However, what if Lizzie did commit the murders, but there was a good reason? What if Lizzie had to continue watching --and trying to contain--an evil that threatened to overtake the entire town of Fall River...and maybe much more? Therein lies the tale that Priest develops. The book fits into the horror genre and does, as several reviewers mention, have a Lovecraftian aura about it.
What I liked:
-the style of writing which mimics an older style yet allows a more current application
-the use of diary entries, various personal accounts of developing situations, and personal correspondence. These elements give insight into several characters.
-the concept of Lizzie, not as a murderess, but an unexpected hero. After all, she was
acquitted of the murders, and the premise of the novel is that Lizzie's life is devoted to
What bothered me:
-If the author was going to alter history so drastically, I would have been happier if she had
simply taken the basic idea and created her own characters. Spoiler: The inclusion of
Nance bothered me. The two didn't meet until 1904, and Nance lived a long life. I could
not let the these facts go, so all the Nance scenes interrupted ability to believe.
-The "evil" that threatens the town is--well, amorphous, pun intended. It is never satisfactorily explained in origin or purpose, and even has some contradictory elements.
-The book is too long and the suspense suffers because portions drag.
-Inspector Wolf held such possibilities and was neglected to the point that it was hardly
worth including him.
-the conclusion, or lack, thereof.
Horror. 2014. 435 pages.