Historical Fiction Week: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly



I'm celebrating Historical Fiction Week on the blog, so I thought it would be the perfect time to read this historical mystery from fantastic publisher Hot Keys Books. I was instantly captured by this story and highly enjoyed. Read my thoughts about it here: 

Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Published: May 5th 2016 by Hot Keys Books
Amazon | Amazon UK

Blurb: A wealthy family. A deadly secret. A young woman with more to lose than she knows. 

Josephine Montfort is from one of New York's oldest, most respected, and wealthiest families. Like most well-off girls of the Gilded Age, her future looks set - after a finishing school education, she will be favourably married off to a handsome gentleman, after which she'll want for nothing. But Jo has other dreams and desires that make her long for a very different kind of future. She wants a more meaningful and exciting life: she wants to be an investigative journalist like her heroine Nellie Bly. 

But when Jo's father is found dead in his study after an alleged accident, her life becomes far more exciting than even Jo would wish. Unable to accept that her father could have been so careless, she begins to investigate his death with the help of a young reporter, Eddie Gallagher. It quickly becomes clear he was murdered, and in their race against time to discover the culprit and his motive, Jo and Eddie find themselves not only battling dark characters on the violent and gritty streets of New York, but also their growing feelings for each other.

First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Review: These Shallow Graves is a fantastically executed historical mystery. The story revolves around Jo Montfort and it's difficult not to love this lively girl who is prepared to go to any lengths to discover the truth behind her father's death. Jo is definitely the star of the story and I loved following her around 1890 New York.

But Jo is an eighteen year old girl from a well-off family, her future is already arranged: she'll marry a worthy man and occupy her life with children, afternoon teas and luncheons. Not exactly what she would call an interesting life... But when she meets reporter Eddie Gallagher, her life makes a 180ยบ turn and she discovers a whole new world, unsafer, more dangerous and poorer but way more exhilarating. And then's when she starts becoming her real self. And this is why I loved this character so much because she was such a brave, determined and clever girl who decided to break all the rules to become a better self.

Jo and Eddie make a great team and they soon start finding clues to her father's death. His death is followed by several more, all linked to a mysterious boat and a long dead man and the story gets more and more interesting and engrossing with every page. Every new lead brings even more questions but Jo and Eddie don't give up. Plus, as they get to spend more time together, they start having feelings for each other. I really liked this more romantic subplot as it intertwined subtly with the main suspense plot and made their characters feel even more real.

This was a story full of surprises, twists and turns and you never knew which way it was going to go next. I had my suspicions about who was behind all of it but the author managed to keep the whole mystery intriguing until the last page. Also, I really liked the ending, it was perfect and worthy of the story. I am sure that many will also enjoy this coming of age historical read with a dark and suspenseful atmosphere, it is certainly one of the most entertaining historical reads I've read in a long while.   

Rating: 5 stars

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