The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling is a truly bloody and gruesome haunt. If you are looking for a mystery tinged in gore and the supernatural (and a touch of romance), then this book is for you!
What’s It About?
In post war England, Jane Shoringfield acts as an accountant for her guardians and is devoted to her mathematical passions. But when her guardians decide to return to the town Jane only remembers as a source of pain and suffering, she looks for a way out. She calculates who would be an ideal match for a marriage that would offer her freedom to pursue her intellectual pastimes without confining her to a life of rearing children, more of a business arrangement than companionship.
Jane thinks she has found the ideal partner in the reclusive Dr. Augustine Lawerence and proposes her desired arrangement with him. To her surprise he agrees, as long as she does not stay with him in his decrepit family manor, Lindridge Hall. They are wed but on their wedding night, a brutal storm causes her to betray her original agreement with the doctor and stay at the manor. Through her stay she comes to realize exactly why her husband wanted her away but cannot bring herself to leave as secrets of the manor begin to be revealed.
The romance is delicately woven into the tale so that isn’t overwhelming or takes away from the horror of the story. Elements of the supernatural are presented in a new and disconcerting way that keep the story original and unique. The author does a great job of drawing you into the story by the way she establishes the relationships and sets the mood. The gore in the doctor’s surgeries and the mystery of his past unraveling keep you invested along with Jane from the start. There are moments when you feel as if you’ve reached your limit but you push forward because you just have to uncover the truth! The atmosphere created by Starling leads to a lingering need to check your dark corners and leave the light on long after you’ve finished the last page.
The Death of Jane Lawrence grips your attention from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the tale is done. It was a page-turner that kept me wondering long past the close of the book. Give it a read if you enjoy period-pieces, mysteries, gore, some romance and plenty of the supernatural.
Image from us.macmillan.com