Author: M.M. DeLuca
Published by: Inkshares on May 4, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Book Rating: 8/10
August 1872. Clara Blackstone, travels to Durham City to meet her husband, Henry, a newly appointed Professor of Mathematics at Durham University. It is supposed to be a fresh start – a chance to put recent troubles and nightmarish events behind her. But after a tense reunion, their carriage runs into a mob gathered to witness the mass murderer Mary Ann Cotton being brought into Durham Jail. Buried memories of Clara’s second tragic miscarriage begin to resurface, and her inability to recall events of the months leading up to her subsequent committal to a private asylum, cause her to question her husband’s motives for placing her there.
When Clara befriends Catherine, an outspoken Suffragist, she joins her as a prison visitor, working with female inmates. The childless Clara encounters Mrs. Cotton and becomes increasingly fascinated with her story. When she learns the murderer is pregnant her obsession grows, while public outrage grows about this “unnatural monster” who would go against her God-given instincts and murder her children, step-children and several husbands.
Against all this controversy, Clara struggles to find her place as a wife and future mother until a disturbing encounter finally unlocks the truth behind the terrible events surrounding her miscarriage. But when her husband falls under the controlling influence of a devious colleague, she soon finds herself fighting for her grandmother’s inheritance, her freedom and her sanity.
Fact meets fiction in this dramatic novel set against the backdrop of real-life murderer, Mary-Ann Cotton’s sensational arrest and trial.
Eerie, ominous, and gritty!
The Savage Instinct is a well-paced, historical thriller set in England in the late 1800s that takes you into the life of Clara Blackstone, a young woman who, after losing her unborn child and being confined to the Bethlem Asylum for the past year, finds herself back under her husband’s loveless care and spending her days visiting a local women’s prison where she befriends a woman, Mary Ann Cotton, who is charged with the most heinous of crimes.
The writing is sinister and gloomy. The characters are troubled, tormented, and resourceful. And the plot, using a back-and-forth style, is an engrossing tale rife with desperation, manipulation, abuse, survival, defiance, class disparity, marital inequality, and murder.
Overall, The Savage Instinct is a dark, sinister, intense novel by DeLuca that does a wonderful job of interweaving historical facts and compelling fiction into a suspenseful mystery that is deliciously atmospheric and highly entertaining.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Inkshares for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.