Review: A Fatal Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

Description (from cover):

‘With The Solitary House, award-winning author Lynn Shepherd introduced readers to Charles Maddox, a brilliant private detective plying his trade on the gaslit streets of Dickensian London. Now, in this mesmerizing new novel of historical suspense, a mystery strikes disturbingly close to home–and draws Maddox into a world of literary legends, tormented souls, and a legacy of terrible secrets.
When his great-uncle, the master detective who schooled him in the science of “thief taking,” is mysteriously stricken, Charles Maddox fears that the old man’s breakdown may be directly related to the latest case he’s been asked to undertake. Summoned to the home of a stuffy nobleman and his imperious wife, Charles finds his investigative services have been engaged by no less than the son of the celebrated poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his famed widow, Mary, author of the gothic classic Frankenstein. Approached by a stranger offering to sell a cache of rare papers allegedly belonging to the legendary late poet, the Shelley family seeks Maddox’s aid in discovering whether the precious documents are authentic or merely the work of an opportunistic charlatan.
But the true identity of his quarry is only the first of many surprises lying in wait for the detective. Hardly a conniving criminal, Claire Clairmont is in fact the stepsister of Mary Shelley, and their tortured history of jealousy, obsession, and dark deceit looms large over the affair Maddox must untangle. So, too, does the shadow of the brilliant, eccentric Percy Shelley, who found no rest from the private demons that pursued him. With each new detail unearthed, the investigation grows ever more disturbing. And when shocking evidence of foul play comes to light, Maddox’s chilling hunt for the truth leads him into the blackest reaches of the soul.
Steeped in finely wrought Victorian atmosphere, and rife with eye-opening historical revelations, A Fatal Likeness carries the reader ever deeper into a darkly magnetic tale of love and madness as utterly harrowing and heartbreaking as it is undeniably human.’

My thoughts:

I have a tendency to not let things go, especially when it comes to series. Even if I hate it. I will read the series until I absolutely cannot take any more. I think part of me hopes that there will be a change in the series that makes me love it, but it always turns out different. I always end up hating that book too and swearing off the series until the next book comes along and the pattern is then repeated. That this the way it was with this book. I never really have enjoyed Lynn Shepherd’s books. I read Murder at Mansfield Park and The Solitary House and nothing really clicked for me in either. So why I picked this one up and read it is still beyond my comprehension.
This book was so utterly confusing that I had absolutely no idea who half the characters were. They all seemed to have the same name and everything was muddled and ran together. The storyline was beyond choppy and the ending disappointing. I absolutely couldn’t wait to be done with this one. It was just a weird book and I really didn’t like it at all. I do like Charles’ character, but that is probably about all. I really couldn’t connect with this book and it felt like it was too long and would never end.
I have come to realize that if I pick this author’s books up, chances are I am not going to like it. Part of me hopes for the off-chance that something comes along and knocks me off my feet, but reality says don’t hold my breath. I really wanted to love this series as it is set in Victorian London, but I cannot get past the crazy writing and the plot and how everything just doesn’t make any sense. I wasn’t looking forward to reading this one and maybe now I can listen to my gut feeling and not read something not worth my time.

Overall Rating: 1

Title:  A Fatal Likeness
Author:  Lynn Shepherd
Series:  Charles Maddox Mystery #3
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Publication Date:  August 20, 2013
Pages:  384
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

2 thoughts on “Review: A Fatal Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

  1. I always used to read a book from start to finish even if I hated it – I read faster back then. Since I have retired and my t-b-r list is so long, if I can't get into a book within about 50 pages I quit as there are so many more I want to read. As they say – so many books, so little time! 🙂


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