Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Review: The Minutes of the Lazarus Club, by Tony Pollard

The Minutes of the Lazarus Club is an import that I bought on a blind buy from Amazon UK.

In London in the 1850s, a secret society called the Lazarus Club emerges, comprised of the most brilliant scientific minds of the age. Their goal is to discuss various problems and mysteries that arise out of their scientific explorations. In 1857, Dr. George Phillips is invited to join the club, by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who has just completed work on a massive ship, the Great Eastern. Pretty soon, however, dead prostitutes are washed onto the shores of the Thames, their insides removed, and Phillips is immediately suspected of the crime. The attempt to clear his name leads to a chase of a killer and a crime that could have international implications.

For the most part, I enjoyed this novel. Aside from a brief spell in the middle, which seemed to drag a bit, the plot moved at a rapid pace, and Pollard does a great job of bringing mid-19th century London to life. I talk a lot about novels where the cities described in them become characters themselves, and London here is no exception. You almost feel as though you’re wandering the dark, foggy streets of 1850s London with Phillips and Brunel. The plot is somewhat macabre, but the ending of this highly suspenseful novel had me glued to my seat. I also liked the brief appearances that Florence Nightingale made in this book.

There were only two other things I didn’t particularly care for: Phillips practically had to be handed the answer to the mystery, and the villain kept coming back to life in true bad-thriller fashion. But other than that, I really enjoyed this novel.


Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Thank you for posting a review on this one....I saw it recently and almost bought it, but since I've been getting burned with impulse buys (and not reading reviews first) lately, I held off.

I may just pick it up in the future, now. :)

Bookish Ruth said...

Thanks for the review! I absolutely love Victorian London as a setting, so I'll have to remember this one the next time I place an order with Amazon UK.

Kristen M. said...

The book sounds good but can we retire this cover image? I own too many victorian novels right now with the back view of a man in a hat.

nicchic said...

Sounds like an interesting read. I agree with Kristen M. I'm sure there are more besides below.

jenclair said...

I like the title! Thanks for the review.

Lori said...

Sounds like a great read to me, have to put it on my reading list.

Anna said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I also like the title.

Diary of an Eccentric


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