Published by Twenty Seven Dresses on March 20, 2023
Genres: Horror & Ghost Stories, mystery
Source: ecopy from Author
MONSTER. The word evokes images of fairy tales and horror. But once, in 1850 Philadelphia, it was actually the term commonly used in physician’s case notes for the victims of fire.
Conflagrations were common in this period—clothing, especially women’s lace, was highly flammable. Once the flesh was destroyed, there was no cure. These unfortunate souls lived out their lives as MONSTERS, secluded away by family. Once burned flesh gives way to contractures, disfigurements to rival even Bram Stoker’s imagination were born. And the hearts of the people inside the shell perished.
Lorelei is one such MONSTER. Born to a wealthy family, disfigured by fire, she fake’s her own death, leaving the world she knows behind—because in her mind…freedom, even if it is a workhouse, is preferable than the life of a shut-in, a burden on her family's name.
!850’s Philadelphia is an epi-center of medicine. Rival medical schools search in desperation for bodies—cadavers to teach the art and science of anatomy to their medical students. Corpses become so rare, a new profession evolves. Resurrection Men, or body snatchers, dig up the graves of the newly decreased for high pay.
Rory Henry is one of the Resurrection Men. A Scots-Irish Immigrant, he has fought his way off the streets, and into medical school by whatever means necessary. He is not above digging up corpses—he cuts them by day, and searches them out by night.
These two lives intersect in an explosion of personality-Rory is designated as Lorelei’s surgeon. Entrusted with performing the new operation called, The Mutter Flap. Once he sees her face, will the unrequited love die, or ignite?
People are disappearing. Someone has discovered that murder is far more lucrative than grave robbing. And many of the bodies are from Lorelei’s workhouse. Will she be next?
Monster is a historical fiction, horror mystery novel by author Brynn Chapman. I am a big fan of Brynn’s novels, so I was super excited to dive into Monster. This book gave me total Stalking jack the Ripper vibes, and I think it is a great pick for someone looking for a gritty and dark novel along those lines. It was a quick read and it was great because it was so different than the other books I have been reading at the moment. Monster is set in Philadelphia in 1850. Here the word monster is used to describe someone who has some sort of physical disfigurement, and parks of this story were really dark, so make sure you check out any of the trigger warnings and themes.
In Monster we meet our main character, Lorelei. Lorelei was in fire when she was younger and she now hides away from the world because of the disfigurement the fire caused her. Lorelei was a fantastic character! Very complex, well developed and totally intriguing. I was sucked into her world so easily and so completely. Brynn Chapman always writes stories with compelling characters and really interesting worlds. The gritty setting, the use of cadavers and the murders all felt very Stalking Jack the Ripper to me, which I loved. I think this book is perfect for fans of that series.
Lorelei eventually connects with Rory, who will be her surgeon, and who is termed a “resurrection man” in the novel. I loved the romance that was sprinkled throughout and I was really invested in the mystery plot line of the story. I won’t spoil anything on that front, but it was really well done, and was probably my favorite element of the story. Overall, this was a really good book. I would recommend it to readers looking for dark, gritty atmospheric reads.
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below to win
1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.
Ends April 30th, midnight EST.
Note: Book Briefs Contest Policy applies. All of the prizes, terms and conditions of the giveaway should be contained in the rafflecopter below. No Purchase necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law.