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The Blood (Jem Flockhart, #3)
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The Blood

(Jem Flockhart #3)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  29 reviews
I knew the smell of death well enough. But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different. It was a curious, moist smell; a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide...

Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published April 5th 2018 by Constable
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I did not realise this was the third in the Jem Flockhart and Will Quatermain series, set in Victorian London but it works just fine as a standalone. Jem, an apothecary, and Will, an architect, make their way to The Blood, after receiving a urgent message from Dr Aberlady which reaches them late. The Blood is a floating seaman's hospital on the Thames, London is the gateway to the world, leading to the entry of diseases and ailments from all corners of the globe. However, Aberlady has disappeare ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Once again we enter the dank, filthy streets of Victorian London, where apothecary Jem Flockhart has received troubling news from an old friend aboard The Blood, a floating hospital on the Thames. Death finds Flockhart and her good friend, Will Chamberlain, so often that I picture them being tailed by a hooded figure carrying a scythe; if you are a Doctor in her vicinity, your days are truly numbered.

Sadly, so are the lives of so many of the less fortunate, including local prostitutes who are b
"The Victorian world is extremely dark and extremely bright." (Harry Treadaway)

All depends on which side of the ol' waterfront that you live. Life along the Thames in London brings visions of spices, tea, and cotton being unloaded by able-bodied men. The East India Company reaps the heavy bounty of plantations from distant shores. The hustle and bustle of goods being carried down the planks strikes one with awe. But the Victorians had a special penchant for keeping secrets deeply imbedded in bac
♥ Sandi ❣
3.5 stars ~~ 3rd book in the Jem Flockhart series

The apothecary and the architect are at it again. This third installment of the Jem Flockhart series takes place in an old ship - renamed The Blood - on the Thames River in Victorian London in the mid 1800's. The Blood is the dilapidated medical ship that sees surgeries done with only a taste of laudanum for pain, stack upon stack of filthy cots, seeping left over vile from prior occupants, and cabins full of bottled remains, often hard to identif
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Blood was an atmospheric and intriguing read. Set in the mists of Victorian London, we are solving a mystery with Jem Flockhart, a woman posing as a man to run an apothecary. As woman wasn't seen suitable to work in medicine/science those days, Jem acts like a man. She is quite a different character, has a birthmark on her face distinguishes her from any other heroine I've ever read. She is skillful and clever.
Blood is the name of the floating hospital. A doctor is found dead. Then a girl c
I love this series very much. Each is of a very high standard but The Blood is, with no doubt at all, the very best of the three so far. This is the finest of writing, the character development is fascinating and the story contains just the right mix of Victorian melodrama and historical reality. I was gripped by this from start to finish and I have no doubt that it will be among the books contending for my favourite historical novel of 2018. Loved it! Full review to follow shortly on For Winter ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
A desperate plea for help from another apothecary brings Jem Flockhart and her friend Will Quartermain to the London waterfront and the Blood and Fleas, the seamens' floating hospital. Their arrival is too late. John Aberlady, with whom Jem had taken license exams, has gone missing.
This is only the first of the mysteries to confront Jem and Will aboard the Blood and in the teeming slums of the riverside.
As we've learned in previous books in the series, Jem is a woman, forced to take on the guise
For some reason, I didn’t find this quite as enjoyable as the previous entries in the series...perhaps because I had a bit of a wait for this title and the delay may have cooled my affection for the characters. Thomson’s next book--Surgeons’ Hall--comes out in March; I guess I’ll just have to be patient!
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book hits the trifecta for me: vividly drawn characters that I care about; a setting so richly described you can see, smell, touch, hear and taste it; and an engrossing plot that keeps me turning pages.

Thanks to the publisher for providing this advance reading copy.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again we are in the company of Jem Flockhart who dispenses remedies, along with the occasional glimmer of hope, in a harsh city where dense fog clogs an unforgiving heart and the resident parasites feed greedily upon a network of cold, damp veins riddled with despair.

