From Jennifer Donnelly, the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of A Northern Light and Revolution, comes a mystery about dark secrets, dirty truths, and the lengths to which people will go for love and revenge. For fans of Elizabeth George and Libba Bray, These Shallow Graves is the story of how much a young woman is willing to risk and lose in order to find the truth.
Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon - like all the girls in her class - she'll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo dreams of becoming a writer - a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.
Wild aspirations aside, Jo's life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: Her father is found dead. Charles Montfort shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City's wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.
The more Jo hears about her father's death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo's father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie - a young, smart, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father's newspaper - and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. But now it might be too late to stop.
The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.
"Fast-paced and thrilling...a smart, insightful, timely depiction of a young woman poised on the brink of a new world after the shattering of another." (Booklist)
"Action-packed chapters propel this compelling mystery...[and] the injustices Donnelly highlights remain all too relevant." (Publishers Weekly)
"A beautifully written mystery." (School Library Journal)
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The Longest Book in the World
I listened to this while doing housework, so it kept my mind mildly entertained. If I were just listening to this story by itself, however, I don't think it would've been as engaging.
I found the ending predictable and easy to figure out. The "mysteries" were obvious from early on in the book, and the main character's shock at the reveal felt unrealistic.
I really didn't like the narrator. She had a very flat tone throughout the story, almost robotic (there were times where I felt like Siri was reading the story to me), and I struggled to tell the characters apart by her voice work alone. I will say this, though: she did great with accents when they were presented.
It's not an awful book, and the historical details are great. However, the mystery and romance that made up the majority of the plot didn't engage me. It felt like insta-love between the main characters, which I dislike, and the mystery was too easily solved.
- J. S. Lenore
it was better than I expected