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Königliche Krankheit

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  1,342 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
Martin Nanther, Urenkel des Leibarztes von Queen Victoria, schreibt die Lebensgeschichte seines Urgroßvaters. Martins Vorfahr war eine Koryphäe für die Behandlung der Hämophilie – der königlichen Krankheit. Und doch: Je länger Martin sich mit der Vergangenheit beschäftigt, desto verdächtiger kommt ihm Henry Nanther vor: Warum hat Henry die bleiche Schöne Olivia Batho gegen ...more
Paperback, Diogenes-Taschenbuch #23481., 585 pages
Published September 2005 by Diogenes (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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noelle
Aug 30, 2009 noelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-not-own
compellingly dull? is that a thing? the premise is somewhat interesting, i guess--a book about a writer trying to decipher his great-grandfather's past interwoven with his wife's desire for a viable pregnancy--but there's no decent payoff. you keep reading hoping something interesting will happen, but it doesn't. it's a bunch of family histories with unmemorable names and failed pregnancies. i only use the word compelling because i did keep reading.. but the writing isn't that particularly remar ...more
Bea Alden
Nov 21, 2008 Bea Alden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
The first time I read this book, I thought it a bit too clever. But this time - I liked it a lot. It's a mystery about the life of one man, now dead, woven amongst a complicated set of characters on a family tree, or rather, a couple of family trees. It is, in effect, a puzzle. If you're in the mood for solving puzzles, this is the book for you. And also, of course, it's written with Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine's always skillful evocation of place, people and psychology.
Nancy (Hrdcovers)
All indications, when looking at the cover of this book, lead the reader to believe that this will be one of Vine's psychological thrillers. I figured that some surgeon, obsessed with blood, would be traveling the British Isles with scalpel in hand looking for his next victim. But the reader of this book must look a little closer at the two words following the title, THE BLOOD DOCTOR. Those two words are "A Novel." This changes everything.
More on the lines of Vine's A Chimney Sweeper's Boy, this
...more
Philip
Jan 22, 2010 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
5/29/14: I've actually changed my rating of this book from ***** to **** - I am almost finished with a re-read and find it to be probably Vine's 'busiest' book, with multiple story-lines and a vast number of characters either present or referred to.

This is one of the Vines that Rendell/Vine readers are often divided on - many, like myself, love it, and others find it tedious going. I was engrossed by it from the get-go, though admittedly I find the historical sections of the book to be the more
...more
Heather
I could read this woman's grocery list. This one didn't disappoint. It delivered a creepy-crawly historical mystery (though somewhat slowly). It also featured an unusual love of my: obsessively detailed descriptions of a person's employment. (It this case, a member of the House of Lords).
Tony
THE BLOOD DOCTOR. (2002). Barbara Vine. *1/2.
This is the worst book as by Barbara Vine that I have yet encountered. I made it to page 60 and then decided that life was too short to try and fight my way any further. It’s the story of a man who is starting to write a biography of his great-grandfather, a noted doctor in his day who specialized in diseases of the blood. Unfortunately, great-grandfather has been long dead, and those who knew him are also gone. His life has to be reconstructed throug
...more
Jamie Rose
3.5 stars

I thought this was interesting. Some parts are a bit overly technical, but it deals with a complicated process so that might have been unavoidable.

Martin is a journalist who starts researching his family history. Many people seemed to die around his great-grandfather - a Victorian physician and favourite with Queen Victoria, who seems to have a professional interest in Hemophilia. Martin's research leads to startling discoveries about his family history.

As well as the historical elemen
...more
Margaret
Nov 30, 2008 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martin Nanther is writing a biography of his great-grandfather Henry, a famous Victorian doctor and hemophilia expert, as the same time as he faces some large issues in his personal life: his wife is obsessed with having a baby, and his seat in the House of Lords is about to be abolished.