Despite the distinct whiff of despair clinging to the living like a second skin, Jem, her good friend Will Quartermain, and apprentice Gabriel Locke attempt to diagnose people’s maladies and perhaps restore a little faith in h
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Blood" is a great history mystery novel that is set in London during the Victoria era. An intriguing mystery work that touches class/sex inequalities, the harsh living conditions of the commoners, the development of medicine and etc back in the 19th century. The author creates a balance mix of suspense and historical elements into "The Blood" which makes it an excellent read overall. This is not a cozy historical mystery novel but a dark, grim and serious one instead; entertaining throughou ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jem Flockhart has received a desperate, scribbled note from a fellow Apothecary, an old friend who Jem hasn't seen in years, asking for help to defeat the very Devil himself.
Jem is intrigued by this plea and decides to see his old friend to find out what is going on. As Jem and Will Quartemaine head off to The Blood - The seamen's floating hospital - they are just in time to see a body being pulled from the Thames.
Book 3 in the Jem Flockhart series. A dark atmospheric Victorian murder mystery. I
Karen Keane
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good historical 'whodunnit', the 3rd in the series but can be read as a 'one off', a story about, Jem Flockhart a young apothecary in Victorian times and Will Quartermaine, an architect who make an unlikely pair of amateur detectives and one of the pair has a secret. I thought it was well researched historically and medically and felt as though I was walking the streets of London with Jem and Will.
S.J. Higbee
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thomson does a marvellous job of vividly recreating the grim and effluvia of this stinking corner of London. At this point, the poor old Thames is little more than an open cesspit and London is generally draped in sooty smoke, with far more mists and fogs than you’d normally expect, caused by the runaway air pollution. Unsurprisingly, there is a high rate of illness, though The Blood specialises in the ailments brought into London from sailors and passengers who have returned from the Empire wit ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Apothecary Jem Flockhart and her friend, Will Quartermain, are back in E. S. Thomson’s “The Blood,” a thriller set in Victorian London. Jem, who is female, has been dressing as a male since she was a child (it was her father’s idea). Pretending to be a man enables her to pursue a profession from which females are traditionally excluded. Jem owns her own shop from which she dispenses herbs, potions, and other remedies. One day, she receives an urgent message from a fellow apothecary, John Aberlad ...more
Jo-anne Atkinson
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Settled into work as an apothecary in the East End of London, Jem Flockhart hides his secret and tries to help those in need. When a note comes from an old acquaintance asking Jem to hurry to the hospital ship the Golden Fleece Jem is worried, and because the note was delayed he is concerned as to what he will fine. In fact Jem arrived just in time to see Dr Aberlour driven to madness and take his own life. The hospital ship is run by a group of proud yet prejudiced doctors who also have an unhe ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Pegasus Books and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this advance copy of The Blood in exchange for an impartial review. This was the first book I’ve read in the Jem Flockhart series and I enjoyed it. The story is set in Victorian London in the 1840s. Jemina “Jem” Flockhart is a female apothecary, who has been forced to portray herself as a male since childhood in order to follow her profession which is closed at this time to women. She and her friend Will Quatermain are c ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Blood, by E.S. Thomson, sees the return of apothecary Jem Flockhart and architect Will Quartermain for their third mystery. This time, the pair keep stumbling across bodies as Jem tries to figure out what happened to her friend, an apothecary on a floating hospital, a decommissioned navel vessel called The Blood, now permanently docked in the Thames. The case sends Jem and her fiend Will deep into the world of the medical experiments and the lives of former sex workers in mid-1800s, low clas ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I was given the chance by Netgalley to read The Blood before release. I jumped at the chance since I loved Dark Asylum but I can't help but feel disappointed. Whilst still enjoyable, compared to the previous in the series, it just seems slow and lack the same pace. The reader is still left guessing throughout the book but it lacks the overall plot and suspense.

The climax seems to be rushed as if a deadline had needed to be met and the ending is left open, ready for another addition to the serie
Anna Rose
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely terrific book and would highly recommend it to anyone. Not only is it a terrific story with lots of great characters, but many of the characters come from sections of societies whose perspectives have generally been excluded or minimised both from fiction books and the history books. It is obviously a very well researched book as well. Would make a great movie or TV series, but I highly doubt that the misogynist, racist, classist arseholes in the entertainment industry would be even f ...more
Simon Gosden
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Set in a grimy befouled Victorian London The Blood is a rotting hulk moored on the Thames and used as seamen's hospital. Jem Flockhart is summoned there by a hastily scribbled note from an old acquaintance. but there's murder, prejudice, ambition and highly charged tensions aboard. This is the third in the Jem Flockhart series and whilst it works reasonably well as a stand alone there is a lot of back story alluded to which I didn't get. I would recommend reading the others first.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable Trilogy

Enjoyed all 3 books. Insight into London’s poor and how they survived - couldn’t call it living - was excellent. Great detail of Victorian medicine and the ‘experiments’ used to learn more about human anatomy pretty gruesome. Excellent twists and turns in the story made for exciting reading. Would recommend.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another vivid portrait of the dank underbelly of Victorian London. This one set on a hospital ship permanently docked in the Thames. *Something* caused the ship's apothecary to commit suicide, but who are what?

Lots of ghastly detail that you can see and hear and smell and taste.
Thanks Little, Brown Book Group UK and netgalley for this ARC,.

I've followed E.S. Thomson from the beginning, and will be a lifelong fan. This series gets more intricate, exciting, and bizarre with every new novel. You won't find a better historical mystery series than this.

Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Another great book in the Jem Flockhart series. The London setting is so depressing and gruesome. The story is dark and engrossing. Jem and Will are a great duo. I love this series and hope she keeps writing books!
Stephanie Tournas
I felt that this one wasn't quite as well organized as the previous 2 in the series, but I still love the characters and setting of 18th century London, in all it's damp dirtiness and crime. Also, so many typos!
I received an ARC of this book to review for Library Journal. Please read my review there when it is published.
Charlotte Holmans
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book!
rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2019
Cheryl Curris
rated it really liked it
Jan 08, 2019
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Elaine Thomson was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire. She has a PhD in the history of medicine and works as a university lecturer in Edinburgh. She was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council First Book Award. Elaine lives in Edinburgh with her two sons.

Other books in the series

Jem Flockhart (3 books)
  • Beloved Poison (Jem Flockhart, #1)
  • Dark Asylum (Jem Flockhart, #2)