Instruments of Darkness

An exquisit historical page-turner about a forbidding country estate and the unlikely forensic duo who set out to fin its deadly secrets.

In a year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful istress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead an on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her uncover he killer, and historical suspense 's newest investigative duo is born.

For decades, Mrs. Westerman has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is he home of a once- great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, an haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same mont, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.

Instruments of Darkness ombines the brooding atmosphere of Anne Perry with the omplex, compelling detail of Tess Gerritsen, moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from coffee house to country inn. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are both razor-sharp minds and their personalities breathe spirit into this gripping historical mystery.

Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Instruments of Darkness
Publication Date
Published February 17th 2011 by Pamela Dorman Books (first published 2009

Public Commentary

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rated it

Two take place in thi ovel 's present day, one following the lives of Alexander Adams ( the missing daughte of Thornleigh) and his sibling, and thi other the activites of Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther as they struggle to solve a rash of seemingly connected murders.

he hird storyline unfolds in flashbacks, as it takes place ears before in Massachusetts and follows Hugh Thornfield, a Captain in the British Army during the early ays of the American Revolution.The structure of he ovel is quite elegant, for as Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther make slow progress in unraveling the murder mystery, we are lternately presented with the daily happenings in the London lives of Alexander Adams, his hildren and friends.

rated it

I felt their personalities, which is truly a ba thing in th detective story.+ The subplots worked for me: I wil follow skipping around in time, if it 's done well, and th was.

I dislike that there was a ationale behind their actions, instead of just " well, they were evil. " What did NOT:- The Georgian setting.

Generall the writing was unobtrusively historical or at least neutral, but I do n't now about " pro " ( eg., " I sa a pro when I see one ") or " kid " ( " a kid like me ") .- So, Lord Thornhill could ( view spoiler) [ ill a girl IN ENGLAND and get away with it, because it was his word against a servant 's?

rated it

as the man Alexander Thornleigh, the missing heir to the Earl of Sussex?

Was Alexander the missing heir and how an his children be removed from the ity in spite of a iller and the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots? Wonderful characters make his memoi a treat to read.

Her olde daughte, Rachel Trench, is “ Jane Eyre, ” in her attraction to the war-wounded Hugh Thornleigh, younger brother of the missing Alexander and the Mr. Rochester of our story.

Thi nswer is a definite “ yes, ” and it ’ s onc on order.INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS ( His Mys-Gabriel Crowther/Harriet Westerman-England-1780) – G+Robertson, Imogen – 1st in seriesHeadline, ©2009, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780755348398 [ image error ]

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Throw in murders committed over more than one generation?

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It 's set up as a murder mystery, but ( view spoiler) [ it 's clear almost from the beginning who 's the patsy ( the stereotypical mean and secretive drunk who 's heir to the estate) and who 's pulling the strings ( the stereotypical conniving low-born servant who wants rank and privilege).

rated it

There are flashbacks to Mrs Westerman 's neighbor, Lord Hugh Thornleigh, in combat during the American conflict ... these are n't immediately obviously relevant to thi tal, and I think I'd 've recommended the author creat them differently than her editor did, but have patience ... and introduce us to Claver Wicksteed, then an Army procurement officer and now steward of Thornleigh, the seat of the Earls of Sussex.

Instead we meet the Countess of Sussex, and our central cast is complete.The body count rises, as it ust in a mystery, and the characters egin to see that they 're involve in a grisly gavotte around one central puzzle: How low can a human being sink, regardless of high birth, and how can justice seem so far from just? Like all good mystery writers, Robertson takes us round the houses by changing the angle of view several times.

rated it

While Commodore Westerman was away at sea, his wife discovered a body on their land.

Crowther was a mid-fifties single gentleman who preferred his own company to others.

Though I an nly award Instruments of Darkness three stars, I liked Crowther, Harriet and Rachel.

rated it

Another ha the ery enjoyable debut novel from a clearly talented new author, one which introduces a great new 'detective' duo in Gabriel Crowther and Harriet Westerman.Set in England in the year 1780, the boo egins with the forward-thinking and feisty Westerman securing the help of the reclusive anatomist Crowther after discovering a murder victim on her lands.

So start a convoluted, gothic murder mystery ( a kin of Sherlock Holmes/CSI mash-up) involving several different plot strands with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until the end.This is a very character driven story and the leading duo of Crowther and Westerman are two of the most excitin new characters that I have read about in a shor time.

Westerman and Crowther work extremely well together and their separate character traits complement each other quite well.

It was ot perfect but it ha a thoroughly njoyable read and I am looking forward to reading Robertson 's other books that also feature Crowther and Westerman.

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