The Borden Dispatches

Book - 2014
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Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.... The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny. But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean's depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness. This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.
Publisher: New York, Roc Trade,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780451466976
Characteristics: 435 pages ; 21 cm.


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fineplan Mar 20, 2018

This novel had the perfect creepy atmosphere and tone. I loved the voices of the characters and the epistolary format. And really, with Lizzie Borden and Lovecraftian horror together in one book, how could I NOT enjoy this? Really, for almost the whole way through this was a five star book for me.

So, what happened to that final star? Well, it was the end, basically. The pace changed too much in the latter portion of the book and, for me, it was a bit jarring. Plus, for all that there were some solutions, the sections that were left "unknown horrors" were perhaps a bit too prominent. It looks like there may be a sequel next year (there's a book called Chapelwood on the author's page that is also labeled gothic horror) so maybe we'll get more then.

Also, the problem with an epistolary novel is that it's hard to keep tension for all the characters because you know certain of them are going to survive since, after all, they wrote this stuff down in the future and it certainly wasn't as they were running for their lives or whatever.

Anyway, it's just one star down. I do highly recommend that other people read this book if you're in the mood for an amazing idea, written well, and with fantastic creeping horror.

Oct 01, 2015

Started out with lots of promise. I wasn't happy with the overly florid language. Not going to bother with the sequel when it's published.

mvkramer Jul 24, 2015

What if Lizzie Borden, infamous ax murderess, was actually defending her hometown from an incursion by horrible, eldritch monsters? I love H. P. Lovecraft style horror so this book was a very easy sell for me, and for the most part, it delivered. There is a whole lot of foreboding, creepy atmosphere in this novel, and some good action, too. The prose style is a little overwrought, trying to imitate the more florid style of the 1890's, but it does get repetitive at times, especially when the action picks up and you just want the narrators to get on with it.

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