I received this book in a book club deal, choosing it for its subject matter, historical milieu, and mystery genre. Generally, I make a judgment about the quality of a novel in the first 10 pages, and in this case, The Anatomists' Apprentice struck me as poorly written, cliche-ridden, florid in places, and more bodice-ripper in tone than a mystery. Finishing the book, my initial opinion was unchanged. I continued reading because of the medical intricacies, and not for the poorly named characters (a melodramatic nod to Dickens?), the predictable plot, or for a main character, Dr. Silkstone, who seemed more a device than a person of substance. Finally, I found that there was a literary trade off--a story poorly written in exchange for period accuracy and an interesting and fascinating chronicle of the discoveries of a "medical examiner", or anatomist of that age. It could have been so much more--more mature, more provocative, more engaging, deeper characters, better written (where was her editor in this???) and more genuine. Writing historical fiction, done well by authors skilled in writing as well as weaving their story into the social conventions, culture and physical world of the period (Anne Perry, Ken Follett, Ariana Franklin for example), compel readers to want more, to follow the evolution of the main characters, and invest in their adventures. Where Harris cheated readers most was giving the us interesting period and medical details book-ended by poor writing and cliched characters. It wasn't horrible, it just left me feeling profoundly disappointed. Sadly, I can't recommend this novel.