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Paperback  Ó Quiver Kindle á In sixteenth century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth B thory tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls in order to bathe in their blood she believed this brutal ritual would preserve her youth and beauty Danica, a young forensic psychologist, is drawn to B thory s legend She has moved from Canada to England to work at Stowmoor, a Victorian insane asylum turned modern day forensic hospital One of her patients, the notorious Martin Foster, murdered a fourteen year old girl in homage to B thory He cultivates his criminal celebrity, and Danica struggles to maintain a professional demeanor with the charismatic Foster as she begins to suspect that his activities may be linked to a cabal that idolizes the countessDanica s life in London becomes increasingly complicated when Maria, a glamorous friend from Danica s past, arrives to do archival work in the city She claims to have discovered B thory s long lost diaries and she slowly reveals to Danica the horrific, yet fascinating passages As Danica s career and her relationship with her artist boyfriend, Henry, falters, Maria lures her into a complex social sphere Unsure of whom to trust as her professional and personal lives become dangerously entwined, Danica must decide what she is willing to risk to satisfy her attraction to B thory s ominous legend This came up as a kindle daily deal the other day and the subject matter really piqued my interest so I took a chance on it.I m pretty impressed that this is a first novel I found the story based around a supposed cult that worships Elisabeth Bathory intriguing.Danica Winston, a training psychologist, met the mysterious Maria while at a conference several years ago They were drawn together by a mutual fascination of Bathory..her crimes, her beauty, her monstrous nature Prior to the events of This came up as a kindle daily deal the other day and the subject matter really piqued my interest so I took a chance on it.I m pretty impressed that this is a first novel I found the story based around a supposed cult that worships Elisabeth Bathory intriguing.Danica Winston, a training psychologist, met the mysterious Maria while at a conference several years ago They were drawn together by a mutual fascination of Bathory..her crimes, her beauty, her monstrous nature Prior to the events of the novel they were scouring Europe for Bathory s personal journals The mysterious Maria pops back into Danica s life when she s finally found what they looked for for so long She wants to write a book and she wantsfor Dani She wants Dani to leave her job and consult with her on the book It would be her time to shine This happens at a time when Danica is assessing and counseling Mr Foster, a deranged killer that also worships bathory and brutally killed a 15 year old girl Did he act alone or did he actually have help And why does everything in Dani s life seemingly fall apart when Maria s around, just trying to help her One of the highlights of the book, I found, were the translated passages from Bathory s diary that Maria sends to Dani VERY disturbing things It s like seeing through the eyes of a perfect monster.I also found Maria to be frustratingly fun to read She obviously wanted to be the marionette to Dani s puppet which was very frustrating for Dani, but Maria s attitudes and actions were fun to read.I do have a few complaints about the book though While I liked the main character I felt her to be a little weak She honestly follows Maria around like a lost puppy despite the fact that Maria seemingly with good intentions makes Dani s life a mess time and again There are even flashbacks in the book where Maria treated Dani like garbage and she still kept coming back forIt was plainly obvious that Maria was totally selfish and I was a little disappointed in Dani, a trained psychoanalyst, would just put up with that type of treatment and not see it coming a mile away It s supposedly because she s fascinated by the whole Bathory thing that she puts up with Maria, but it didn t come across that way She just seemed to get punished and loved coming back for.I also found that there weren t that many surprises here I had a feeling which way the book was going to go and who was responsible for what early on However, the Bathory journals and reading Maria s quirky dialogue made up for that.Of note, the book is told in the first person PRESENT tense I ve read plenty of first person novels but not always in that tense so it took a little getting used to.Overall, I enjoyed the book It was a quick read with some good ideas and a good flow to the writing I ll be keeping an eye peeled for further works from this author I m sorry this book isn t getting better reviews because I think it s extremely well done for what it is The problem seems to lie in the marketing they keep saying it s supposed to be a thriller but it didn t strike me that way at all It s muchof a psychological exploration than anything else and no, honestly, not a lot happens in the traditional thriller suspense novel tradition It is instead a fascinating look at the way people can form connections between violence and beauty, obs I m sorry this book isn t getting better reviews because I think it s extremely well done for what it is The problem seems to lie in the marketing they keep saying it s supposed to be a thriller but it didn t strike me that way at all It s muchof a psychological exploration than anything else and no, honestly, not a lot happens in the traditional thriller suspense novel tradition It is instead a fascinating look at the way people can form connections between violence and beauty, obsession, and the thin line that separates sanity from madness I thought it was very, very well done That isn t to say it isn t a disturbing read This book is certainly not for the faint of heart, the Countess was extremely violent I have to admit I expected that though, having read about her before, and found the descriptions of animal cruelty to be the worst parts I understand why they were there and what each illustrated but I was not happy to read them My other disappointment is that the ending seemed to come very suddenly and it feels incomplete in some way I didn t get the impression that there would be a sequel, as some have been speculating in their reviews, the book just seemed wrap up too quickly I don t know what I expected when picking up a book that so heavily features Elizabeth Bathory, but this was gorier than I was prepared for The other aspect is the toxic friendship with sexual tension between Maria and Danica, which I always find simultaneously engrossing and unpleasant. I don t know what everyone was talking about with this book being slow I was hooked the whole time I wanted to keep reading and keep reading I like how it flip flopped in time a little and I like how it included the diary entries of Bathory I was just plain impressed.It ended well and I am going to go looking to see if there will be a sequel The story leaves it up in the air as if there could be a sequel.

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