There is a serial killer loose in Montréal, and the mayor asks Martine LeDuc, his director of PR, to act as liaison with the police department. Four women have been killed, their bodies left posed obscenely on park benches.
When the police charge a homeless man with the murders, Martine is afraid they are grasping at straws and the real killer is still out there. Luckily, renegade police detective Julian Fletcher is assigned the case, and they both go rogue.
Martine uncovers a link between the four women; all were involved with the Duplessis orphans, a decades old scandal. Orphanages found they could get more money from the government if the orphans were mentally ill, so the children were sent to asylums where many of them received lobotomies, electroshock treatments and hallucinogens and other drugs.
The story alternates between the present day investigation and one of the orphans telling their story, which really brings the tragedy intimately to life. Why the Duplessis orphans are involved after so many years is at the crux of this complex and heartbreaking mystery.
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3/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
ASYLUM by Jeannette de Beauvoir. Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 10, 2015). ISBN 978-1250045393. 320p.