'It's rare that a book is Gothic enough for me, but Beloved Poison is killing it. The blood, the bones, the crumbling hospital . . .' Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions
Set in a crumbling hospital in the 1850s, Beloved Poison is a richly atmospheric debut, perfect for fans of Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent and Sarah Waters.
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Ramshackle and crumbling, St Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors the doctors bicker and fight. Ambition, jealousy and hatred seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything, but says nothing.
And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past - with fatal consequences . . .
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Praise for E.S. Thomson
'Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale' Daily Express
'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' Evening Telegraph
'Jem Flockhart's London is vivid, pungent and perilous. The Blood takes you to places you will love to picture but be grateful you can't smell' Chris Brookmyre
'E. S. Thompson's Jem Flockhart books are the best I've read in years. Jem is just my kind of heroine: scarred, smart, complex, and unapologetically queer' Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers
'Jem Flockhart is a marvel . . . This vivid journey into the dark side of the human soul is a thoroughly engrossing tale' Mary Paulson Ellis, author of The Other Mrs Walker
'Deliciously dark and vividly atmospheric, menace oozes from every page. Terrific for lovers of historical noir' Saga
'A first class piece of historical crime writing' Big Issue
A marvellous, vivid book ... immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark' Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher's Hook
Beloved Poison is a marvellous, vivid book with a thoughtful, engaging protagonist at its centre - and a fascinating story to tell. It's immaculately researched and breathtakingly dark. Elaine Thomson's descriptive powers are so great that that I was surprised to see twenty-first century London rather than grimy, smelly St Saviour's around me when I - eventually - looked up from its pages Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher's Hook
E. S. Thomson's work has been longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger, and shortlisted for the Saltire Prize, the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award and the William MacIlvanney Crime Book of the Year Award. She has a PhD in the social history of medicine, and tries to fit as much medical history into her books as possible. She works as a university lecturer by day, and writes by night. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.