Barbara Vine The Blood Doctor

ISBN 13: 9780141803777

The Blood Doctor

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9780141803777: The Blood Doctor

Lord Nanther embarks on a biography of his great-grandfather, physician to Queen Victoria and expert on blood diseases, especially the royal disease of haemophilia. What he uncovers horrifies him as he realizes his ancestor died a guilty man, carrying a terrible secret to the grave.

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From the Back Cover:

“When Ruth Rendell, already the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world, launched a second byline, Barbara Vine, she actually stepped up her writing level.”—Time

“Rendell interweaves her characters’ lives and occupations and recreations. But then that has always been her chief strength—showing how one person’s pathology can conjoin with another’s innocence or self-delusion, along with an accidental catalyst or two, to form patterns of beautiful, believable, frightful intricacy. . . . She herself disproves a principle—that a small, carefully tended output is what a writer should aspire to. Ruth Rendell is a kind of open floodgate, and we are lucky to be awash in her splendid books.”—Washington Post

“Rendell builds plots the way the Romans built bridges, erecting graceful, arching affairs that soar high because they are sunk deep and cost a human life or two.”—New York Times Book Review

“It isn't enough to say that when Ruth Rendell writes as Barbara Vine she moves from detective stories to psychological suspense. Yes, the Vines are both psychological and suspenseful, but they are always something more as well. The characters are twisted in a hard-to-define but distinctly unsettling way; the plots circle around themselves, moving steadily closer to an inevitable but unpredictable cataclysm; and, above all, the building tension is internalized by both the characters and the reader.”—Booklist

“Barbara Vine has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche.”—P. D. James

“A writer whose work should be read by anyone who enjoys brilliant mysteries or distinguished literature.”—Scott Turow

From the Inside Flap:

When Martin Nanther, Hereditary Peer in the House of Lords, is choosing the subject of his next biography, he becomes intrigued by the life of his own great-grandfather, Henry Nanther. So grateful was Queen Victoria for Henry?s services as physician to the royal family that she granted him a peerage, making him a lord, the first doctor ever to be so honored. Henry had been especially attentive to hemophiliacs in the royal family, for he was obsessed with blood. As he recounted in his diary, ?Red is my favorite color. To me a splash of blood is beautiful, and I profoundly lack understanding of those who flinch or even faint at the sight of it.?

As his research deepens, Martin begins to uncover hints that his great-grandfather?s fascination with blood may have had its darker side. The murder of Henry?s fiancée, the death of his young son, the remarkable number of relatives and friends who died mysteriously?could all these have been mere coincidence? Martin scours England and America for relatives whose attics or memories might hold clues, until finally the tragic truth stands revealed.

Drawing from the dark themes of obsession and murder that drive so many of Barbara Vine?s extraordinary novels, The Blood Doctor is also enriched by domestic intimacies familiar to readers of Ruth Rendell?s beloved Inspector Wexford novels and by details of Dame Rendell?s own experience as a Life Peer in the House of Lords. Once again we have a masterful work from a storyteller of the highest order.

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