The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling | Horror Fiction Review

The set up was perfect but somewhere along the way it began to lose me.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Released October 2021

Source: Library Borrow

Goodreads | Amazon

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.

By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

My 2 Cents for Free!

This book starts out as a creepy gothic novel about a woman named Jane who sets up a marriage of convenience for herself and soon discovers the doctor she has married has secrets and now she’s in a bind. Ooooh! Secrets! My favorite!

So Jane moves into the home of Doctor Augustine (I’ll just call him Doc because I’m lazy) and soon realizes he’s quite mysterious but oops, it’s too late, she’s already started to fall for him. Damn love will getcha even when you don’t want it. Because she now has feelings and new hopes and dreams for her future, she is able to excuse away some of his eccentricities. Until she can’t . . .

I wasn’t crazy about Doc but love is blind, as they say, and I wasn’t married to him so what do I care? I went along with things just giving him the side-eye. You might not be as forgiving when the mysteriousness begins to look more like gaslighting. Anyhow, I loved this entire setup. I truly did. I thought I was on my way to a five-star read but then the last third happened, and I got lost and confused and I never recovered. I wasn’t mad at the turn of events because I had read a few reviews and knew what I was headed into, but it simply didn’t work out for me and that’s ok. It happens. It. Is. Fine.

I hesitate to say anything else without revealing spoilers. You probably don’t even want to read the title come to think of it 😳 Anyway, I would say give it a go if you like a very weird gothic dark romance and you aren’t as easily confused as I am.


  1. I'm intrigued...but hesitant because I don't love when an ending is confusing or unsatisfying. Though that gothic vibe is a fav of mine.

  2. Sorry to hear it didn't work for you.

  3. I really wanted to try this but I didn't care for the last book I read by Starling (The Luminous Dead) so I didn't. I should give her another chance, though. A lot of readers love her books.

  4. I want to read this book SO BAD. I pre-ordered it way back before my house got burned down, and I'm pretty sure it was one of like 40 things the delivery people decided to leave as offerings at the burned out shell and my garbage neighbors promptly stole. I'm gonna go check it out of the library right now though. So...thanks for the reminder/sorry for the trauma dump (?) P.S. you're the only part of Twitter I miss. 🫥


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