I just finished my most recent choice from the depths of the reading world-A Madness of Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. The story is set in the early 1900s in Boston and Ohio. The plot tells of a woman named Grace who is in an insane asylum because she got pregnant out of wedlock. She is not actually insane. However, she has had some strange things happen to her in the past that don’t allow her to cope well with her current situation.
Before digging into the book, I was enthralled by the cover. I was also drawn in by the promise of a murder mystery and how Grace and the local asylum doctor, Thornhollow, would work together to solve it. The cover showed a woman in a dress with her hair wild around her. It looked very intriguing. With a name like “A Madness so Discreet” I assumed this would be an intense book.
I could not have been more wrong. The book sure did show how Thornhollow and Grace work together to solve the mystery, but the focus was more on Grace and her intellectual insanity. The climax of discovering the killer was not really a climax at all. It was like climbing up on a pile of snow that is melting as fast as your pulse is quickening.
I suppose, when you think about it, Grace’s madness is not shown much until the end of the book. The reader discovers that she did in fact let her past demons get the best of her in a situation. So with that, her madness is discreet because it is unseen, and so in that-the author has actually triumphed. I applaud you Mindy, I do. You did achieve what your title suggested would come, but it was not much of a thrill ride. I guess it is just my taste in certain books that caused me to walk away from this disappointed.