Historical-Fiction, Young/Mature-Adult, Mental Illness, Mystery, Murder, Thriller
eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss
My Rating 4 Stars
She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.
When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.
REVIEW This book is basically chalk talk on catching a killer, who is sane/insane, and lawlessness. I freaking love it! The way that the story unfolds, makes the pacing just right. I was done within hours after starting it. There are things that I don’t agree with here, but I still enjoyed the story as a whole.
Grace is locked in an asylum, pregnant and with a photographic memory. Not sure if that’s the right word for her, but I’ll call it photographic so that you get a sense of what I’m talking about. Now, the big question is why. Well, to say it outright would spoil it. Let’s just say that this is Victorian Era Boston and what better way to hide ones sins than hiding a person from society. If a reader doesn’t feel anything while reading the beginning of this book, something is really wrong. I just felt so bad for Grace Mae. The girl stopped talking and shut off her mind most of the time. Until she is thrown down in the dungeon of the asylum and meets her cell neighbor Falsteed. Now, he is creepy, but is kind as well. Enter another character, Dr. Thornhollow. He’s a head doctor. As in, brain. Only, he’s much more and he wants to understand criminal behavior and what deems a person insane or sane. As he said:
“We are all mad. Some are just more discreet about it.”
Or something along those lines. After a little deceit, Grace is soon in the company of Dr. Thornhollow and headed to Ohio. She meets some interesting characters and is soon working alongside Thornhollow, trying to catch a killer.
So a lot happened in the beginning, middle, and end. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m trying to be discreet about it. (No pun intended) The characters: Falsteed is creepy but I like him. He kept in touch with Grace throughout the whole book, and him helping her when they first met made me like him from the start. Thornhollow seemed untrustworthy to me in the beginning, but he grew on me. He may have unethical ways of practicing his craft, but he was a good guy nonetheless. Lizzie and Nell are quite the characters. Nell….. I can’t say how much that upset me; what she did. She had reasons, but I really don’t think I could have done that. Lizzie’s help in the end was quite the show. No matter if I don’t agree with how the last 25% of this book ended, it was still a great twist to the plot.
Think of a Victorian Era Mulder and Scully. Except we aren’t dealing with paranormal here. That is what the relationship between Grace and Thornhollow is about. Working out the driving force behind criminal minds and catching them. The ending was so not right. I don’t like what they did, but I guess that’s their form of justice. All-in-all, this is a great story. Definitely recommend!