The Death of Jane Lawrence

The Death of Jane Lawrence
Age Range
16+
Release Date
October 19, 2021
ISBN
9781250272584
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Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.

By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

Editor review

1 review
Chilling Gothic horror romance
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Jane Shoringfield has limited options for her path forward. She can either strain the finances of her relatives by continuing to stay with them or forge a particular path of independence through a marriage of convenience. With her practical nature and talent for sums, she decides to propose marriage to the local but reclusive doctor, Augustine Lawrence. He accepts on one condition: Jane may not stay at his home, Lindridge Hall. Curious but respectful of this condition, Jane agrees, and they are married. What was supposed to be a quick visit for show to Lindridge Hall after their wedding turns into an unexpected overnight stay when a storm hits. While there, Jane discovers that something dark lurks at Lindridge Hall, something that Augustine refuses to come clean about. If Jane hopes to unravel this mystery and save the man she may be coming to love, she will have to face terrors she never imagined.

THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE is another stunning horror from Caitlin Starling. Since THE LUMINIOUS DEAD, Starling has been a favorite horror author of mine, and this latest chilling tale has everything you could want in a Gothic horror story. The atmosphere of Lindridge Hall is full of crumbling rooms, mysterious objects, ghosts in the night, and even two servants who refuse to stay overnight. The tone is tense, haunting, and keeps you on edge, as if a new terror lurks around every corner. Like the best horror however, the truly terrifying isn’t necessarily the creatures that haunt the night but the shadows of doubt, shame, and guilt that can plague a person unlike anything else.

With Jane’s sense, steadfast planning, kindness, and frank honesty, Jane is endearing from the start, particularly as she strives to make a good life for herself and slowly opens herself up to unexpected possibilities, such as actually loving the man she chose to marry. Much like Augustine, she also has a past of tragedy, though her method of coping turned to control while Augustine’s turned to self-loathing. Her journey discovering magic, medicine, and secrets forces her to question the reality around her and whether anyone ever truly has control.

THE DEATH OF JANE LAWRENCE is a brilliant addition to the Gothic horror genre and perfect for the spooky season. Those who loved Crimson Peak but wanted more romance will devour Caitlin Starling’s haunting work.
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