Sunderland during the cholera epidemic of 1832 is bitterly divided between the rich, who believe they have nothing to fear from a disease which afflicts mainly the poor, and the disenfranchised, who fear cholera is part of a plot to exterminate them. Through the streets of the city walks Gustine, a prostitute, followed by the Eye, an old woman paid by her pimp to keep Gustine under constant surveillance. Gustine has joined forces with a surgeon forced out of Edinburgh in the wake of the Burke & Hare body-snatching scandal. Henry operates an Anatomy School but has no bodies with which to teach; Gustine, moving among the week and dying, comes across bodies all the time. He believes she can help him advance medical science, and she believes if he becomes a better doctor, he can save the life of her critically ill baby.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 320 pages, n/a
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 17/08/2000
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780340717844
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