Author: Mindy McGinnis
Release date: October 6th, 2015
Genre: Psychological thriller
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Summary: Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace’s brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant. Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.
A Madness So Discreet takes a different prospective on the 1800’s era- using this time period for the background to a young adult novel based in historical fiction was certainly a different spin on things.
Grace, the main protagonist is certainly a tortured soul- both physically and mentally. She has been deemed mad by society and. after losing her child due to the absolute cruelty of one of Boston’s most prestigious mental hospital Grace is banished to the cellar. Alone in her thoughts, she finds herself close to giving up when she meets her unlikely salvation in That is until a voice in the gloom, which urges her own from her throat again, bargains for her to be rescued by the mysterious and utilitarian like Dr. Thornhollow. After moving to Ohio from Boston, she then becomes the doctor’s assistant- with the new found lease on life, she finds friendship and hope for the future, but not where she would have ever thought. Many nights are spent with the doctor trying to piece together a mystery surrounding a killer who stalks young women. Not only must she help track down this fiend, but also face the torturous horrors of her past.
“I think we’re all quite mad. Some of us are just more discreet about it.”
― Mindy McGinnis, A Madness So Discreet
In the beginning, Grace is quite the likeable character- she is smart, headstrong and brave. Her willingness about helping the good doctor out with the case showed a determined side of her that was a get contrast to how she was thought about back home in Boston. As the novel moved on though, her uncalled for risky almost stupid choices, showed she was not almost the most rational person. To be quite honest, none of the other characters are worth mentioning. The rapists and murderers were generic at best and bland at worst. I genuinely though that Thornhollow was going to be one of my favourite characters at first, however once again, the progression of the plot give him no real personality to speak of.
The plot was a character in of itself, and not in the good way. I do not know why, but almost every antagonist had a mental illness of some kind, rather than just being totally despicable. Every action does not need to be justified by a scientific explanation; however this author would clearly disagree with that.
In the end the book was enjoyable if you are interested in a slow read, however if you were looking for something with deeper meaning, A Madness So Discreet is not it