For readers of the classic “Jane Eyre” who wished for more clear-cut and final fates for the cruel characters in the story, Lyndsay Faye’s new mystery title Jane Steele is the answer. Her re-casting of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel is just brilliant and we loved reading this refreshing historical mystery which got released last week by Putnam. Faye is the critically acclaimed author of the Timothy Wilde trilogy (The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret, and The Fatal Flame) and a native New Yorker living in Queens.
A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.
Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?
Turning the classic character Jane into a serial killer was very intriguing for me so I gave the title a shot and could not put the book down.
Two things jumped at us after reading this title: First, Faye’s writing is modern and accessible yet she has masterfully blended this with all the necessary details related to the period without diluting the language with old words. Second, this story feels very Dextery! So since I am a fan of the TV show naturally I enjoyed this title as well.
For those of you who follow what we cover here at Mystery Tribune, you know that we don’t give 4 and 5 star rating to any book (these ratings roughly represent 5% of the books we read) so getting 4 out of 5…this is a good read and highly recommended!
Our Rating: 4.0
Like Books By This Author?
Check out the following titles from Lyndsay Faye by clicking on the images and viewing more information on Amazon.