Saturday, March 28, 2015

Asylum by Jeannette de Beauvoir

3 "Better Brush Up on Your French" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
Martine LeDuc is the director of PR for the mayor's office in Montreal.  When four women are found brutally murdered and shockingly posed on park benches throughout the city over several months, Martine's boss fears a PR disaster for the still busy tourist season, and Martine is now also tasked with acting as liaison between the mayor and the police department. The women were of varying ages, backgrounds and bodytypes and seemed to have nothing in common. Yet the macabre presentation of their bodies hints at a connection. Martine is paired with a young detective, Julian Fletcher, and together they dig deep into the city's and the country's past, only to uncover a dark secret dating back to the 1950s, when orphanages in Montreal and elsewhere were converted to asylums in order to gain more funding. The children were subjected to horrific experiments such as lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and psychotropic medication, and many of them died in the process. The survivors were supposedly compensated for their trauma by the government and the cases seem to have been settled. So who is bearing a grudge now, and why did these four women have to die?

Not until Martine finds herself imprisoned in the terrifying steam tunnels underneath the old asylum does she put the pieces together. And it is almost too late for Jeannette de Beauvoir's Asylum.
Parlez-vous Français? Non? On apprend mieux!

Yeah, me either and I found that the two years that I spent in French class in high school didn’t do much to help me either. This is a first time read for me by the author Jeannette de Beauvoir and I’m not sure if this is something signature for her or if it was just in this novel, but I found the constant French dialogue throughout the book to be distracting and almost bordered annoying. I can understand the occasional phrase, word or sentence, I think that it actually helps to build a little character, but every other paragraph or page is just a bit much.

The interesting thing about this story is that I wasn’t one hundred percent sure if I liked it or not, but then when I got to the end of the book and realized that a majority of the story was based in fact on true events, I found myself a little more intrigued and I was able to further appreciate what it was that I had just read. 

Asylum is a story that has a lot of history sprinkled with a healthy dose of fiction that come together for a pretty compelling read. The amount of horror/thriller books that I have read could probably feel a small library, so it’s no small thing when I say that out of ALL of those books, the ones that I find the scariest and the ones that keep me up at night are not the ones with ghosts, ghouls or other creepy crawlies, but the ones that examine and expose the ugliest monster of them all and that is the dark side of humanity. Asylum is no exception to that and though it wasn’t scary per se it still opens your eyes to an ugly truth, only to be further realized when you reach the end. 

Overall, I recommend this book to those readers that like the mystery/crime genre. It’s not super suspenseful and can get a little long winded at times, but there is definitely a story in there that is worth telling and sharing and I’m pretty happy that I read the book. 

Happy reading, until next time… 

I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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