Friday, December 9, 2016

A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

by:  Mindy McGinnis
published by:  Katherine Tegen Books
publish date:  October 6, 2015

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.

This book is a reminder of the terrible history of mental asylums.  Women could be committed for nearly any reason.  Once inside, conditions were terrible.  Mental illness was not well understood and doctors at the time did not know how to treat their patients.  

Grace Mae was from a very well to do family, but she was being sexually abused by her father.  When she gets pregnant, her family forces her into an insane asylum to have the baby.  In that time a fellow inmate helps her escape with the help of a doctor that specializes in psychology.  He recognizes her intelligence and takes her on as an apprentice while he studies crime scenes for clues into the psychological picture of the killer.  

I really enjoyed this book.  I'm a big fan of historical fiction and with the psychological thriller aspect thrown in, that just made it so much better.  I'm secretly hoping that this will be the first book of a series with Grace Mae continuing to solve murders.  

1 comment:

Alyssa Nelson said...

This sounds AMAZING. I have a weird fascination with the history of insane asylums and how often they were just a holding place for well-to-do families who were embarrassed by their relative's behaviors or conditions. This is definitely something I'm interested in checking out -- thanks for sharing!