The Coroner's Daughter

The Coroner's Daughter

3.85 (465 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Just brilliant.' DONAL RYAN 'An exceptionally good book.' C. J. SANSOM

1816 was the year without a summer. A rare climatic event has brought frost to July, and a lingering fog casts a pall over a Dublin stirred by zealotry and civil unrest, torn between evangelical and rationalist dogma.

Amid the disquiet, a young nursemaid in a pious household conceals a pregnancy and then murders her newborn. Rumours swirl about the identity of the child's father, but before an inquest can be held, the maid is found dead. When Abigail Lawless, the eighteen-year-old daughter of Dublin's coroner, by chance discovers a message from the maid's seducer, she is drawn into a world of hidden meanings and deceit.

An only child, Abigail has been raised amid the books and instruments of her father's grim profession. Pushing against the restrictions society places on a girl her age, she pursues an increasingly dangerous investigation. As she leads us through dissection rooms and dead houses, Gothic churches and elegant ballrooms, a sinister figure watches from the shadows - an individual she believes has already killed twice, and is waiting to kill again...

Determined, resourceful and intuitive, Abigail Lawless emerges as a memorable young sleuth operating at the dawn of forensic science.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 21mm | 230g
  • Doubleday Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • English
  • B & W plan of Dublin
  • 1781620210
  • 9781781620212
  • 54,002

Review Text

What a story he tells and what a voice he uses to tell it: Abigail Lawless is a joy. This is the kind of writing that pushes you gently into a different world then holds you there until the last sentence. Just brilliant.
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Review quote

The plot is intriguing and the father-daughter relationship honest and delightful, but it is Abigail - one of the most attractive heroines in a long time - who carries the day. -- Elizabeth Buchan * DAILY MAIL * The Coroner's Daughter is that rare thing, a beautifully-crafted novel that is also gripping and powerful. It's superb. -- WILLIAM RYAN, author of The Constant Soldier The Coroner's Daughter starts with the best first sentence I have read in an age . . . Abigail is a wonderful heroine; fascinated by the macabre, scientifically minded and spiked with wit. Historical fiction is awash with amateur sleuths following ye olde clues but this sparkling crime novel breathes life into the genre. -- Antonia Senior * THE TIMES * An exceptionally good book . . . Abigail is a marvellous character, who half-inhabits a Jane Austen-like world of balls and fine clothes, yet whose real interest and talent is in science, especially forensic science . . . [she] speculates ceaselessly, and that and her humanity are what makes her such a rich and satisfying character. -- C J SANSOM What a story he tells and what a voice he uses to tell it: Abigail Lawless is a joy. This is the kind of writing that pushes you gently into a different world then holds you there until the last sentence. Just brilliant. -- DONAL RYAN
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About Andrew Hughes

Born in Co. Wexford, ANDREW HUGHES was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. A qualified archivist, he worked for RTE before going freelance. It was while researching his acclaimed social history of Fitzwilliam Square - Lives Less Ordinary: Dublin's Fitzwilliam Square, 1798-1922 - that he first came across the true story of John Delahunt that inspired his debut novel, The Convictions of John Delahunt.

Andrew Hughes lives in Dublin.
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Rating details

465 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 23% (109)
4 45% (208)
3 27% (124)
2 4% (19)
1 1% (5)
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