Death Comes But Twice by David Field (Carlyle & West Victorian Mysteries Book 2)
English | 2020 | Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 2.9 MB
David Field was born in Nottingham after the war. He attended the local high school and then higher learning, studying and earning his law degree.
Who would want to murder a man who is already supposed to be dead?
When doctor James Carlyle is given a dead body to investigate, he makes a shocking discovery.
Innovative fingerprinting techniques reveal the dead man was Artus Skuja. But Skuja was hanged a year ago…
Carlyle discovers that his new friend, local preacher Matthew West was present at the hanging, and seeks out his help in solving the mystery.
And when more deaths occur, it seems a larger plot could be at large.
What really happened to Skuja? Who covered up his death?
And why was he targeted after his escape…?
‘I assume you are referring to an official hanging, at Newgate?’ Matthew asked after he had recovered from the initial shock of Carlyle’s announcement.
Carlyle nodded. ‘According to the prison records that Inspector Jennings delivered to me earlier today, the man was attended, in his final moments, by “Matthew West, of the East End Mission, Shadwell”. It would seem that your clerical duties take many forms.’
Matthew grimaced. ‘And that is the worst of them. Mercifully, I am rarely called upon to minister to those who are approaching death on the end of a hangman’s noose, but in those cases in which the condemned man is not attended by a clergyman of his own choosing and denomination, then it has become the doleful duty of the Mission to supply one, since the regulations require it. And within the Mission, I seem to be the person most regularly assigned to that grim duty. Mostly the men that I minister to have no concept of God and certainly no respect for Him. Quite apart from anything else, it’s a terrible thing to hear a man cursing God in his last minutes on this earth, on his way to his own execution.’
‘Quite. But what I require from you,’ Carlyle told him, ‘is a step by step account of what takes place during one of those awful events. I need to know how this man could have risen from the dead — unless he perfected the same trick as the man about whom you are given to preaching so ardently.’
‘Only one man ever succeeded in being resurrected,’ Matthew replied angrily, ‘and if you require my co-operation, then it would be as well that you do not jest about that glorious event.’
‘My apologies,’ Carlyle murmured, ‘but you should be well aware by now of my scepticism regarding matters of religion.’
‘As I am suspicious of some of the actions performed in the name of medicine,’ Matthew replied hotly, ‘so let us agree to remain on our respective sides of those two fences, shall we?’
‘Agreed,’ Carlyle replied, looking for once as if he had been put in his place. ‘But please oblige me by describing the process involved in hanging a man. I know that he is dropped through a trapdoor, but little else.’