In sixteenth-century Hungary, Countess Elizabeth Báthory 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 Báthory’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 Báthory. 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 Báthory.
Danica’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 Báthory’s long-lost diaries and slowly reveals horrific passages to Danica. As Danica’s career and her relationship with her artist-boyfriend, Henry, begin to break down, Maria lures her into a complex social sphere. Unsure of who to trust, Danica’s professional and personal lives become dangerously entwined, and she must decide what she is willing to risk to satisfy her attraction to Báthory’s ominous legend
My Thoughts: Ugh! I thought this book was terrible! It sounded like a good creepy October book but it was so lame. The main character is sad and weak and doesn’t have a lot of common sense and the other characters aren’t very well defined. The parts that focus on Elizabeth Bathory are extremely graphic and give you little information about her except to describe, in great detail, the way she killed people. YUCK. There were parts that I had to skip because the mental picture was more than I could take. The book was very slow, I kept hoping it would pick up but it never did and it just got progressively worse. There was finally a point where the story didn’t make any sense and then it ended and there was no real closure or explanation of why things happened the way they did. It was just bad and I have no idea what the author was trying to do with the story. I feel like I wasted time that could have been spent reading a good book. 1 star.