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A Lady in Shadows by Lene Kaaberbøl
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A Lady in Shadows

by Lene Kaaberbøl

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Madeline Karno, a.k.a. "Doctor Death", is female forensic pathologist in the late 1800s. She also finds herself to be an investigator as one particular case of a murdered prostitute whose abdomen was destroyed. Faced with constant scrutiny based on her being a female, Madeline is determined to find the young woman's murderer.

This book is extremely detailed in the scientific aspects where the author has clearly done a lot of research not only in forensic pathology but for obstetrics. Furthermore, it is extremely detailed in the historical aspects which may have history buffs rejoicing. However, it is also heavy with multiple concepts thrown into it which can be confusing at times. I understand that the author was probably trying to point out how very different life was in the 19th century. Especially for a female, a bisexual, and a prostitute-these are actually three different characters. Yet, to me it felt distracting. For example: I am still not really sure what the point of Madeline's fiancee's former male lover had to do with the story. It seemed to be yet another (forced) example of what a wonderful character Madeline is in her willingness to still be with her fiancee as she would have to provide for him once they were married because this would otherwise put him exile. A lot of the book has to do with other characters complimenting the main character on her strength, intelligence, persistence, caring nature, fearlessness, and her slim figure. Personally, I found her to be my least favorite character as she came across as spoiled, quick to anger, disrespectful, and insufferable.

Although this book is part of a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. I was not even aware that this was the second book in a series until I went to write the review. For those who are fans of audio CDs and/or audiobooks in general, I would recommend listening to this book on AudioCD or audiobook. Nicola Barber does a wonderful job narrating the book and her inflections and varying voices greatly contribute to the overall tone of the book.

Conversely, I would not recommend this book for anyone who may be triggered or offended by the following: graphic violence, kidnapping, murder, abortion, prostitution, infidelity, sexual scenarios, and anti-feminism. Moreover, if you find that trauma to the eye is especially offensive (like I do), be warned that there is an especially graphic scene involving that horrific concept.

Please note: an audioCD of this book was generously provided by LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  JanJanFreeman | Mar 28, 2018 |
This was not a favorite of mine. The story was good and engaging, however, it just seemed a little too long and tedious.

My thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for this advanced readers copy. ( )
  PamV | Mar 27, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love historical fiction mysteries and this book definitely falls into that genre. Set in Victorian London, this series features Madeleine Karno, whose father is a pathologist for the London police. Although Madeleine has hands on experience assisting her father with autopsies, she wants to become a doctor, a difficult feat during the Victorian era. So a lot of this story revolves around Madeleine's attempts to study physiology in a male dominated field, but the mystery is about the murder of prostitutes, executed in a gruesome Jack the Ripper style. For me, much of pleasure around this story is the technology (or lack thereof) of the times. No cell phones, no DNA evidence, how did mysteries get solved. And throughout this story is the fascinating look at the status of women - from prostitutes to high ladies - and their place in society.

Great story! ( )
  jmoncton | Mar 20, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an audiobook copy of this novel on CD and listened to it while driving AND often sitting in my car waiting. Sometimes it was sitting because I wanted to know what strange twist the story would take next.
The narration is wonderful. For some listeners you may want to allow your ear time to get used to the beautiful accent. I know I missed some of the clues and details early on and will be going back to listen again. This is a book both genders can appreciate.
It is dark crime for a mature audience. The topic can be sordid and twisted, the perpetrator deviant yet intelligent.
It starts out with a crime against a working class female and we think we are going to be following along with a Jack-The-Ripper type case. This is so much more!
Madeleine Karno is fighting for her right to become educated and follow in her father's footsteps as a medical professional. She, herself, is a type of medical detective and coroner's assistant. She is also a woman of compassion and open minded views. We view the conditions of the times and certain beliefs that may surprise you.
As Madeleine finally thinks she may be getting some acceptance and regard as an intelligent, capable female she discovers a horrible truth. Be prepared for many such discoveries along the way.
This is a book you will find yourself thinking about long after it is over. ( )
  LaurasReading | Mar 15, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an interesting historical mystery. The historical examination of the roles of women in the late 1800s is as engaging as the mystery. Madeleine Karno has been raised by her physician father. She examines victims of murder along with him. She wants, more than anything, to go to medical school and become a physician in her own right, but that is not allowed. When she is admitted, she thinks her prayers have been answered, however, it is the beginning of a nightmare that she may not survive. ( )
  DrApple | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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"On June 2nd, 1894, in the wake of President Marie Francois Sadi Carnots assassination, France descends into chaos and riots in the streets of Varbourg. Many lives are lost in the mayhem, but when one lady of the night is found murdered with brutal incisions and no sign of a struggle, it is clear something is amiss. Madeleine Karno must ask herself the terrifying question: Do they have their very own Jack the Ripper in France?"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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