The Resurrectionist - James Bradley
I was hooked from the first page of this tale of a medical student in early 19th century London who becomes more involved in grave robbing than he'd care to and falls in love with a lady of ill repute. In no time I was two thirds of the way into the story. At which point I increasingly had to force myself to get through the rest.
Around the midpoint of the book, all the relationships and characters that drew me into it were destroyed by the narrator's descent into immorality. It is, I suppose, a fantastic literary device, but it had the unfortunate outcome of removing all those elements I liked best. Personally, I'd have preferred it as a more low key, less destructive story. In particular, I - perhaps pathologically - found myself rather touched by the reserved and bittersweet romance in the book's first half.