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The Dead Shall Not Rest (Dr. Thomas Silkstone #2)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  786 ratings  ·  124 reviews
The brilliant anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone returns in Tessa Harris's vivid and compelling mystery series set in 1780s London. . .

It is not just the living who are prey to London's criminals and cutpurses. Corpses, too, are fair game--dug up from fresh graves and sold to unscrupulous men of science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone abhors such methods, but his leading rival, Dr. John
ebook, 352 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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Originally posted at Novel Reveries

"'Come and see the tallest man in the world (...) He is not six foot, not seven foot, but eight foot high.'"

Book two of the Dr. Thomas Silkstone series, The Dead Shall Not Rest delves into the dark depths of forensics and human nature. In this novel we travel with Thomas as he meets a giant with an illness, who wants a posthumous pardon for his father and to be saved from the knife when his time comes. The society surrounding them try to prevent these actions a
Jodie Brown
Book Review: The Dead Shall Not Rest by Tessa Harris

Originally published on my blog:

Historical fiction is one of my absolutely favorite genres of literature, and Tessa Harris does not disappoint in this novel set in pre-industrial, pre-American Revolution London. Harris fictionalizes the life and death of Charles Byrne, an 8-foot-plus giant from Ireland juxtaposed against the dwarf Count Josef Boruwlaski and mixes in classical composer Josef Haydn and burgeoning
Mysterious  Bookshop
The Dead Shall Not Rest is the second book in a fine new historical series set in eighteenth century England. Dr Thomas Silkstone is a young surgeon from Philadelphia newly arrived in London to study under a respected surgeon. Silkstone believes in the use of forensics to help solve crimes, which coupled with being from the newly independent colonies makes him an outsider and looked down upon by all levels of society including members of the medical establishment. When a famous castrato is found ...more
Still LOVE the forensic science part of this novel and Dr. Silkstone remains a perfect gentleman scientist. But the Lovely Lady Lydia is beginning to really get on my nerves and she is making things hard for our protagonist to do any actual work with her propensity to be constantly in distress. Poor Lady Lydia suffers 3 novels worth of adversity for every 1 book Ms. Harris writes and this reader would prefer some slightly more imaginative plot devices.

On the other hand Dr. John Hunter is a grea
I liked this book and the first well enough. It was entertaining and I was able to follow it. Just one bone to pick with it (ha!). Lady Lydia and Dr. Silkstone are way too perfect. Why does every rich, good, wonderful woman have to be gorgeous as well? And Dr. Silkstone is not only impossibly good, in this book we learn that his ancestors and family are also impossibly good. That said, I kept wishing Lady Lydia would take a hike, or that he'd give up on her, or that her peril would prove to be f ...more
I enjoyed the first book in the series, and this one was o.k. I did like the characters better than the "mystery" in this one, though.
The "uses" of the giant and castrato to create a situation that would make an anatomist involved was a bit of a stretch for me, but Harris used the situations well and they were smoothly incorporated into the story.
I found there was almost too much going on the book. In addition to those 2 story lines, Lady Lydia has a story arc that almost deserves a book just
Jessica K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dr. Silkstone is back, in this second installment, of this mystery series. This time it revolves around an eight foot giant of a man, who is set free from a carnival, by Lydia Farrell. The doctor is called upon to see to the condition, and health of the large man, named Charles. He sees him as a man, and not a specimen, as most other anatomists do. There is one quite evil, and creepy doctor named Hunter, who has no morals, or scruples, and will play dirty, to get his hands on this giant of a man ...more
This book was a bit more than borderline ridiculous. I felt like the author tried to think of the most unlikely character pairings and hoped the story would be pulled together by its macabre twists. The characters were not more than mildly engaging nor was the story enchanting. Unfortunately, while I read this entire book, I will not be back for more. My stories need a little more meat in the bone (pun intended).
In the second book in a series about the world's first ever forensic detective, you would think that science might actually play a part in solving the mystery, wouldn't you?

Well you, my friend, would be wrong. So very, very wrong.

