Author: Mindy McGinnis
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of going to an event at the Harper Collins Canada offices. Although I had already received an ARC of this book before the event, I learned a lot more aboutA Madness so Discreet than I realized through the discussion of the publisher. The book takes place in an asylum, it questions who is truly mad, and it also has a Sherlock-esque style mystery afoot. All these little aspect made me realize that I was going to have a fun, if disturbing read on my hands.
And it was everything I had hoped it to be!
I’ve never read Mindy McGinnis before, but she’s an author a lot of my friends absolutely adore. After reading this book, I totally understand the Mindy McGinnis love fest — A Madness So Discreet has wonderful and rich world building, ripe with gorgeous description, detailing the chronicles of Grace’s madness, who she wants revenge on, and why mental illness is such a tough topic to tackle, especially given that this is a period piece as well.
I loved Grace as a protagonist, and I loved the way in which she is developed throughout. A lot of this book asks the reader to question who is truly insane, and it’s done exceptionally well with how the characters in the asylum are developed. I was a huge fan of Nell, and I found her to be quite creepy and humourous at the same time. Falsteed was just such a great and misleading character, and Thronhollow is just… he’s insane. If there is anyone truly insane at times in this story, it’s him all the way through. And I adore him for it.
The cast in this book is stellar, and they are all such wonderfully developed individuals. They keep the mystery and murder elements in the story fresh and engaging, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t find this book predictable in the slightest. I found myself constantly wanting more information, more deductions on the case at hand, and the final forty pages of this book are so mind blowing, that I found myself gasping aloud because while I had a hunch that this event would happen, I didn’t think it would happen in the way that McGinnis took it. Seriously, the ending is brilliant.
A Madness So Discreet is complex, intense, and delightfully creepy. It’s a book that will keep you on your toes and ask you to ponder some tougher issues, while also presenting a fast-paced adventure in a true Sherlock style manner. If you loved Mindy McGinnis’ previous books, or you want a wonderful, creepy historical novel, then look no further.