by Megan Shepherd
Genres: Historical, Science Fiction, Thriller
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it. Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her. As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.
With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves
Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Her Dark Curiosity, the second book in the Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd continued Juliet Moreau’s story while introducing a mystery that kept me enthralled. Old characters and love interests appear and we get fresh faces as Shepherd continues this dark and macabre tale. Mini review: A dark, atmospheric and beautifully written tale that suffered because of the characters.
Juliet is back in London after escaping the island, and the journey has not been an easy one. Her condition is worsening, and she works in secret to correct the formula. Around her, a killer is on the loose and has Scotland Yard scrambling. The murders are gruesome as the killer slashes his victims to death and leaves a calling card. As the body count rises, Juliet cannot help but notice that those dying have offended in her in some way. Somehow she is the link, and she is determined to stop the killer. In doing so, she will have to confront the past and access her darker side. Her path crosses with the men she thought never to see again, and she finds herself torn between them.
In Madman’s Daughter, I felt Juliet was the perfect heroine for the tale and that she was the thread that allowed us to believe. Juliet is still strong, determined and courageous but her actions regarding the men in her life left me frustrated. While I get Shephard’s intent with the love triangle it was aggravated me. Maybe because I like the bad boys and Montgomery irritated the heck out of me. He is so opinionated and looks to steer others his way. His “do as I say, not as I do” attitude completely turned me off, and I wanted to shake Juliet for not slapping him. Edward and his dark passenger are far more exciting. Despite his affliction, he is the stronger character and commanded scenes. Whereas Montgomery made me feel like the principal walked in. We meet old characters and new. I really liked Lucy, and liked how she got into the thick of things.
You already know I had some issues with the romance department and characters of Her Dark Curiosity but what kept me from tossing this tale was the mystery surrounding the King’s Club, Edward and Shepherd’s beautiful writing style. The influence of Dr. Jekeyll and Mr. Hyde is evident throughout and I enjoyed Shephard’s version. Even when her characters made me pull my hair out she held me captive. The book grabs you and I read this in just three sittings as the tale engulfed me, and I slipped into the foggy cobbled streets of London. The ending was heart-wrenching and beautiful. Shepherd revealed things that set us up perfectly for the final book.
Her Dark Curiosity both frustrated and delighted me as a reader. This was a good second book, and while I had issues I would still recommend it for the right reader. I am anxiously awaiting the final book which is based in part on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Three cups of coffee out five
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