The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine
A Novel

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Synopsis

Sometimes it’s best to leave the past alone. For when biographer Martin Nanther looks into the life of his famous great-grandfather Henry, Queen Victoria’s favorite physician, he discovers some rather unsettling coincidences, like the fact that the doctor married the sister of his recently murdered fiancée. The more Martin researches his distant relative, the more fascinated—and horrified—he becomes. Why did people have a habit of dying around his great grandfather? And what did his late daughter mean when she wrote that he’s done “monstrous, quite appalling things”?

Barbara Vine (a.k.a. Ruth Rendell) deftly weaves this story of an eminent Victorian with a modern yarn about the embattled biographer, who is watching the House of Lords prepare to annul membership for hereditary peers and thus strip him of his position. Themes of fate and family snake throughout this teasing psychological suspense, a typically chilling tale from a master of the genre.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Barbara Vine

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Barbara Vine's first novel, A Dark-Adapted Eye, won an Edgar Award, the highest individual honor of the Mystery Writers of America. A Fatal Inversion won the English equivalent, the Crime Writers Gold Dagger Award. Her most recent novel, The Brimstone Wedding, was published in 1996. She lives in London.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 386 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Blood Doctor

Kirkus Reviews

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Married to a younger woman desperate for her own children but prone to miscarriages, watching the House of Lords prepare to annul membership for hereditary peers and so turn him out to pasture, he finds no refuge from his present sorrows in researching the life of an ancestor who turns out to be ...

Jul 01 2002 | Read Full Review of The Blood Doctor: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Blood Doctor Barbara Vine read by Anton Lesser running time 5hrs 45mins Penguin, £12.99 Lord Henry Nanther was Queen Victoria's most senior physician, whose main task was caring for her sick son Leopold.

Jun 16 2002 | Read Full Review of The Blood Doctor: A Novel

The Guardian

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The Blood Doctor by Barbara Vine 400pp, Viking, £16.99 There is something despicable about the genetics of haemophilia.

Jul 06 2002 | Read Full Review of The Blood Doctor: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Still, the decades lapsed between Martin's and Henry's circles create added emotional distance, and, because they are all at least 50 years dead, we never meet Henry or his cohorts except through diaries and letters.

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Book Reporter

THE BLOOD DOCTOR manages to touch on everything blood entails as Martin Nanther conducts biographical research into the life of his great-grandfather, Henry Nanther, favored physician of Queen Victoria and an early expert in hemophilia.

Jan 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Blood Doctor: A Novel

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Alibi

Because Vine is incapable of writing a book that doesn't make your skin crawl, it's not surprising when Martin unearths dark secrets and then even deeper, darker secrets about this first Lord Nanther.

Jul 01 2004 | Read Full Review of The Blood Doctor: A Novel

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