Initial Final Page Thoughts
Hmmm. Interesting in a good way, very thought-provoking.
The subject matter. I love love love Edinburgh and I have been on countless history (and ghost.. yeah, I’m that girl) walks throughout the city and I’ve always been morbidly fascinated by the tale of Burke and Hare. Nicola Morgan really captures the era and the dark, twisty characters that lined the dank streets of Edinburgh.
The language got a tad bit flowery for me, but that is probably just me because I really don’t like overly descriptive writing. My eyes glaze over and Also, trying not to spoil it…. I would also like the epilogue (both of them) to have been part of the story because I wanted to know more about how the characters ended up there.
Aw, Robbie is the cutest. Yes, he has his flaws but he has been through a hell of a lot, so I think we can let him off when he gets drunk and ends up in cahoots with a pair of notorious murderers.
Essie, his younger sister- sparky, intelligent and sensible. Some very nice moments between the two siblings.
Burke and Hare
Skin-crawlingly evil and murky, the way Morgan describes them you can almost smell their whisky, fish breath (gross, huh?). Dr Knox… he’s an interesting and well-developed character and I guess he will only be classed as a baddie depending on where you stand on the matters that Fleshmarket brings up. I liked how Knox was a very ambivalent character… made him seem more real and less of a cookie-cutter villain with a moustache he can twirl.
This isn’t so much a theme tune for any of the characters but more of the feel whole book. When Morgan was describing Burke and Hare and that creepy wagon tumbling over the cobbles I couldn’t help but think of this song. I know the background is compleeeeetely different, but there is a definite Victorian feel to the song and the words… ugh, tingly.
8/10. Robbie is understandably angry at the hand he has been dealt and even though there are paragraphs where he is thinking about his troubles, it never turns whiny. But, obviously, the setting of this book is very harrowing but I think Morgan’s obvious knowledge of the history and what it was like to live in Edinburgh at this time made it really effective to read, without making it wishy-washy or unecessarily dramatic.
People who are interested in history, people who like a story based on fact, people who like strong sibling relationships, people who like descriptive writing, people who like Edinburgh.