London, 1678. The blood-drained body of a young boy is discovered in the snow on the bank of the Fleet River. The city, overlooked by the exhumed head of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, teeters on the brink of riot and hysteria, with rumours of Catholic plots, devil-boys, and sinister foreign assassins. It is twelve years since the Great Fire ripped through the heart oLondon, 1678. The blood-drained body of a young boy is discovered in the snow on the bank of the Fleet River. The city, overlooked by the exhumed head of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, teeters on the brink of riot and hysteria, with rumours of Catholic plots, devil-boys, and sinister foreign assassins. It is twelve years since the Great Fire ripped through the heart of the city. Robert Hooke, natural philosopher and Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society is an architect of the rebuilding. Hooke and his assistant, Harry Hunt, reluctantly agree to investigate the murder of the bloodless boy after instruction from King Charles II. Harry, ambitious and wanting to prove himself as an able natural philosopher, and to break free from the shadow of Hooke's brilliance, takes the lead in investigating the death of the boy. He finds a sinister tale with roots in the dark past of the Civil Wars. As he gets closer to finding the use of the bloodless boy, he uncovers the terrible consequences of experiments performed in the name of the New Science....
|Title||:||The Bloodless Boy|
|Number of Pages||:||330 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Bloodless Boy Reviews
This is an accomplished debut effort. Set in London in the 1670s, Robert Hooke and Harry Hunt of the Royal Society are asked to help with the investigation into macabre murders with a distinctively scientific bent. Fittingly, given the protagonists, the story focuses as much on the 'why' as the 'who' of the story, and the place and time (with all the unsettling legacy of the Civil War and the Great Fire of London) is well drawn without miring the book in detail. The writing style suits the book well and gives a period feel without becoming archaic in tone.
This is an excellent novel. Robert Lloyd has created an exciting, rough, shadowy London, and I enjoyed every minute I spent in it. I love historical fiction, but it's very hard to find novels in which the real historical characters feel like part of the same story as the new characters - this is one of those rare books.The Bloodless Boy is much more than a historical crime thriller: it's a rich exploration of the golden age of scientific discovery in the late 1600s. I really felt like I was experiencing the first autopsies and vacuum experiments. But it's also a believable, warm human story, whose characters draw you in: from a rugged, wry Charles II to the ambitious and shapeshifting Robert Hooke, and with a very sympathetic hero (Harry Hunt).Without giving the plot away, don't read this while you are eating or drinking: there are some hair-raising sequences that made me choke on my dinner.Above all, the writing is intelligent, evocative and rich. You feel like you're in the hands of an old-fashioned master storyteller like Patrick O'Brian. If you enjoyed An Instance of the Fingerpost or the Shardlake series, you'll love it; but it's also for readers who just love good fiction. Recommended.
I came a across this book quite by accident on Amazon as I was looking for books by a different author.I love Gothic tales so was interested in this new author.The first page caught my imagination at once. One is transported straight into 17th century London with it's mists, murky lanes, sights and smells. As I am an avid reader of history I know that many of the characters actually existed and some of the events in the book actually happened. One cannot help but appreciate the lengths the author has gone into the research surrounding the plot at a time in our history when there was much political unrest. During these turbulent times the murder mystery unfolds and takes us deeper into danger and intrigue. One cannot help but like the main characters, especially Harry Hunt who risks everything to solve the mystery of the death of the young boy. The ending was not quite as I expected, either, but that adds to the whole fascination of the book.I say it is unusual because it's not really a Gothic tale at all but more of a whodunnit set in the 17th Century. An excellent detective story with an unusual twist.Highly recommend and I shall be certainly looking for more books by this author.
An ambitious and gripping thriller that captures the cadence, spirit, and intrigues of Restoration England. Lloyd has done his research on the period and brings the era to life without getting bogged down in archaic phrases or syntax. Just enough seasoning to transport you in time. The author also has a knack for description that really resonates. For me, only minor niggles are a few instances of overlong exposition (mainly to fill in the history) and a few clumsy similes. Very minor criticism for what is an impressive debut novel.
