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text 2017-01-05 17:56
A peaceful ending to a disturbing story.
The Scribe: A Novel - Matthew Guinn

"'I read somewhere once that we don't see the stars,' Canby said.  'Not really.  They are out every night and we look right past them, take the sight for granted.  That if the stars came out just once in a thousand years, we would call it a miracle and record it for all time.  That we'd declare it was the city of God revealed to us.  I think there a lot of truth to that.  Do you?' 

Underwood looked up at the pinpricks of light in the velvety darkness.  'I think there is,' he said.

Canby leaned his head back, trying not to group the stars into constellations, trying not to think of them in any order imposed by man.  'Look up then, and see them.'"

 

 

Finally can do something in BL.  First time all week.  Hey everyone!  Good to see you.

 

 

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review 2015-12-29 19:19
The Scribe
The Scribe: A Novel - Matthew Guinn

Disappointing. I really do love mysteries, but I am picky. I don't like cozy and I don't like gratuitous and overly descriptive violence.

This author was nominated for an Edgar for his last book, so I was hopeful, and LAPL recommended it. It's too violence and too obvious at the same time—I don't want to be able o guess who the guilty party is halfway through the book. At the same time, there were holes in the story that were never explained.

The end of this book certainly makes this seem as though it will be a series. Meh.

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review 2014-08-19 21:32
The Resurrectionist, by Matthew Guinn
The Resurrectionist - Matthew Guinn

Medicine, until very recently, was very medieval. There were no ethical boards and the hunt for cadavers lead to a case of serial murders so notorious that people still know the names Burke and Hare. Matters were no different in the American south, except that medical colleges often used deceased slaves in their anatomy courses and experimented on the living in "charity" hospitals. Matthew Guinn's The Resurrectionist tells the story of what happens at one (fictional) medical college in Columbia, South Carolina, when workers find the remains of dozens of bodies buried beneath the administration building. In one thread of the novel, Dr. Jacob Thacker is serving out his probation after being caught stealing and using Xanax in the public relations office at South Carolina Medical College. In the other, Nemo Johnston—who is owned by the university—works as their resurrection man by procuring bodies for the anatomy courses. Guinn switches back and forth between the two as Thacker follows the historical trail to find out who is buried in the basement...

 

Read the rest of my review at Summer Reading Project.

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review 2013-08-31 00:00
The Resurrectionist - Matthew Guinn Review to come following Historical Novel Review's November issue.
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review 2013-07-08 00:00
The Resurrectionist: A Novel
The Resurrectionist - Matthew Guinn This was a fascinating book that talks about the early practices at medical schools and current political cover ups when those practices are brought to light. In the 1999 portion of the story, Jacob Thacker is working PR for his medical school as he serves out a suspension for drug abuse when bones are discovered in the basement. The bones of those of primarily black people who were used for teaching of the medical students in the pre and post Civil War era. Their existence is a PR nightmare for the Dean of the school for whom the school's untarnished image is paramount. The second part of the story tells the story of the early days of the medical school and the black man named Nemo Johnston who was purchased to be the school's janitor, butler, and resurrectionist. He was charged with raiding the black cemeteries to supply the cadavers the medical students needed to learn anatomy and surgery. His portion of the story gives great insight into what it was like for a black slave in that time period. Nemo was atypical in that he was educated and knowledgeable. He even taught the anatomy classes but still did all the menial work too. Jacob learns a lot, even about his own family, when he begins to research the history of the school. He has lots of pressure on him to do the cover up. In fact, his future in medicine depends on it. This parallels the pressure put on Nemo Johnston in earlier times. The story was well-written and engaging and it was in interesting look at a time with attitudes much different than now.
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