… Ingenious Pain creates a fully imagined narrative world teeming with characters who dramatise the sensuality of the age … Ingenious Pain is a persuasive literary achievement.
Ingenious Pain tells of the rise, fall and redemption of an extraordinary man, whose lack of compassion is physical: he is unable to feel pain. Born in the West Country, in the mid-eighteenth century, at the dawn of the Enlightenment, James Dyer grows up to become a brilliant surgeon. The novels takes us from England, through Europe, across to Russia, as Dyer travels to St. Petersburg: en route, he meets a witch-like woman, who proves both his nemesis and saviour. At one level an exciting adventure story, Ingenious Pain is also a novel of ideas, packed with detail, with a wonderful sense of period.