Before you read too much of my blather, the gist of this review will be that this book was Not For Me. Those two stars mean, “not to my tastes or preferences,” not “this book is very flawed and here’s why.” The review might still be of interest for you for the purposes of finding out if the book might be For You.
Maplecroft is an epistolary novel that posits the what if of: What if Lizzie Borden famously murdered her parents for a good reason? And what if that reason was sea monsters? The book picks up after the murders, and after Lizzie has been acquitted at trial. She is now going by the name “Lizbeth,” and is in a relationship with the actress Nance O’Neil. She seems to be studying the strange piece of glass that caused all of this, and she has pulled several unnatural creatures from the ocean. There are also POVs from the doctor and other townspeople.
Firstly, I’m just not into Lovecraftian/Cthulhu/monster from the deeps type stuff. There’s no hook there for me that has ever made a story about those things interesting. Secondly, the reason I wanted to read this book in the first place was the chance to read the story from Lizzie’s perspective, with a fun fantastical twist. Nobody to this day knows if Borden did murder her parents (the weird behavior that was attributed to her seems just as likely to have come from shoddy police interrogation techniques and trauma response as it does coming from guilt). BUT. If she did do it, the why of why she might have done that seems in real life much more interesting to me than she did it because a creepy thing from the sea was possessing them. That just takes away all my interest in her motives.
There was also just something about the voice this was told in that put me to sleep while I was listening. The audio production wasn’t that great, but it wasn’t bad. The story just wasn’t there for me, although there were moments where narrators other than Lizzie were telling their parts where I was slightly more intrigued. I probably won’t be reading any more from this author.