Thought this would be like other "English" style mysteries I've read. Not. Material covered around one hundred fifty years and it felt like I'd lived every year by the time I read the last page. Won't give away the book's finish, but it was very apparent from the first few chapters what the dreadful secret was.
With "The Blood Doctor", Ruth Rendell writes as Barbara Vine. I usually love anything written by Rendell but this book was a disappointment. For one, a good part of the book was about British government which I had trouble following. It had something to do with granting and taking away Lord titles which has no correlation to our government.
"Lord" Henry Nanther is married to Jude, a woman obsessed with getting pregnant. Just as tedious as the government details was the geneological material Henry puts together to understand his famous great-great-great grandfather, also Henry Nanther. Because of his work and research with hemophilia, Henry was made a "Lord" by Queen Victoria. The present day Henry senses something sinister about his relative as he gets closer to the end of the biography he's writing. If you love biology, then you'll love this book. It goes into details about hemophilial, how it's transmitted and how it's contained. I had no such interest and felt it slowed the story down. None of the characters are very likeable either. For me, only Henry held pity as he succumbs to Jude's baby obsession despite his negative feelings. This is really a book about obsession. The first Henry was obsessed with finding a cure for hemophilia as well as becoming famous; Jude is obsessed with having a baby; and, Henry is obsessed with Jude.