2015 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery
Mindy McGinnis combines murder, madness, and mystery in a beautifully twisted gothic historical thriller perfect for fans of television’s True Detective and American Horror Story.
Grace Mae is already familiar with madness when family secrets and the bulge in her belly send her to an insane asylum—but it is in the darkness that she finds a new lease on life. When a visiting doctor interested in criminal psychology recognizes Grace’s brilliant mind beneath her rage, he recruits her as his assistant.
Continuing to operate under the cloak of madness at crime scenes allows her to gather clues from bystanders who believe her less than human. Now comfortable in an ethical asylum, Grace finds friends—and hope. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who will bring her shaky sanity and the demons in her past dangerously close to the surface.
★ “Each word has been specifically chosen, each character superbly and humanly sculpted, the plot line masterfully completed. To say more would be to dilute the experience. McGinnis plays with the readers and they are at her mercy.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (starred review))
★ “Whether a catcall, an unwelcome touch, or more, sexual aggression towards females happens daily; McGinnis explores how one teen uses violence for justice in this gripping story that should be read and discussed by teens, as well as those who work with them.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “McGinnis gracefully avoids the pitfalls of creating a teenage vigilante, instead maintaining a sense of piercing realism. Alex is a pained girl in dangerous free fall, whose fierce independence is challenged by newfound friendships, even love, though neither may be enough to stave off the inevitable.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “All three teens are haunted by the memory of Anna’s murder, and Alex’s inclination to both considering and exacting revenge with cruel efficiency leads them all inexorably to an explosive, terrible finale. An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “An astoundingly dark but beautifully written tragedy, brimming with sexual assault, violent murders, and accounts of animal abuse…but also tempered with glimpses of genuine human emotion and extremely touching displays of kindness that cross social barriers and species. Highly recommended for collections serving teenagers.” (School Library Journal (starred review))