As in A Dark-Adapted Eye, I really liked how Vine weaves together the past and present history of a family. One would think that the connection would be less immediate here than in A Dark-Adapted Eye, where the
...more
Littoface
The topic was certainly interesting and the book makes an attempt to thread the current age with the past, but the pacing is completely off. The book trudges along so slowly that it's hard to maintain an interest. A number of themes are very deliberately and unnecessarily repeated (blood blood blood!), every attractive female apparently resembles the narrator's wife, and a huge number of characters and names make it hard to keep up at times. If you are observant it isn't difficult to figure out ...more
Lisa
Jul 28, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Janice @ esporta book club
This was confusing - so many names! I think the best way to read this book would be to photocopy the family trees at the front of the book and have them beside every page you read. Maybe even make notes. I didn't do either of these things (too busy this month and I didn't care that much) but I still persevered and at the end of the novel I don't think I was any worse off. I understood what was going on but it was a long (sometimes laborious) road to get there. I would only recommend this book to ...more
Victor J.
Aug 24, 2009 Victor J. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Ruth Rendell's Barbara Vine books. Under her own name, Rendell writes some oftentimes very good mysteries. The Barbara Vine books are meant to be psychological thrillers. I couldn't find much psychology in this one, and certainly nothing thrilling. All in all, I'd have to say it's one of the more monumentally boring books I've ever encountered. I give it one star out of respect for ms. Rendell
Nancy Oakes
The Blood Doctor is an absolutely fine mystery, but it's not her best work. That distinction goes to (imho) A Dark-Adapted Eye, probably one of the best mysteries ever written and certainly the favorite of my British Mystery collection. I enjoy settling down with a novel by this author and watching all the secrets unfold within its covers. I thought this one was really good, as well, but I kind of figured out the basic secret some time into the book. Luckily while I had the "whys" figured out, I ...more
Nicole Hadaway
I loved The Minotaur by Vine, and though I never read A Dark Adapted Eye, I fell in love with the BBC version starring Helena Bonham Carter. These novels are more "whydunits" as opposed to 'whodunits", and it's definitely the characters and their motivations which drives the plot.

I had high hopes for this novel and let me say that it's certainly not bad. Her writing is definitely not for short attention spans or people who like everything all at once -- you have to wait for details, revelations
...more
Sandy
Jan 02, 2011 Sandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Writerlibrarian
Paru sous le pseudonyme de Barbara Vine dans sa version originale “The blood doctor”, ce roman de la célèbre reine du crime Ruth Rendell vit sous un autre rythme, un autre ton que les thrillers psychologiques auxquels Ruth Rendell nous offre. La raison de l’existence d’un pseudonyme pour une auteur dont l’écriture a été cataloguée, classée, jugée.

Crime par ascendant raconte l’histoire de Martin Nanther, auteur de biographies, qui écrit la vie de son aïeul, le docteur Henry Nanther, médecin anobl
...more
LizG
Dec 27, 2009 LizG rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another book set in Victorian London, this one a historical mystery, that provides a great view of the attitudes and behaviour of the era. I don't usually bother reading books that have a family tree in the front, let alone two, but I so enjoyed Asta's Book, also by Barbara Vine, that I ignored my usual criteria -- I prefer reading to memorizing confusing detail when enjoying a novel.

I must confess, I skimmed over much of the House of Lords description (zzzzz) and often had to refer back to
...more
Mihaelas
Jan 08, 2017 Mihaelas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 star

This was one of the most dull, boring and (badly) slow-paced book I have ever read. I kind of regret my book-finishing policy because the 10+ hours I wasted reading this pile of garbage could have been productive and well spent. Unfortunately I was stuck crawling my way through this. I didn't get invested in the story, the only thing the characters made me feel was annoyance (and mild at most) to the point where I had to lie to myself that I'm interested to keep on reading.
It's unfortuna
...more
Falina
Mar 25, 2013 Falina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark
May 05, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really terrific book. It took me a little while to get into b/c the narrator is a biographer doing a lot of family tree research so a lot of names and relationships right off the bat, plus he's in the House of Lords so a lot of parlimentary procedure right off the bat, but once i got into it, i really could not put it down. BV (RR) has a way of sucking you into a story or several stories at the same time and this is her most complex and best yet. Utterly fascinating and compelling. The very endi ...more
Chris
Oct 12, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-british
I picked up this book because I wanted to read fiction, and this sounded interesting.

