The Way of All Flesh emphasizes the historical while leaving the mystery almost as an afterthought.
In 1847 Edinburgh, medicine is rudimentary and painkillers were thought to be against God’s will. When Will becomes the apprentice of Dr. Simpson, an obstetrician, he sees some horrific things.
In the mystery, Will finds the dead body of his friend, Evie, who is a prostitute. He enlists the help of intelligent housemaid, Sarah, to find Evie’s killer. As other bodies pile up, Will and Sarah continue to investigate.
Atmosphere and medical research are favored over the mystery in the Way of All Flesh. The book seemed to drag a bit in the middle for me. However, it is recommended for historical fiction fans especially those who liked the television show the Knick or historical medical practices. 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Canongate US, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.