|Title||:||The Zealot's Bones|
|Number of Pages||:||247 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Zealot's Bones Reviews
I have not read this author’s series books before, but was keen to try David Mark’s work and thought this historical, stand-alone crime novel, would be an interesting place to start. The novel takes place in Hull, 1849, and is a dark and violent portrait of a city. Diligence Matheson, a Canadian in search of the bones of the apostle, Simon the Zealot, much against the wishes of his father back home. Along the way, we read letters that Diligence writes to his sister, Constance, which helps fill in some background and also explains the presence of Meshach Stone, a former soldier in the Bombay Artillery, who acts as his guide and protector. Stone is a man beset by personal demons, brought about by the murder of his wife, which he feels responsible for. Matheson writes of Stone’s strengths, but also his failings, and he certainly does drink too much and is unpredictable and maudlin. The times, and the setting of this novel, are very dark and unsettling, while Hull is a city in the grip of a cholera epidemic. As if this was not bad enough, there is a killer on the loose and he is murdering young women in violent, vicious ways. This is a very violent and savage book. I liked the characters – the hapless, kindly Diligence Matheson and the competent, capable Stone. However, it is certainly not a light read; full of sickness, poverty, despair and darkness. It would make a good series; or, at the very least, there is good scope for a sequel.
Charnel HouseHull 1849, a city enveloped in a miasma of cholera, poverty and murder; Meshach Stone, a former soldier, maimed in body and soul by his experiences in love and war; Randall Hall, a house of shadows, secrets, rats and bones; Diligence Matheson, a young man in search of the holy bones of the martyrs.This is a novel of savagery and hate, violence and perversion. Among the dead of the plague, Stone identifies the sadistic killings of a number of young women, as it happens all inspired by the gruesome deaths of early Christian martyrs. Who is the killer? Whoever he is, he is in big trouble, as Stone is no mean killer himself.This is a well-written, often fascinating novel, but I did not enjoy it. The author has said he wrote it as an historical novel, as some scenarios are too dark for a present day setting. Think about that for a while, before you decide to read.
Mesach Stone is a former soldier injured on the 19th century battlefields of Afghanistan and now working as a sort of mercenary. He's accompanying rich Canadian Diligence Matheson on a quest to find the bones of biblical characters in northern England. In Hull they find a city wracked with cholera and a serial killer maiming and murdering prostitutes in a most horrible way. This was very much a character driven story which, by the end, leaves the reader ready for more adventures. A very good start to what I hope will be a series.
Nothing less than brilliant!
I am not usually a massive fan of historical crime fiction, but I do know and like David Mark’s contemporary fiction, so I was intrigued to find out what his first foray into historical crime would be like.And what a blistering read it turned out to be. I was transfixed from the opening pages right through to the explosive climax of the novel.I rather like Hull and I’m delighted that it is City of Culture this year. But today’s Hull is rather different from the plague ridden Hull of D.M. Mark’s book.Set in 1849, Hull is in the grip of a cholera epidemic, running rife as a result of the squalid slums and rat infested hovels that are the unenviable dwellings of the poor.Our protagonist is Mesach Stone, a hero of Afghanistan who was subsequently brutally injured and then court-martialled in his absence. Mesach is an imposing figure and one who now uses his strength and abilities to operate as a personal bodyguard and occasional companion.His current employer is the son of a wealthy Canadian. Diligence Matheson, is not a dilettante but has an academic bent and is set on pursuing the trail of the remains of Simon the Zealot, which remains are rumoured to be buried in the Lincolnshire area.Though somewhat unlikely companions, Mesach and Diligence have struck up a friendship of sorts, for Diligence is a decent, mild mannered chap and he can all to easily see that Mesach carries with him more demons than any man should have to bear.On a trip into Hull Mesach, who will indulge in to any and all forms of alcohol and drugs in order to sublimate his demons, decides to go in search of a prostitute with whom he felt a connection last time he visited the town. But when he gets there, he finds that she has died and feeling a violent outburst of remorse, he pays to have her looked after and well buried; for this is a place where the epidemic means that bodies are carried off by the cartload and dumped in graves where no-one can ever find them.Diligence meanwhile, is heartened by the news that a new lead he has followed as to the whereabouts of Simon the Zealot’s artefacts may be about to pay off. A new acquaintance could be just the one to help him gain access to a reliquary belonging to Lord Ansell, who lives in a large mansion on the outskirts of the city.While Diligence settles in as a guest at the mansion, enjoying the best of food and wine, Mesach is relegated to a draughty stone hut on the estate, for Lord Ansell has recognised our fallen hero and is not best pleased to see him.Mesach resolves to use the time while his master is a guest to go and ensure that his instructions regarding Laura, the prostitute have been followed. But in the course of trying to find her grave he discovers to his horror that Laura was one of a number of prostitutes who have been brutally killed, not by taken cholera, but murdered by a merciless butcher of women.As Mesach hunts down the killer he will not allow anyone to stand in his way, and Diligence Matheson is also beginning to feel the first stirrings of unease in his new surroundings…This is probably* not a book for lovers of uplifting cosy crime. This is a harsh and unforgiving era and Mesach’s demons are strong and repellent; his guilt all too well deserved and his conscience rightly heavy. D.M. Mark’s characters are rich with deep and compelling backstories; the Hull air is redolent with the sounds and smells of a cholera pandemic.There were moments of real horror in this book and it is so beautifully descriptive that my skin literally felt crawled upon and I shivered at some of the detail offered up. This is a dark, grim and menacing tale that left me feeling weak and horrified.But I loved it, and felt the gothic atmosphere unfold around me as I read. This is a compelling and utterly absorbing read. Beautifully written, with great characters and real tension, I could not put it down.
Suspenseful and absolutely compelling reading, but deeply, darkly and spine-tinglingly disturbing..... murders of working girls in Victorian Hull slums masked by a Cholera outbreak....... perhaps not the best thing to read before bed.....!
I won this book in a recent Goodreads First Reads giveaway.This was a very enjoyable book! I rarely write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, but if you enjoy historical crime fiction, I would certainly recommend this book.
Weird and tested!
Nowhere near as readable (good) as the Aector McAvoy books.