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Extended Audio Sample The Anatomy of Deception Audiobook, by Lawrence Goldstone Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (848 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lawrence Goldstone Narrator: David Ackroyd Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781415946909
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A mesmerizing forensic thriller that thrusts the listener into the operating rooms, drawing rooms, and back alleys of 1889 Philadelphia, as a young doctor grapples with the principles of scientific process to track a daring killer.

In the morgue of a Philadelphia hospital, a group of physicians open a coffin and uncover the corpse of a beautiful young woman. Within days one of them strongly suspects that he knows the woman’s identity . . . and the horrifying events that led to her death. But in this richly atmospheric novel, the most compelling moment is yet to come, as young Ephraim Carroll is plunged into a maze of murder, secrets, and unimaginable crimes. . . . 

Dr. Ephraim Carroll came to Philadelphia to study with a leading professor, the brilliant William Osler, believing that he would gain the power to save countless lives. As America hurtles toward a new century, medicine is changing rapidly, in part due to the legalization of autopsy–a crime only a few years before. But Carroll and his mentor are at odds over what they glimpsed that morning in the hospital’s Dead House. And when a second mysterious death is determined to have been a ruthless murder, Carroll can feel the darkness gathering around him–and he ignites an investigation of his own. Ultimately, Carroll is forced to confront an agonizing moral choice–between exposing a killer, undoing a wrong, and, quite possibly, protecting the future of medicine itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Colorful and highly informative.... Evokes the evolving medical profession and the art world in late-19th-century America. USA Today
  • “Long before CSI, the dead were offering up their clues…. will thrill lovers of history, medicine, forensics and, of course, a good mystery. Parade
  • You’ll be gripped by this haunting and atmospheric thriller. Tess Gerritsen
  • Compelling…. [A] top-notch historical page-turner. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • What makes his book so fascinating is the attention to the medical procedures and innovations of the time ... Readers who enjoy Anne Perry’s and Caleb Carr’s psychological thrillers will welcome Goldstone’s brooding, paranoiac addition to the genre. Booklist
  • Packed with historical asides and real-life figures. Entertainment Weekly
  • A clever and entertaining tale…. set in the surgical theaters and medical research halls of late-19th century Philadelphia and Baltimore. Los Angeles Times Book Review

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 2/18/2014

    " ok medical thriller, historical. Based on a real life character William Osler, the father of modern medicine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 2/17/2014

    " This book is about a group of doctors in the 19th century that are doing autopsies on the dead that are found in the lowest areas of Philadelphia. They come across a women that is clearly of the upper class, but are taken away from her quickly as the head physician seems upset by the body. A thriller and somewhat of a mystery begins, as one of the doctors falls into the middle of a dark secret that leads him to the art world, the society world and even upsets his lonely existence. This is an interesting book and I learned a lot about the medical field of that time, as well as some of the curious quirks of doctors, and the different beliefs of the churches at that time. Great read, and a good mystery! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 2/15/2014

    " Not bad, but not always as realistic as it could be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/29/2014

    " Too much historical name dropping (i.e., Thomas Eakins, William Stewart Halsted, etc.) and I didn't like the ending. It was a struggle for me to get through the book, which is a shame, because it had a nice premise. Disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 1/26/2014

    " This was a very entertaining mystery. Very different with the medical twist to it. Kind of a "pre csi" story. Really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 1/18/2014

    " A pretty good mystery that mixes fictional characters with historical ones. The medical detail for the times was detailed and accurate, and, for me at least, was a big reason I stayed hooked. It kept me going when, at times, the plot got a little draggy. Worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Book Concierge | 1/12/2014

    " A forensic thriller set in 1889 Philadelphia, that tries to answer the question: Is the benefit of a thousand people more important than justice to one? I am not sure he succeeds in the moral dilemma, but it's a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 james | 1/1/2014

    " This work takes place in late 19th century Philadelphia; the main characters are doctors studying medicine by disecting cadavers. One might call it CSI: 1885. This is not a book which will keep you up all night trying to finish it, but it's better than average. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 12/31/2013

    " Fun read. A little rushed toward the end but enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke | 12/9/2013

    " A facinating mystery. A page turner! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicola Turner | 11/13/2013

    " A page turner, but not great. I learned a lot about medicine in the late 1800s "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 10/26/2013

