Thursday, October 12, 2017
Asylum by Jeannette De Beauvoir (thoughts)
"Martine LeDuc is the director of PR for the mayor's office in Montreal. When four women are found brutally murdered and shockingly posed on park benches throughout the city over several months, Martine's boss fears a PR disaster for the still busy tourist season, and Martine is now also tasked with acting as liaison between the mayor and the police department. The women were of varying ages, backgrounds and bodytypes and seemed to have nothing in common. Yet the macabre presentation of their bodies hints at a connection. Martine is paired with a young detective, Julian Fletcher, and together they dig deep into the city's and the country's past, only to uncover a dark secret dating back to the 1950s, when orphanages in Montreal and elsewhere were converted to asylums in order to gain more funding. The children were subjected to horrific experiments such as lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and psychotropic medication, and many of them died in the process. The survivors were supposedly compensated for their trauma by the government and the cases seem to have been settled. So who is bearing a grudge now, and why did these four women have to die?
Not until Martine finds herself imprisoned in the terrifying steam tunnels underneath the old asylum does she put the pieces together. And it is almost too late for her..."
This book originally went on my radar went it was first released but then it sat on my shelves unread. I'm so regretting this as I found this book to be absolutely fantastic! There is a very good chance that this one will make my top reads list for 2017! I loved the summary above which is why I originally wanted to read it. What I didn't realize is that this author based some of the events of this book on a true and terrible event in Canada's history. I don't want to say too much as it plays an important role in this mystery but I will say that it completely adds to this book even if it is horrifying to think about. I found myself absolutely sucked into the story from almost the very beginning. The book is set up in two parts. One is focused on Martine LeDuc and her hunt to figure out who is behind the killings of these women in Montreal. The other storyline focused on the story of one of the orphans and what happened to that individual so long ago. These two storylines tied together so perfectly and I just won't say any more than that. I was absolutely just blown away by how good this book was!
I also really enjoyed this book because it was set in Canada and the author managed to bring Montreal to life for me in this book. This is the second book I've read set in Canada this year and I have just adored the chance to read about this country that I've never had the chance to visit for myself. I loved the descriptions of Montreal that the author included and especially adored all of the French phrases that were included throughout. It really made me feel like I was there with the characters. I liked that Martine wasn't your usual detective - in fact she wasn't a detective at all but got involved with the hunt for this killer in a very realistic way. I found myself unable to stop reading this book for long. And the ending was so intense that I just gave up watching my son at football practice and lost myself completely in finishing this book. The ending was so flipping good and I won't say any more than that. I've tried to keep the spoilers to a minimum here but this is a book that I can't recommend enough!
Overall, I found myself so completely blown away by this book and I cannot even put into words how much I enjoyed it! I feel like it's kinda awful to say when you think about the actual historical events that this book was based around but I still really, really enjoyed it! I'm so excited that I have another book in this series to look forward to but I'm hoping the 3rd is on it's way. This is an author to watch for as this is only her very first book! Crazy! I'm really excited that I finally pulled this one off of my shelves (thanks to my husband) because I was missing out. I would recommend this one to both mystery and thriller fans alike! Just be warned that there are some definite triggers here so sensitive readers be warned. Highly recommended!
Bottom Line: A mystery that will stick with me for a long time thanks to the events it was based around. So good!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to a Goodread's giveaway and the publisher.