Joanne’s Mystery Picks

15888AN INSTANCE OF THE FINGERPOST by Iain Pears

Pears’ 1998 novel has been described as “Dickensian in breadth and darkness” along with many accolades asserting to its excellence.  I can only add that I found it an astoundingly clever piece – a mix of fact and fiction – that left me guessing right to the very last page.

As well as being a brilliant murder mystery, the novel shows us the scientific community of 1663 – from the practise of alchemy to the beginnings of modern chemistry and medicine in all its blood and gore.

When an Oxford don is murdered, the evidence points to a servant girl.  Four narrators remember the events surrounding the murder – and each remembers them differently.  Which version is the correct one, for we know that memory is a very unreliable witness?  The journey to that last page was enthralling and the ending a touch of brilliance.

5 Daggers
Joanne gives this “5 daggers out of 5”.

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