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The Index Case

ByMolly Macallen

Explicit Content
Was this just too good a collection of cadavers? Madeleine Shanks, a budding historian of anatomy, thought her trip to Philadelphia would be straightforward: she would use the archives of the nineteenth-century Burtonian Anatomy Museum there to flesh out her dissertation research on the history of anatomical specimen acquisition and then head back to Bloomington, Indiana, to wrap up her Ph.D. and launch her career as a conventional academic. But Maddy’s journey takes an unexpected twist right from the start as her housing plans fall through and she reluctantly turns to a group of nuns, who took her in when she was orphaned at the age of fifteen, to help her find a room. The lodging she obtains turns out to be in the home of Philadelphia Police Detective John Wolf, a devout Catholic man Maddy quickly figures out is married – although his wife is nowhere to be seen. Maddy’s plans go even further off track after she meets Dr. Wilhelm, a world-famous researcher on human growth and a patron of the museum. When he invites Maddy to his lab to see his own anatomical collection, Maddy is startled to find the body of Margaret Lovisa, a recently-dead woman with a form of dwarfism, displayed anachronistically in a jar of fluid. Looking deeper into Dr. Wilhelm’s work, Maddy finds so much that doesn’t seem to make sense – including a troubling pattern of death among his patients with the most scientifically-interesting conditions. Should she risk her nascent, fragile career to pursue the truth behind Dr. Wilhelm’s collection? Can she chase down this mystery when a predator from her own past suddenly rears his ugly head? And what is she to make of her increasingly unusual relationship with Detective Wolf, the man who nicknames her “The Rabbit”?


Publication Date
Jul 16, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Molly Macallen



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