Jeannette de Beauvoir says she personal and moral issues through her work, and that is evident in her new mystery, ASYLUM, which introduces Martine LeDuc, the Mayor’s PR Director in Montreal, and is based on historical events that haunt the middle of 20th century Montreal.
For a nice change readers have a strong protagonist who loves her husband, although Martine worries about her role as stepmother to Ivan’s two children. Martine finds herself working with detective Julian Fletcher when four women’s bodies are found in shocking poses on different park benches around the city over several months.
It’s a PR nightmare of epic proportions for the tourist-laden city, and Martine must act as liaison between her boss and the police department. With nothing connecting the four women at first glance other than their macabre manner of death, Martine and Julian launch an investigation that brings them to an unnerving connection to to orphanages of the 1950’s, hell holes where children were the objects of horrific experimentation and drug companies colluded with the doctors.
With the survivors supposedly compensated by the government, it would seem the issue had been dealt with already, yet for someone, these four women have had to die.
What brings the orphans story horribly to life are diary extracts from a young orphaned girl who was sent to the asylum in question, where orphanages were converted to hospitals for the insane due to the better financial situation. These extracts give the story its basis in fact and verisimilitude, and up the ante for readers to root for Martine and Julian to uncover the mad killer in their midst, even as Martine finds herself in jeopardy.
Auntie M hopes this is not the last we have read of Martine LeDuc.