Being a fan of historical fiction and fascinated by this period which contained the revolutionary thinking of the Royal College, the tension between the birth of regulated and rational scientific analysis versus established religious observance, all tethered skilfully into our Civil War legacy, this book was a "perfect storm" for me. Add in religious bigotry and violence, some delicious villains, and an intelligent King together with a classic "murder mystery" plot and I found that I couldn't put this book down.Well researched, well written and with well-drawn characters, I felt transported back to London with all its sights, sounds, textures and smells during the reconstruction in the immediate post-Fire of London era. Hooke's influence during this period has been unjustifiably overlooked in favour of the more populist Wren and this book in no small measure redresses this imbalance. The rich vocabulary ensured that remaining characters inspired sympathy or distaste in equal measure with believable and skilful dialogue which at no point felt clumsy or contrived.I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel to the first instalment and can envisage that Harry will be a character that will inspire loyalty from fans of this genre. A new and original voice who has demonstrated an enviable ability to translate a fascination with his subject and first class research into a thoroughly memorable read.
Bloody marvellous, is what I think. The Bloodless Boy takes real characters from the seventeenth century – such as Robert Hooke, Henry (“Harry”) Hunt, Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, Earl of Shaftesbury, John Locke, Titus Oates, Tom Gyles, Grace Hooke, Henry Oldenburg, Jonas Moore, Hortense Mancini – adds some fictional characters, puts them in a real setting of post-Great-Fire and post-plague London and has them involved in a fictional murder mystery set amongst real events. Confused? There is no need to be. My knowledge of the seventeenth century is pretty limited, but this novel tells you, in a very accessible and fluid way, what you need to know to follow the story.I enjoy reading fact and I enjoy reading fiction, but I am not normally drawn to novels that meld the two, and generally consciously avoid those that do. I get too hung up on what is real and what is made up. This novel, though, is informative and enthralling. It’s a story set in a time that is brilliantly researched and if you want to pick up facts along the way you can, and if you want to enjoy just a murder tale, you can do that too. My main fascination was with the Royal Society and Gresham College and the “natural philosophers”, and I was inspired to go and find out more. The descriptions of London were captivating, too, although I would have liked them to be slightly more vivid to get a real feeling of atmosphere as well as architecture.I loved the way Charles II was depicted. And the character of Harry is really well portrayed. He is not a brave man, but his natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge spur him on and lead him to places to which he would not normally venture.The author says this is a “Marmite book” – and the very mixed reviews show this to be true. But the overwhelming majority are good, and I am quite firmly in the “love it” camp.So there you have it: I think it’s great, I’m really glad I read it, and I look forward to more books from Robert J. Lloyd.
DistractedI did not warm up to the "murder mystery" plot until I was about halfway through the book. I was too distracted early on by repeated trips to Wikipedia looking up the names of the historical characters, London landmarks, and Papist plots against Charles II. Note to the author: Try dividing your list of characters into historical and fictional at the start of the book so I can get this out of the way before starting the story. Also put a period map of London with the area most visited in the book so I can orient myself instead scratching my head over which way someone was going.Now then, there are two stories going on here. One is historical and one a murder mystery of the bloodless boy(s). I loved the research done that lent such atmosphere to the book. The hero of our story must solve the mystery of the "murders" of young boys drained of their blood while others with their own agendas and dirty little secrets worked to thwart him. There are other murders to be solved along the way that put our hero in mortal danger. I did NOT see the ending coming. Nicely ended by the author while leaving an opening for a sequel starring our hero.I would have given the book five stars for weaving so many "little mysteries" in with the main one from the title while transporting us back to the period following England's civil war and post 1666 conflagration in London BUT I was just too darned distracted researching the characters and locations. If you aren't the type to bother, you can enjoy a five star read instead of my four star one.
I had a hard time rating this book. If we had half stars I might have given it 2.5. I found there to be an excess of description at times that I skimmed through. Some parts of the story were confusing, though many mysteries were explained by the end. There were some major points though that I thought were unclear. *Spoilers ahead* Unless I missed it, I still didn't get why the Earl wanted to kill the king, and that was a major plot point. At the end, it seemed like the Earl's main goal was to save his son. Also, there was apparently no retribution to the Earl for his assassination attempt on the king. *End of spoilers*
A tale of murder, science, and conspiracy in 17th century London. The time is brought to life beautifully, with the noise and grime of London's streets jumping out of the pages. I particularly loved the portrayal of Charles II. The author has a lyrical voice, and excellent knowledge of the time. The characters are really well developed and the plot is beautifully crafted. A joy to read