Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest: A Review

This book is #6 on my 2018 Reading Challenge list, a novel based on a real person. I found this book on a Goodreads list while searching for something to meet this prompt. I found the cover attractive and the premise interesting, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The story is based on Lizzie Borden and the familiar double murder case that has entered the realm of near-myth. It is a horror story that – according to one description, at least – is written in the Lovecraftian style. I can’t confirm that as I’ve never read any Lovecraft. What I do know, is that it involves horrible creatures from some other realm. These creatures are invading the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, and Lizzie Borden is at the center of it.

Maplecroft takes place some time after Lizzie Borden stood trial and was exonerated for the murders of her father and stepmother. Over the course of the novel, through letters, journal entries and newspaper clippings, we learn the true horror of that double murder. 

This novel is written in the epistolary style, told through the various notes and journal entries of Lisbeth Borden, her sister, Emma and a local physician. These are supplemented with newspaper articles, correspondence between characters, and even a telegram. Personally, I found this style somewhat lacking in flow. It felt as though the narrative was constantly being interrupted by personal rants, complaints and various other tangents.

It is an interesting story, and well written if you like this style of novel. The scenes leading up to and including the final climactic moment are well done, and I did enjoy that part. I’m glad to have read it, but it doesn’t seem likely I’ll continue with the series.

One thought on “Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest: A Review

  1. Pingback: 2018 Reading Challenge – The Year of the Woman – TAwrites

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