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.
The Death of Jane LawrenceFeatured
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.