In many ways, it is a very surprising book. I hadn't read anything but Vine (or Rendell) before, but after reading this I have. The funny about this book is that the mystery is easily solved by an attentive reader. Anyone can figure it out before the narrator. I know it sounds strange, but that makes the book better. It allows for the characters to drive the plot and allows for the reader to care more about the
...more
Joanna
Nov 14, 2007 Joanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-read
Vine creates a wonderful story here. Even though I'd guessed the outcome before the ending, it did not detract from the interest of the story. Of particular (and surprising) interest were the details about the House of Lords and the life of the main character as a Lord. Who would've guessed that the author could make the House of Lords intriguing? The author does a superb job of making the tracing of family geneology into an interesting mystery rather than a boring paper trail. Overall, I enjoye ...more
Judine
Jul 18, 2008 Judine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amber
Jun 03, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good--as long as one is quite interested in the inner workings of the House of Lords (I found it pretty fascinating) and the slow uncovering of a man's unsavory life decisions. Not good for those who are sensitive to the concept of miscarriages, but I found this to be oddly addicting and quite the page-turner despite the somewhat dry-sounding pretext. I wanted to read a Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendell) book (LBC pseudonym requirement), and this did not disappoint,
Patricia
Jun 12, 2012 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


This book went on and on and on.... Not the best Barbara vine choice - a mystery of genealogy and family link to hemophilia with a murder thrown in for good measure ... I didn't buy into the characters either . Trying this author? Catch a different title ...most r superior to The Blood Doctor.
Cyd
Jun 18, 2009 Cyd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but slow. Rendell is excellent as always. The House of Lords part was very interesting. All in all not my favorite.
Wiebke Kuhn
I am not terribly impressed with this book -- it may work best for folks obsessed with genealogy and their family history, to show how tricky such research can be and how near impossible it is to come up with a coherent narrative for your past, based on the skimpy facts you may discover. Otherwise, this was really slow-going; the whole House of Lords plot struck me as contrived (including its ending), and the main character did not do much for me.
Lucy McLaurin
i had to really plough through this book - found it really hard going. Glad I persevered as the ending wasn't quite what I was expecting.

Might leave it a little while before reading any more of hers!
Charlene
May 21, 2017 Charlene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Vine is one of my favorite writers. However, this book was almost unreadable. I slogged on forever. The story could not be followed. The end did not make it all worthwhile. Doesn't matter. I'm looking for my next Vine read.
Judi
Feb 22, 2017 Judi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. I'm not sure how I would have liked this book if I weren't involved in tracing my own family's history. I enjoyed reading about the research process (contacting heretofore unknown cousins, traveling to do on-site research, perusing letters, notebooks, photos discovered or shared) which mirrors my own. I enjoyed the glimpse of peerage life, the many interesting characters that cross the protagonist's path, and the backdrop of the efforts to have a family given genetic issues of his own. Not ...more
Jayne Charles
Nov 15, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Barbara Vine plot twists are getting steadily more guessable as I had this one nailed by the halfway mark. That didn’t stop it being a highly entertaining read, though, as I still had to get to the end to make sure I was right, and the journey was highly enjoyable. The story of a biographer researching his great-grandfather’s life could easily come across as dull, but I loved the feeling of rummaging through old photos and papers, the cold-case element of it, and the complexity of the fa ...more
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What's The Name o...: The House of Lords [s] 14 53 Sep 04, 2014 12:54AM  
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Pseudonym of Ruth Rendell.

Rendell created a third strand of writing with the publication of A Dark Adapted Eye under her pseudonym Barbara Vine in 1986. Books such as King Solomon's Carpet, A Fatal Inversion and Anna's Book (original UK title Asta's Book) inhabit the same territory as her psychological crime novels while they further develop themes of family misunderstandings and the side effects
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