Travel to Glasgow in 1893 in David Craig’s paranormal mystery, Resurrection Men, book one in the Sooty Feathers series.
Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources and Elsewhen Press for sending me a free copy of Resurrection Men in return for an honest review.
Resurrection Men follows Wilton Hunt and Tam Foley, who have a side-job digging up dead bodies for medical research, working as ‘resurrection men’. After exhuming a girl’s corpse, they fill in her grave — and when they turn back, she’s disappeared. It turns out that this is just one of several corpses that has gone missing recently. When Hunt is attacked by the girl who is supposed to be dead, the pair realise that there is more to this than meets the eye.
I absolutely love vampire stories and Resurrection Men is a fantastic addition to the genre! The atmosphere of Resurrection Men is incredibly dark and gothic. David has painted an incredibly vivid picture of historical Glasgow, and I found it totally immersive!
I really liked the two main characters, Hunt and Foley. The two are incredibly well developed, and I loved the banter between the two. Both characters are flawed protagonists, too. Wilton Hunt has been disinherited by his parents after changing from studying Law to Zoology and the sciences, and doesn’t want to go into the family business. Tam Foley is an alcoholic and a laudanum-addicted pharmacist. His brother and parents have passed away, leaving him the owner of Foley Pharmacy and the flat above. They live together, and their friendship feels authentic and well-developed.
There are lots of interesting side characters too, including some strong women! Lady Delaney was a really interesting character. I would say that at times the number of side characters was a little overwhelming, as David details all of their back stories and history. However, this does make the whole book incredibly immersive and it feels rich with history and stories.
The plot kept me guessing throughout the book. A few sections are verging on horror, such as when Hunt stays in a farmhouse overnight after being waylaid by a storm. I was totally gripped and anxious the whole time for him and his friends! It’s a fast-paced story, that is cleverly written with several characters’ stories weaving into the main plot. I liked the way that the paranormal elements are woven in with the historical context. This makes Resurrection Men totally original from other vampire novels that I’ve read!
The blurb for Resurrection Men
Wilton Hunt, a student, and Tam Foley, a laudanum-addicted pharmacist, are pursuing extra-curricular careers as body snatchers, or ‘resurrection men’, under cover of darkness. They exhume a girl’s corpse, only for it to disappear while their backs are turned. Confused and in need of the money the body would have earnt them, they investigate the corpse’s disappearance. They discover that bodies have started to turn up in the area with ripped-out throats and severe loss of blood, although not the one they lost. The police are being encouraged by powerful people to look the other way, and the deaths are going unreported by the press. As Hunt and Foley delve beneath the veneer of respectable society, they find themselves entangled in a dangerous underworld that is protected from scrutiny by the rich and powerful members of the elite but secretive Sooty Feathers Club.
Meanwhile, a mysterious circus arrives in the middle of the night, summoned to help avenge a betrayal two centuries old…
About the author, David Craig
Aside from three months living on an oil tanker sailing back and forth between America and Africa, and two years living in a pub, David Craig grew up on the west coast of Scotland. He studied Software Engineering at university, but lost interest in the subject after (and admittedly prior to) graduation. He currently works as a strategic workforce planning analyst for a public service contact centre, and lives near Glasgow with his wife, daughter and two rabbits.
Being a published writer had been a life-long dream, and one that he was delighted to finally realise with his debut novel, Resurrection Men, the first in the Sooty Feathers series, published by Elsewhen Press in 2018. Thorns of a Black Rose was David’s second novel, also published by Elsewhen Press. He returns to the Sooty Feathers series with Lord of the Hunt.