I was reading The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman. The book's description:
From a debut novelist, a gripping historical thriller and rousing love story set in seventeenth-century Manhattan
It's 1663 in the tiny, hardscrabble Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now present-day southern Manhattan. Orphan children are going missing, and among those looking into the mysterious state of affairs are a quick-witted twenty-two-year-old trader, Blandine von Couvering, herself an orphan, and a dashing British spy named Edward Drummond.
Suspects abound, including the governor's wealthy nephew, a green-eyed aristocrat with decadent tastes; an Algonquin trapper who may be possessed by a demon that turns people into cannibals; and the colony's own corrupt and conflicted orphanmaster. Both the search for the killer and Edward and Blandine's newfound romance are endangered, however, when Blandine is accused of being a witch and Edward is sentenced to hang for espionage. Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony.
Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks.
I have to admit that it sounded appealing. Mystery, intrigue, the early settlers in America, a touch of romance. I was drawn in.
I made it through the prologue and two chapters. I just couldn't do anymore. The book is VERY dark. Within those first pages, there were 2 descriptions of horrific violence, some mild descriptive violence, 2 descriptions of sexual attack, mistreatment of children...
I felt like it was a combination of a James Patterson novel and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. But, at least those have some semblance of normalcy at the beginning usually to draw me in before I'm horrified with the graphic violence.
Call me a prude. Call me a quitter. But, I just can't make it through this one. Sorry.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.