Ruth Rendell: The Blood Doctor

(1146 words)
  • Susan A. Rowland (University of Greenwich)

The Blood Doctor (2002) is a very unusual crime novel and therefore typical of the work of Barbara Vine. In the first place, the book is narrated from the midst of a real historical upheaval in British Government, the reform of the House of Lords in 1999 when most hereditary peers lost their rights. Secondly, although the book uncovers the truth about a mugging and a murder in the nineteenth century, the real horrific crime proves to be an act beyond the capacity of the law to punish.

Biographer and The Blood Doctor’s narrator, Martin Nanther, is a hereditary peer because his great grandfather was a favourite doctor of Queen Victoria. Known as “the blood doctor” for his specialism in haemophilia, Henry …

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Rowland, Susan A.. "The Blood Doctor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2006
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Crime, Detective, Spy/ Thriller Fiction