Published: 01/01/2013
ISBN: 9781780883922
eISBN: 9781780886916
Format: Paperback/eBook



From the moment I started reading this carefully crafted novel I was hooked. The interweaving of medical dilemmas and human drama makes for a compelling read and I was eager to find out what happened to the main protagonists. Smith evokes the majestic setting of Durham so beautifully that I could clearly imagine myself walking down the same streets and across the same bridges. A fantastic debut novel!
Dr Sarah Price (Head of Learning Team, Durham University Library and Museums)

Smith has cleverly created a winning combination of mystery and drama in this excellent debut. I devoured this novel at one sitting. A book full of North Eastern promise! – Diane Cockburn author of Under Surveillance and Electric Mermaid

This intriguing book follows Jasper Candle's troubled life through a series of mysteries, mingling the world of litigation, medical dramas and family dilemmas into an addictive read. With the help of his colleague and friend Lazlo, he unearths some unpalatable truths, which challenge his previously held beliefs about every aspect of his life. This novel is interesting, accessible and an enjoyable read. – Valerie Loh, Creative Writing Tutor, The London School of Journalism


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The Secret Anatomy of Candles
by Quentin Smith

The Secret Anatomy of Candles is a medico-legal mystery drama, written by a doctor, which is set predominantly in Durham City and the north east of England.

Jasper Candle is a ruthless compensation lawyer who finds blame behind every misadventure. But when 3 year old Ollie dies because of the measles vaccination controversy, a man recovering from cancer surgery also perishes as a result of an infection caught from another sick patient, and Jasper’s wife commits suicide in mysterious circumstances, Jasper’s convictions are tested to the limit.

Investigating the enigmatic death of his wife, Jasper uncovers a devastating family secret running in his family which forced an impossible choice upon her. As the investigation unfolds Jasper finds blame for her death increasingly difficult to apportion, something he is not accustomed to, and this re-examination of culpability conflicts strongly with his professional convictions and practices.

In the end, finding somebody to blame for every event is not always that simple, that appropriate, nor that desirable. Jasper always tells his clients that blame facilitates closure, but ultimately finds that neither blame nor closure can heal everything.

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