Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Review: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Title: A Madness So Discreet
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: 6 October 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed: Sapphired Dragon
Rating: ****

My Review:

This book was an absolute surprise packet for me.  I mean obviously I originally requested it because it sounded interesting but still for some reason I didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

I wasn't so sure at first as the book opens with the brutality of the asylum where Grace has been sent since her family found out she was pregnant and that nearly put me off.  However I am glad I continued on as the story itself was original and slowly but surely drew me in.

I loved the way this story was written.  Ms McGinnis writing style flows around you as you move through the story, seamlessly taking you from one scene to the next and bringing the story  and era to life around you.

The idea of an unorthodox pairing solving murders is not necessarily new but the idea of a doctor and a woman posing as one of his insane patients, living in an asylum by day and solving murders by night using the beginnings of forensic psychology in late 19th century Ohio makes for a mean premise which is backed up by wonderful writing, a great story and characters I could really warm to.

Ms McGinnis' depiction of a time where a woman could be deemed insane merely on the word of a male relative, whether it be to gain access to money or land or hide someone ill or pregnant and unmarried is scary mostly because of its historical accuracy.  In a time, when women were mostly seen as possessions or ornaments, we meet Grace Mae, an incredibly intelligent woman who despite the horrendous things that has happened to her has chosen to continue on and take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented to her find a purpose for her life in finding the truth for other down trodden forgotten victims whose deaths have been merely swept aside.

I also loved the bevy of different characters we meet along the way where even the most evil and unsympathetic characters are fleshed out and well drawn.  In particular, i loved Grace's companions Elizabeth and nell and Thornhollow's sister Adelaide.

All in all, this is a clever, strangely compelling and engaging story.

I give it 4 stars!

Sapphired Dragon xx

About The Book:

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Grace Mae knows madness.

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.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. This sound very intriguing.