The second book continues much like the first: everyone hates Dr. Thomas Silkstone because they're all jealous; everyone loves Lady Lydia Farrel because apparently sickly, obnoxious, and frequently unconscious was what men considered totally bangin' back in the day; ric
Lis Carey
Dr. Thomas Silkstone and his betrothed, Lady Lydia Farrell, are more or less patiently waiting out the time until they can, with a minimum of fuss and scandal, announce their engagement. In the meantime, a friend of Lydia's father, a Polish count, Boruwlaski, who has made a handsome living off of the fact that he is a dwarf, arrives to inform her that an Irish giant is being cruelly exploited in a fair that's taking place on the edge of her property. He and Lady Lydia extract the giant, Charles ...more
After reading the first in the Dr. Thomas Silkstone mysteries, I quickly picked up the second book and was delighted to find it even better than the first.
The author blends the incredible historical and medical upheaval of the late 1700s with a twisted plot and unique characters to make an extremely readable story. The fact that Dr. Silkstone's crime solving adventures are intertwined with the actual events surrounding the death of "The Irish Giant" Charles Byrne and the theft of his body by th
I listened to the audiobook but didn't make it past disc 7. The story was dragging on and on. Lady Lydia just got more and more annoying and then there was this weird anti-abortion agenda. That's the point at which I finally quit. I enjoyed the first of this series, but am so disappointed with the second that I'm dropping it.

Question: prior to the advent of intravenous fluids would it have even been possible to keep a coma patient alive for 10 days? Maybe feeding tubes were in use and would hav
I really wanted to like this series, but I just couldn't get into it. I thought that it was well researched for the time period, and the subject seemed interesting, but the plot fell short. Some of the plot developments just seemed ridiculous and silly.
I struggled getting through this book because I thought the plot line was really stupid and gross. Then I found out it was based upon real people and relieve events. I guess you just can't make this stuff up.
Sandi Willis
More dissection here! I just hated the ending but when you are writing about a person that lived, you cannot change history. There are several small stories woven together, as in the first of the Thomas Silkstone novels, "The Anatomist's Apprentice." There are times I really wanted to get into the book and change the way it was written just because the story did not go the way I wanted it to go but alas it does makes you want to finish the book so that see if there is any justice for those that ...more
This story has the potential to be a lot more than it is. The way it's told is shallow and full of clichéd dialogue. I don't expect to read any more of this series.
While the second in a series , The Anatomist's Apprentice being the first, this book stands on its own; a rare exception in the current publishing environment where the art of writing a novel has been submerged in the pursuit of the cash cow serial.

A late 18th century period piece, mystery more properly, where the main character is an American surgeon/anatomist in London bringing scientific methodology to bear on forensics and the "stone knives and bear skins" approach of the typical Oxford trai
The Dead Shall Not Rest by Tessa Harris is the second book of the Dr. Thomas Silkstone mystery series, set in 1782 England. Historical figures Charles Byrne, Josef Boruwłaski and Dr. John Hunter are woven into a plot with murdered castrati, Dr. Silkstone and his fiancée Lady Lydia Farrell. Charles Byrne came from Ireland to have his father pardoned posthumously for a murder he did not commit. Charles “the Irish Giant” is over 8 feet tall. Josef befriends Charles and suggests he earn money for th ...more
Possibly one of the poorest written book that I have read. Totally predictable, and full of cliches.
I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
Cristina Torrão
I won a copy of “The Dead Shall Not Rest” by Tessa Harris a few months ago from a first reads’ giveaway.

First I would like to thank the author for the signed copy.

As a med student I found this reading particularly interesting. I attended "History of Medicine and Surgery" classes a few years ago, back when I was a freshman year med student, but still there was something for me to learn in this book.

This is a crime & mystery story played in the 18th century England, a very different time for s
Clearani winchester
first of all I really wanna say thank ye to tessa for the book, well I and my little sister really enjoy your book it's cause she really love anything about death, murder , etc
well we really love your story . it took screen in 1782's and I do really love vintage and classic screen. this story really interesting and adorable! I love the way you write about DR. Thomas Silkstone. he's really a wise man and kind man who come from America and live in England. well Dr. hunter is little scary me me, he
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
*Book source ~ Many thanks to Kensington for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

It is 1782 and Charles Byrne is said to be the tallest man in the world. Hating the way he is treated, Lady Lydia Farrell rescues him from the traveling fair when it is lodged on the far edge of her property. The Irish Giant only wants to see the King to get a pardon for his dad who was wrongly charged, convicted and hung for a murder he did not commit. From this single minded quest various thre
The Dead Shall Not Rest – T Harris
Audio performance by Simon Vance
3 stars

This second Thomas Silkstone mystery uses several weird and wonderful historical figures as major characters. To begin with it is the story of the eight-foot-tall Charles Byrne, known as the “Irish Giant”. Byrnes’ career as a freak is promoted and managed by the dwarf, Count Josef Borulawski, while his corpse is pursued by the infamous Dr. John Hunter. The documented history of these three individuals is more than enough f
This novel continues with the story started by the Anatomist's Apprentice. Dr. Thomas Silkstone is now betrothed to Lady Lidia. This novel deals with the stealing of corpes for disection. Dr. John Hunter is at the midst of this tale. He wants to have the body of Charles Byrne in his collection as Mr. Byrne is a "giant' over 7 feet tall. He is not dead however but is dying from consumption. He came to England from Ireland to obtain a pardon for his father who was hanged for a crime he did not com ...more
I listened to the audible version of this book, which is the second book about the anatomist, Dr. Thomas Silkstone, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The first book was The Anatomist's Apprentice, which I had also enjoyed listening to.

