The Butchered Man


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When a mutilated corpse is found in a ditch outside the ancient city walls of Northminster, the Chief Constable, Major Giles Vernon, and his new police surgeon, Felix Carswell, are drawn into a complex murder enquiry.

Northminster is a cathedral town under siege from industrialisation, a population explosion and all the attendant horrors of poverty, disease and crime. Appointed only two years ago, Major Vernon has transformed the old city watch into a modern police force. This challenge has been a necessary distraction from his troubled personal life – his wife is now in an asylum and the vulnerable Giles is in emotional limbo.

Newly qualified and energetic, Felix Carswell is determined to make his own way in the world, on his own terms. The bastard son of prominent Whig politician, Lord Rothborough, Felix was raised by a Scottish clergyman and his wife. However Rothborough has grand plans for his natural son and will not let him be. Felix suffers from divided loyalties and a confused identity – he is far more like his autocratic father than he would like to admit.

Together the two men set out to solve the mystery of the Butchered Man and although they are forced in the course of it to face hard facts about themselves, they also  forge a friendship that will serve them well in future investigations.

Read the first chapter