As a huge fan of Jennifer Donnelly’s book, Revolution, I was thrilled to receive an e-copy of These Shallow Graves from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary by Goodreads:
Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.
Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.
The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.
The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.
I loved this novel! These Shallow Graves is a beautifully written story about a young woman who leads two lives while trying to solve the mystery of her father’s death. Jo, a NYC girl, was born into “old money” and a life of privileged affairs. She was set to marry Bram Aldrich, a wealthy young man whose family wants him to marry right. While she knows Bram is a good man and will take care of her, she doesn’t “love” him and questions getting married.
Jo wants more to life than what is expected of her. When trying to solve her father’s murder, Jo meets and falls in love with Eddie, a news reporter. Eddie introduced her people and places that open her eyes to the world around her. Even though Jo could have anything money could buy, the one thing she wanted would cost her her family – freedom. Freedom to work and live on her own – neither of which were acceptable lives for women in her world.
In most books I have read, I either really love the characters or the plot is what grabs me and sucks me in. These Shallow Graves had both. Jennifer Donnelly developed both the plot and the major and minor characters so well throughout the book. I loved that Jo wasn’t one to follow the norm and had a strong willed independent personality. She was tenacious and determined to solve this thrilling mystery surrounding her father’s death.
4.5 stars for this historical mystery!