The First Lord Nanther clearly hoped to be the subject of an admiring posthumous biography. Having built a name for himself as Queen Victoria’s favoured physician—expert on blood diseases, and particularly the royal disease of hemophilia—he fastidiously set about recording the details of his eminent life, carefully cataloguing every significant letter, diary and medical essay that he’d written, apparently offering himself up as an open book.
But when the present Lord Nanther begins to research the life of his great-grandfather, he soon realizes there is little of interest in his ancestor’s dry-as-dust account. Instead, he begins to suspect that these old records conceal more than they reveal as he comes upon mysteries and anomalies in almost every decade of his great-grandfather’s personal life. As Martin Nanther begins to catch glimpses of “some monstrous, quite appalling things” in the blood doctor’s past, he also realizes that Henry died a guilty man—carrying a horrific secret to the grave.
Set against the current reform of Britain’s House of Lords, which Martin Nanther witnesses at first hand with a kind of fascinated detachment, The Blood Doctor weaves effortlessly between the past and the present, public life and private life. The result is a superbly satisfying novel about ambition, obsession and bad blood.
“A story that glistens, sticks and unnerves.”—The Edmonton Journal