book cover of The Blood Doctor
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The Blood Doctor

(2002)
A novel by

 
 
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.

Genre: Mystery

Praise for this book

"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


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