The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Practical and modest, Jane Shoringfield did the math and decided that the surest route is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will keep her independent and busy with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive Doctor Augustine Lawrence, accepts her proposal with one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, her crumbling family mansion outside of town.
Yet on their wedding night, an accident traps her at his doorstep in a black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the daring and courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified and paranoid man – one who cannot distinguish reality from nightmare, and fears that Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is seriously wrong with Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has hastily tied for her safety.
Set in a dark mirror version of post-war England, Caitlin Starling creates a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved cannon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story brings together, then shatters, all of the expectations set by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to start over as soon as they’re done.
Reasons to read it: It’s been described as a mix of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, with a hint of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist. It’s for people who like to explore relationships – especially what people are willing to do for them – all against a Gothic backdrop.