13 Oct 2015


Book Review / These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. 

With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.

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.

Published:     27th October 2015
Publisher:  Random House
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
What I liked about this book...  Jennifer Donnelly is one of those authors who  I have been meaning to pick up one of her books for a while now and hadn't.  I am so glad that I started with this one.  I loved it.  This story is so rich with description that reading it made me feel like I was right there in that story and in that time period.  Although this was one of those ones where I guessed what was happening before it happened, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.  My favourite character has to be the main character, Jo.   She is one of those characters who is suposed to act a certain way, as ladies do in that time period (seen but not heard) but goes completely against that and does what she thinks is right.  What's even better is that she stays true to that believe all throughout the book even if it puts her in danger. You have got a great combination of good and bad characters in this book along with the added mystery of what happened to her father and a couple of other mysteries too along the way. 

What I was not fond of with this book...  I would have loved for there to have been a few more surprises, twists or turns in the story.  A lot of the story I pretty much guessed what was going to happen next (but that didn't make me like the story any less) so I would have liked to have a couple of twists and turns that I wasn't expecting.