    " As a mystery, it was rather shallow. Many of the characters felt 2-dimensional. But in the context of the history of medicine/anatomy in Philadelphia in the 1800's, it was really interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abbey | 10/15/2013

    " Very enjoyable story about medicine in the late 1800s, including a murder mystery, the seedier side of American cities, and the beginnings of what would become modern surgery. And the bad guys don't necessarily get their comeuppance. Will read more by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evelyn | 8/3/2013

    " Terrific historical thriller. I'd definitely read another one by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Navajojim | 5/28/2013

    " I thought it was pretty good, sherlock holmes/ doctor mystery. 4 or 5, i just don't know how i feel about the ending. Deffenately different for me but decent as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne | 12/30/2012

    " A very interesting read. While fiction, the author does a good job introducing the reader to 19th century medical practices. I learned a lot! Good plot, murder/mystery. A great poolside read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 12/13/2012

    " Almost a five-star. Mystery intertwined with history of medicine. Great mix! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 11/17/2012

    " Fun medical mystery that takes place in the late 1800s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward | 10/25/2012

    " A whole bundle of how modern medicine developed in this country. The books was going 5 star amazing until it neared the end and seemed to roll over. Probably because so many of the characters were real people that there was a need to get out of the plot without changing history. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ben Chenoweth | 9/26/2012

    " It wasn't half as exciting as I was expecting, based on the cover (but you know what they say about that!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 4/10/2012

    " I quite enjoyed this book as I listened to it on my IPOD while commuting to work. A solid mystery, good character development, and fascinating information about the medical profession in its early stages (late 1800's). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 3/25/2012

    " This was an entertaining read, but I found the factual bits about the history of medicine (especially at Johns Hopkins)more interesting than the actual plot. If I didn't already know of the actual doctors, I might not have found the book as interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 12/29/2011

    " This is an excellent murdery mystery juxtaposed against the development of late 18th/early 19th century medicine. I highly recommend it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 7/4/2011

    " I liked this book more for the history than the actual plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 7/3/2011

    " This was a book chosen for book club. Just okay. Wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather Williams | 6/8/2011

    " meh ... an ok book ... but nothing to write home about "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom | 5/30/2011

    " This is a very good description of life and medicine in the 1800's. I am not sure everyone will like it because it is quite descriptive in parts and if you are not a fan of CSI you may not want to try it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 5/2/2011

    " I enjoyed this historical fiction book. I learned a lot about the history of modern medicine and enjoyed a mystery in the process.
    I would like to read other books from this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy | 5/1/2011

    " Fun medical mystery that takes place in the late 1800s. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 4/22/2011

    " tedious, snippets were interesting, rest unmemorable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 4/15/2011

    " Almost a five-star. Mystery intertwined with history of medicine. Great mix! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 4/1/2011

    " An excellent piece of fiction set in Victorian era Philadelphia. A little bit for everyone: mystery, historical fiction, science, art and romance. Even the famous Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins makes an appearance. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 2/9/2011

    " It was ok. It didn't have me sitting on the edge of my seat. I liked all the medical information. (Although is might have gone into a little to much detail to read while eating lunch! haha) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 2/3/2011

    " Fun read. A little rushed toward the end but enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 12/29/2010

    " A bit slow as far as an audio book goes yet it kept me interested. I didn't particularly care for any of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 12/1/2010

    " This was a book chosen for book club. Just okay. Wouldn't necessarily recommend it to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 8/2/2010

    " i thought this was a really well done historical who done it. I got into the characters and the plot kept me guessing, pretty much. Very well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynnette | 7/20/2010

    " Literary Guild describes this book as follows: A smart, carefully crafted tale that seamlessly blends history, early forensic science, and knife-edged suspense.
    Well, not quite... "

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About the Author
Author Lawrence Goldstone

Lawrence Goldstone is the author or coauthor of fourteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including Rights, which won a New American Writing Award, and Anatomy of Deception, a New York Times notable mystery. His articles, reviews, and opinion pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and other periodicals. He has appeared on many TV and radio shows, and his work has been profiled in the New York Times, Toronto Star, Salon, and Slate.

About the Narrator

David Ackroyd is an American actor who first came to prominence in soap operas such as The Secret Storm and Another World. He was born in Orange, New Jersey, a suburb of Newark.