch The Lit Bitch says:

    Another excellent book by DE Meredith that kept me guessing and reading, it was hard to put down at times thats for sure The exotic flavor also really added a little extra the to book, great job I m looking forward to see what you do with the third book Meredith s thriller, Devoured In the budding world of Darwinism, botanical study, forensics, and science in general Hatton is using early forensic science to solve crimes all around Victorian London hoping that this new manner of solvin Another excellent book by DE Meredith that kept me guessing and reading, it was hard to put down at times thats for sure The exotic flavor also really added a little extra the to book, great job I m looking forward to see what you do with the third book Meredith s thriller, Devoured In the budding world of Darwinism, botanical study, forensics, and science in general Hatton is using early forensic science to solve crimes all around Victorian London hoping that this new manner of solving crime will catch fire and blaze a new path of crime fighting.I recently read the second book in the Hatton series, The Devil s Ribbon which I thoroughly enjoyed Meredith and I are friends and she offered to send me a copy of Hatton s first mystery since she knows I hate reading books out of series order To my smashing delight, she personally signed my copy, I LOVE IT The series in general intrigued me as I love the Victorian era and all the murder by gaslight kind of mysteries, and I am also a huge fan of really science y novels.I love forensic mysteries One of the things that I especially praised in The Devil s Ribbon was Meredith s knowledge of Victorian history, Devoured was equal to the same praise Meredith really knows her stuff See my full review here


  8. Jade Jade says:

    I had quite high expectations from this book given the great cover and Sherlock esq write up However, it fell slightly short of what could have been a good read.The storyline was intriguing, with a good flurry of characters, but it all seemed to be a bit all over the place in the first half of the book It was almost deliberately confusing so you wouldn t be able to piece anything together yourself Also I felt that the characters of Hatton and Roumande could have been built uponas much I had quite high expectations from this book given the great cover and Sherlock esq write up However, it fell slightly short of what could have been a good read.The storyline was intriguing, with a good flurry of characters, but it all seemed to be a bit all over the place in the first half of the book It was almost deliberately confusing so you wouldn t be able to piece anything together yourself Also I felt that the characters of Hatton and Roumande could have been built uponas much as I like them, I felt somewhat removed, so they did in fact to me appear to be a poor mans Watson and Holmes.Also, I m not sure that they actually helped to solve anything It waslike an observation of acts, than participating towards any of the actual conclusions.I understand that this is one of a soon to grow crime type series, but unfortunately I don t think I ll be awaiting the next book with any excitement I wouldn t exactly hate having to read another, but I just feel that there are crime books withgoing for them out there


  9. Sharon Kennedy Sharon Kennedy says:

    This was a really well written murder mystery, set not in the Ripper years, as so many of the recent Victorian age novels are, but 30 years earlier Forensic investigation is in its infancy, and is considered to be a lower class of occupation, far below that of surgeon or doctor.The book revolves around the murder of a wealthy aristocrat, who supported specimen collection, and centres around some missing letters However, as the tale draws you slowly but surely into its grip, you begin to wonder This was a really well written murder mystery, set not in the Ripper years, as so many of the recent Victorian age novels are, but 30 years earlier Forensic investigation is in its infancy, and is considered to be a lower class of occupation, far below that of surgeon or doctor.The book revolves around the murder of a wealthy aristocrat, who supported specimen collection, and centres around some missing letters However, as the tale draws you slowly but surely into its grip, you begin to wonder what else could be behind the increasingly macabre series of murders The focus seems to drive you towards the theories of evolution that were abounding at the time but you gradually get the sense that this was not the only reason behind the murders.Well written, and would look at readingof this series


  10. Kate Mayfield Kate Mayfield says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed D.E Meredith s DEVOURED, and cannot resist saying that I did indeed devour it The author has bravely tackled subjects, which during the mid 19th century, were shocking, even horrifying to some There are twists and turns in this dark story that surprise and take the reader on a swiftly paced excursion.The author s resplendent characters make their way through the muck of murder, the enlightening forensics and the new procedure of autopsy The team of Hatton and Roumande ar I thoroughly enjoyed D.E Meredith s DEVOURED, and cannot resist saying that I did indeed devour it The author has bravely tackled subjects, which during the mid 19th century, were shocking, even horrifying to some There are twists and turns in this dark story that surprise and take the reader on a swiftly paced excursion.The author s resplendent characters make their way through the muck of murder, the enlightening forensics and the new procedure of autopsy The team of Hatton and Roumande are memorable and very likeable I was particularly swept away by another character s vivid letters from Borneo, which are beautifully interspersed throughout the book and strikingly showcase the author s sensitivity Very much looking forward to the next book in this series


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