"A tremendous work of psychological suspense"
Biographer Martin Nanther researches an ancestor, his great-
grandfather who earned the family its peerage. The most
interesting item Martin finds is a letter written by a
decades after the death of his subject. The
woman claimed that her father Henry did evil things.
Following up on that intriguing memo, Martin discovers that
much of Henry's life remains hidden in gray mystery. He
learns that Henry, a physician of Queen Victoria, was
considered an expert on hemophilia, and obtained peerage in
1896. Something changed inside Henry when his friend
Richard Fox Hamilton died.
Henry kept a mistress for years and a relationship with an
aristocrat that seemed heading to the altar, but tossed
both out when he became engaged to Eleanor Henderson. When
someone murdered his fiancee, Henry simply married her
sister. Martin finds no solace as he begins to unravel the
mystery of Henry, the engineer of a crime that hits so
close to the biographer that his findings only substantiate
the gene pool the two men share.
THE BLOOD DOCTOR is a tremendous work of psychological
suspense that uses biographical fiction as a tool to tell
two stories, one from the past and one from the present.
Barbara Vine cleverly insures neither story line falters
and both ultimately merge together into a strong tale that is
part detective and part relationship drama. Fans of the
sub-genre will fully relish this tale that shines a light
on the darkest elements of the Nanther souls.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 2, 2002
When Martin Nanther, Hereditary Peer in the House of Lords,
is choosing the subject of his next biography, he becomes
intrigued by the life of his own great-grandfather, Henry
Nanther. So grateful was Queen Victoria for Henry?s services
as physician to the royal family that she granted him a
peerage, making him a lord, the first doctor ever to be so
honored. Henry had been especially attentive to hemophiliacs
in the royal family, for he was obsessed with blood. As he
recounted in his diary, ?Red is my favorite color. To me a
splash of blood is beautiful, and I profoundly lack
understanding of those who flinch or even faint at the sight
As his research deepens, Martin begins to uncover hints that
his great-grandfather?s fascination with blood may have had
its darker side. The murder of Henry?s fiancée, the death of
his young son, the remarkable number of relatives and
friends who died mysteriously?could all these have been mere
coincidence? Martin scours England and America for relatives
whose attics or memories might hold clues, until finally the
tragic truth stands revealed.