Posts Tagged ‘The Unquiet Heart’

  • Title: The Unquiet Heart
  • Author: Kaite Welsh
  • Publisher: Tinder Press
  • Publication Date: 30th May 2019

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.


Kaite Welsh’s thrilling medical mystery THE UNQUIET HEART is the second in the gothic Sarah Gilchrist series, following a medical student turned detective in Victorian Edinburgh. For readers of Natasha Pulley’s THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET or Laura Purcell’s THE SILENT COMPANIONS.

This powerful novel combines a disturbing look at late Victorian attitudes towards women and morality with a satisfying murder mystery – Sunday Express

Sarah Gilchrist has no intention of marrying her dull fiancé Miles, the man her family hope will restore her reputation and put an end to her dreams of becoming a doctor, but when he is arrested for a murder she is sure he didn’t commit she finds herself his reluctant ally. Beneath the genteel façade of upper class Edinburgh lurks blackmail, adultery, poison and madness and Sarah must return to Edinburgh’s slums, back alleys and asylums as she discovers the dark past about a family where no one is what they seem, even Miles himself. It also brings her back into the orbit of her mercurial professor, Gregory Merchiston – he sees Sarah as his protegee, but can he stave off his demons long enough to teach her the skills that will save her life?

My Thoughts:

The Unquiet Heart is the second installment in the series to feature Sarah Gilchrist written by Kaite Welsh. In this series, we are once more led into the world of 19th-century-Edinburgh where a group of intelligent women are continuing their fight to be educated in the field of medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Following the scandals that were unearthed in The Wages of Sin, Sarah Gilchrist is struggling to conform to the image her family wish to portray. Her engagement to Miles is a pretence, she has no desire to marry him, but her family hope that this will be the key to Sarah giving up her dream of becoming a doctor, and restore their name after the shame she brought upon them.

I would recommend reading the books in this series in order, this will allow readers to grasp the importance of the events that took place in The Wages of Sin. It will allow readers to fully appreciate the journey that Sarah Gilchrist has made. Not only the physical journey to Edinburgh, but the mental journey she has been on to get to the place she’s at now. There is no denying that this is a complex character, one with a past that could make her vulnerable, but instead, she uses it to spur her onward.

The plot of The Unquiet Heart is fascinating and utterly gripping. I found myself reading another chapter and another, before giving up on sleep entirely because I couldn’t possibly put this book down. The way that the action and drama unfolds is clever and intense, Welsh manages to pack the right amount of drama into each moment. She deftly weaves atmosphere and vivid detail through out the narrative, crafting a truly magnificent book. This is a treat for fans of historic fiction, the attention to detail and care that have gone into the research and writing of this book make it a delight to read. And, not only do we have a thrilling read, we also navigate the societal hurdles of the time as Sarah Gilchrist fights against the accepted norms of the time, defying the gendered stereotypical roles by being a medical student, not being married by a certain age and finding a match in the most unlikely place.

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