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Publisher's Summary

This mesmerizing forensic thriller thrusts the listener into the operating rooms, drawing rooms, and back alleys of 1889 Philadelphia as a young doctor grapples with the principles of scientific process to track a daring killer.

In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, a group of physicians open a coffin and uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. What they see takes their breath away. Within days, one of them strongly suspects that he knows the woman's identity - and the horrifying events that led to her death. But in this richly atmospheric novel, an ingenious blend of history, suspense, and early forensic science, the most compelling chapter is yet to come, as young Ephraim Carroll is plunged into a maze of murder, secrets and unimaginable crimes.

Dr. Ephraim Carroll came to Philadelphia to study with a leading professor, the brilliant William Osler, believing that he would gain the power to save countless lives. As America hurtles toward a new century, medicine is changing rapidly, in part due to the legalization of autopsy - a crime only a few years before. But Carroll and his mentor are at odds over what they glimpsed that morning in the hospital's Dead House. And when a second mysterious death is determined to have been a ruthless murder, Carroll can feel the darkness gathering around him. And he ignites an investigation of his own.

Soon he is moving between the realm of elite medicine, Philadelphia high society, and a teeming badlands of criminality and sexual depravity along the city's fetid waterfront. With a wealthy, seductive woman clouding his vision, the controversial artist Thomas Eakins sowing scandal, and the secrets of the nation's powerful surgeons unraveling around him, Carroll is forced to confront an agonizing moral choice: between exposing a killer, undoing a wrong, and, quite possibly, protecting the future of medicine itself.

©2008 Lawrence Goldstone; (P)2008 Books on Tape

Critic Reviews

"Compelling....[A] top-notch historical page-turner." (Publishers Weekly)
"You'll be gripped by this haunting and atmospheric thriller." (Tess Gerritsen)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

EXCEPTIONAL!!

This book was captivating. The story line with fiction interspersed with such detailed and accurate historical persons and events was well done. So interesting were the characters I had to learn more about the lives and accomplishments of the "true" physicians. I was very sad when it was over because it was so enjoyable that I wanted to driver the long way home. The narrator has a pleasant speaking voice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

LOVABLY OLD-FASHIONED

SET IN THE LATE 1880ies THIS THRILLING NOVEL IS PRESENTED BY THE AUTHOR IN A SLIGHTLY OLD-FASHIONED BUT VERY PLEASING STYLE CHARACTERÍZED BY THE CONSPICUOS ABSENCE OF THE FOUR-LETTER WORDS SO ABUNDANT IN MODERN AMERICAN PROSE. I VERY MUCH ENJOYED LISTENING TO THIS BOOK AND THE FINE RENDITION BY MR ACKROYD.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Medical Mystery

What did you love best about The Anatomy of Deception?

I come from a medical background so I enjoyed the details of medical school/instruction and autopsies with an interesting story woven into the details.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fabulous!

I love this book. I hate to get out of my car and I am going to be sad when it's over. Very suspenseful and a great whodunit!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • San Pedro, CA, USA
  • 02-29-08

not good

I found the parts of the book focused on the history of medicine quite interesting. The author seems to be attempting to make the characters complex but often their motivation doesn't make sense. The mystery part is ok, but the authors antiabortion beliefs are too apparent and offensive to prochoice readers.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • Whitman, MA, United States
  • 02-24-08

Could have been better

I just finished the Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen and was looking for some more historical intrigue and medical beginnings. While the book started off that way it quickly started to be more of just a mystery. The medical parts fading away. I wasn't impressed. Not what I was expecting.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Goldstone does a great job...

Where does The Anatomy of Deception rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 10

If you’ve listened to books by Lawrence Goldstone before, how does this one compare?

First listen, looking forward to more

What about David Ackroyd’s performance did you like?

The narrator disappears.... blends in with the story... as a good narrator should... he lets the story be the star

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The good old days, weren't always so good...

Any additional comments?

love it when I learn new things