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Publisher's Summary

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.
In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil - and the madness that exists in all of us.
©2015 Mindy McGinnis (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stephanie on 03-08-16

Fantastically Gothic and Gripping

If you could sum up A Madness So Discreet in three words, what would they be?

Madness is thrilling.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Madness So Discreet?

The mental patient who could smell diseases . . . for real.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Grace was thrown into the cellar of the mental institution, in complete darkness, naked, bleeding, and then the lobotomy doctor shows up.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had an extreme reaction in that I love it so much I reached out to the author to tell her how much I loved it.

Any additional comments?

If you enjoy historicals, Gothic tales, mental illness history or asylum history plus murder mysteries with a unique factor or serial killer tales, enjoy!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Alexis☺ on 01-13-17

Thoughtful dark Gothic

McGinnis's A Madness so Discreet is daring and engaging until her heroine begins to presume upon the righteousness of being horribly wronged. Great originality, particularly in the underground prison relationships. But the main character begins to make decisions that are both questionable for someone who has been through what she has and is fighting for survival and, hopefully, questionable for a sympathetic reader. Her arguments with her doctor and his willingness to continue to work with her under the conditions she creates in their skewed power relationship may make good feminist fantasy but also begin to wear on this reader's suspended disbelief. By the end, I was too conscious of frayed edges and unexplored possibilities to sympathize with any of the adult women characters in the book, and this also affected my rating of the narrator. Her Nell feels heavy and overblown, hard to see as the virginal victim that she actually was, and I wondered if the way the author portrayed her bordered on blaming the victim. Perhaps a lighter tone for that character might have helped me hold on to my sympathy for her and the woman who tried to help her.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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