REVIEW: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

My rating: 

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.


"They work their discreet types of madness on us, power and pain, and we hold to our truths in the darkness.


Let's play a game.

Let's play "Guess What This Book is About".

If you look at the cover and the title of this book, what do you think it's about?




I came into this book thinking that it was going to be some dark, twisted book about insanity and maddness. I got that from the book cover and the synopsis. But as the plot progresses, it don't think it was really what I got. I got something else. Something more complex that what I thought it would be. And that disconnected me a bit with the book.


They alll had their terrors.


Grace stopped talking when she realised, no one was listening to her.

Grace has given up on speech a long time ago. Once the words no and stop had done nothing, the others refused to come out, their inadequacy making the effort necessary to voice them an equation too easily resolved.

She was sent to an asylum not because she was crazy, but because she was pregnany. She got pregnant by a son of a bitch someone who shouldn't have gotten her pregnant.

Grace had learned long ago that the true horror's of this world were other people.

After a violent outbreak that Grace had, she got locked up in the darkest part of the asylum where she met a man named Falsteed, who could smell what type of person you are. At least that's how I seen it. He could smell the air that surrounds a person.

There's the blood of another on you, though. I smell a splatter or two, underneath your own. You didn't come here without a fight, did you?

Also, he met a man named Dr. Thornhollow who gets called to the asylum to neutralizes patients who are uncontrollable. Dr. Thornhollow then discovers the sharpness of Grace's memory and mind. He then helps Grace stage her death so she could escape the asylum.

Outside the asylum, she would help Dr. Thornhollow with his other endeavour. Grace would now go about in a new location with the doctor as they try to solve a hideous crime in Ohio.

She thought she was free from her past finally, but some things just come back and haunt you.



I liked Grace. She was a very strong and quick-witted character. The things she's gone through w/ her family was just super terrible. I am pissed at those people she call family. With the exception of her sister, her mother and father were the worse parents in my history of book reading. You won't really get to really know where Grace's hate is coming from up until towards the later part of the book. I felt for her and I likes that she doesn't let anyone step on her. She does have her violent tendencies, but I get it. I get why she was the way she was. There are some characters that do stuff that doesn't make sense, but with Grace, you understsand. Even if some of the things she did I don't agree with, I still understand her actions and that is a pretty important aspect in a character development.

Dr. Thornhollow

He is a weird guy. To be honest, I don't really like him all too much. I couldn't connect to his character as much as I could with Grace. I actually thought he was going to be a love interest. Weird thing was, I don't think I knew anything about him aside from his profession and well his interest in criminal psychology. All I know is that he is a nice guy who is often wrapped around his own head.


The writing. I just fell immediately in love with the author's writing. It's very beautiful and intricate. It's descriptive and appropriate to the era on when the story took place.

The setting. Oh man. I've always been a sucker for anything Victorian. Anything that involves frilly big dresses and fancy carriages and all that. The only thing I didn't like about the era was how badly women were treated during the time. Women were treated like objects. I hated that. But, this book showed us part of that. I think this book showed us a pretty accurate representation of the era.

The cover. Let's all take a moment to admire that beautiful cover! It's one of the pretties covers I have ever seen to be honest.

The character development. I loved how silent Grace became this girl who doesn't take bullshit from anyone.

No insta-love. No unnecessary romance!!! Wooohooo! I love you Mindy McGinnis for that!

I loved how relatable Grace was to me. We all have been there. We've been down in the dumps and sometimes all we can do is just keep our mouth shut and just accept the blows. But no. We shouldn't settle for something because it is easy to just let things happen to us. We should always try and do something to make things better for ourselves and for the people we love. I loved that part of Grace.


I didn't like the tone shift of the story. This book wasn't I was expecting it to be. It started out with me believing it was something dark and gritty, but ended up being a different thing all together. I'm not saying that the rest of the story was light and fun... it wasn't. There were a lot of gruesome things that happened, but... It just didn't feel that it was set up correctly from the beginning to how the author wanted to end it.

The pacing for the 1st half of the book was super slow. Even when I loved the writing, there was not much happening on the first half of the book which bummed me.

I did not agree with some of the things that the female characters in this book did. I don't want to say any spoilers but I just... don't think it's right to cheer on someone's wrong doing even if he/she has the reason to do so. Just because someone killed your parents, doesn't make it right for you to kill him.. This isn't part of the book, but just an example. Revenge is a terrible thing. I understand that people get hurt and would want to get even, but sometimes it's better to just let it go than trying to hurt that other person back. It is not a good message to send to its readers. It's fiction, I know. But I'm just the type of reader who likes to read into the message hidden between the lines. And I just don't like what that part of the book suggested.

I think I only really cared about Grace's character. And that is not a good thing.

The ending. It's a bit rushed and hurried. Probably because of the overdrawn start of the book.


I wished the ending was not how it ended. I felt the ending was too sudden and hurried. There could have been more. I wanted more.

I liked this book as far as the writing and the intrigue of the story goes. I liked the mystery. It would keep you turning its pages, wanting to know more about what is happening. This is my first Mindy McGinnis book and would definitely not be my last.


  1. OOh nice!! I was definitely intrigued with this cover! Thought it would be dark and gritty and mysterious too! Shame that it's not quite that, but I still want to give it a go! Sounds like it's still kind of mysterious! Great review!

    1. Oh definitely still give it a go. I liked it, but not as much as I thought I was going to. But it is still pretty good. :)
      The cover is gorgeous!!!

  2. I seen this book but I didn't fee l all that drawn to it. It sounds like a fairly decent read but I think I'll pass. Great review!


I love hearing back from you guys! :)
Drop me a comment ^__^


Flickr Images

Powered by Blogger.



Google+ Followers

Search This Blog

Video of the day

Copyright © 2015 • Book Ramblings of A Whimsical Reader