A Fever of the Blood (Frey and McGray #2) by Oscar de Muriel

New Years’ Day – 1889.

In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes and a nurse lays dying. Before his escape he was supposedly heard speaking with a fellow patient – a young woman who hasn’t uttered a word in years. Why she spoke and what she said are only two small parts of a greater mystery.

Leading the investigation are local officer Detective ‘Nine Nails’ McGray and Inspector Ian Frey. From Edinburgh, the two track a devious madman far beyond their jurisdiction. While the worst storm in history swirls around them, it brings more than snow and cold – it brings danger neither man could dare imagine.

Coming in to the middle of a series – regardless of the format – can often be a bit difficult. Characters have already been introduced and set up, their motives already established. Mentions of previous adventures, previous conversations, can be made and will either make perfect sense or be utterly confusing.

This is unfortunately true with A Fever of the Blood. It is the second book of a series that looks to be promising but really should be read from the first book. Numerous references are made to events in the first book and at times I found it a bit confusing.

On the whole, A Fever of the Blood was quite enjoyable. While it was a little slow in the beginning, once the action picked up it continued at a fast and furious speed. Despite my occasional confusion I still found myself entranced and held rapt by the story.

Readers should likely seek out the first book The Strings of Murder before trying to read A Fever of the Blood. While on its own it is enjoyable, knowing more about the characters and the backstory will likely make it more so.

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