This book delves into the common practice of anatomists in the late 1700's of hiring thugs to dig up fresh corpses for them to study. Dr. Silkstone has been asked by Lady Lydia, who is now his betrothed, to help the ailing Charles Byrne, a man called the "Irish Giant." Th
The Dead Shall Not Rest is the sequel to The Anatomists' Apprentice. I enjoyed the first book a lot, so I had high hopes for this one. While I liked it, I didn't love it. I felt like there were too many plot lines going at once. As I was reading, the story felt disjointed and dull at times. In the end, everything was woven together neatly and made sense. There was also one or two twists in there, but for the most part it was all just OK for me.

I thought that the entire plot line with Thomas' fi
Regina Berg
I liked her second book better than her first. At first I didn't think it would be better because the story of the giant and the dwarf didn't particularly appeal to me. In author's notes and acknowledgements, she told how their true story was somewhat condensed to fit into her narrative of Dr. Thomas Silkstone, her invention. Unfortunately I didn't realize that there was a glossary at the end until I finished the book. It would have been helpful if it were mentioned at the beginning. The charact ...more
Lisa A.
This is my second Dr. Thomas Silkstone mystery and it was better than the first! This one deals with Charles "Irish Giant" Byrne and the revolutionary and yet unscrupulous Dr. John Hunter, who wants to dissect the giant so he can display him in his gruesome collection. Silkstone is torn in many directions in this story but the anatomist from the colonies manages to overcome the obstacles thrown in his path. I find the archaic medical practices of 1782 described in this series fascinating althoug ...more
Giving this book three stars is generous. Book two of the Dr. Thomas Silkstone series isn't as good as the first. In this book there are several unusual characters that don't seem real. And I agree with another reviewer, Lady Lydia is making me wish Thomas would find someone else that could be a support for him rather than dragging him down with all her ailments and problems. I intend to try another book in this series with the hope that things get better. I like the picture of early medicine th ...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick -- The Dead Shall Not Rest 1 7 Dec 02, 2012 10:14AM  
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  • Hangman Blind (An Abbess of Meaux Mystery, #1)
  • The Doublet Affair (Ursula Blanchard, #2)
  • Mortal Arts (Lady Darby, #2)
  • Season of Darkness (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #1)
  • The Bedlam Detective (Sebastian Becker, #2)
  • The Second-Last Woman in England
  • The Sting of Justice (Burren Mysteries, #3)
  • A Dissection of Murder (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
  • The Ninth Daughter (Abigail Adams #1)
  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
  • Enter Second Murderer (Inspector Faro, #1)
  • Murder on the Cliffs (Daphne du Maurier Mysteries, #1)
  • The Witch in the Well (Catherine LeVendeur, #10)
  • The Counterfeit Heiress (Lady Emily, #9)
  • India Black and the Gentleman Thief (Madame of Espionage, #4)
  • Inspector of the Dead (Thomas De Quincey #2)
  • Murder on Lenox Hill (Gaslight Mystery, #7)
From the author's website:After studying History at Oxford University, I began my journalistic career on a newspaper in my home town of Louth, in Lincolnshire. I progressed onto a London newspaper, where I became women's editor. From there I moved to become a feature writer on Bestmagazine. After two years I was made editor of a regional arts and listings publication. This was followed by another ...more
More about Tessa Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Dr. Thomas Silkstone (5 books)
  • The Anatomist's Apprentice
  • The Devil's Breath (Dr. Thomas Silkstone, #3)
  • The Lazarus Curse
  • Shadow of the Raven (Dr. Thomas Silkstone, #5)
The Anatomist's Apprentice The Devil's Breath (Dr. Thomas Silkstone, #3) The Lazarus Curse Shadow of the Raven (Dr. Thomas Silkstone, #5) The Dead Shall not Rest (Thomas Silkstone Mystery 2)

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“ so this is my collection of human body parts, Dr. Silkston," he said proudly, walking into the storeroom. "each organ is here fro a reason, a purpose. you see this one," he said, pointing to a cylinder containing what appeared to Thomas to be a section of a small intestine with a hole in it. "'Tis a duelist's jejunum. that is the bullet hole, right through the middle. and this, this is the Marquis of Rockingham's heart," he announced proudly. " he gave me a permission to have it a fore he died” 1 likes
“I am a wicked woman"
"how could you do anything wicked? tell me what it is that so distress you”
More quotes…