Published by Katherine Tegen Books on October 6, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
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.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
If this book had carried on from where it started in the beginning – in the depths of a dank, dark, insane asylum – then it would’ve been a much better reading journey for me. But instead of staying with the fascinating asylum part, A Madness So Discreet moved quickly on from that and became a rather boring mundane murder mystery with not much clever solving happening at all.
So yes, the murder-solving was um, very boring. Basically, NOTHING HAPPENED. A girl would die, Thornhellow and Grace would go take a look, then they’d talk about it, waft around discussing it more and then make absolutely no progress. It felt like a really bad Sherlock retelling gone wrong and having read some absolutely AMAZING Sherlock retellings (The Every Series by Ellie Marney, for anyone interested!) I was not only disappointed but irritated.
If the writing hadn’t been so dull, it probably would’ve lifted the story and made it more exciting to read, but it didn’t. What was sad, is that it was actually very good in the beginning, gripping me to the edge of my seat but then as soon as Grace kind of became herself again it went reallllllly dull. *sigh*
As for characters, I didn’t not like Grace but I just didn’t get her either. I sympathized for her because terrible things had happened to her, things that no one should ever have to go through…but I didn’t really like her because I felt I knew nothing about her…she was just there. Not much emotion was shown, and she felt rather cardboardy. SIGH.
Sadly, I wasn’t emotionally invested. Sure the beginning hooked me and the rest of the book wasn’t that bad but I didn’t FEEL anything! Not one moment was I like, “OMG EMOTIONS AHHH!! *breaks down with all the feels*” Nothing! And that made me so sad! I WANT TO FEEL EMOTIONS DAMMIT!
Although talking about emotions…oh man, that COVER, guys!! SO MUCH BEAUTIFUL. Now that’s something I can get emotional about!
Overall, I feel pretty meh about A Madness So Discreet. The cover is stunning, the beginning was amazing, the middle was boring and the ending quite unsatisfactory, which leaves me feeling annoyed and not quite ready to forgive this book just yet.