Silent Came the Monster by Amy Hill Hearth

I get really excited when I find out that a new book is being released by an author I enjoy. Imagine my great joy when I heard that Amy Hill Hearth had a historical fiction book coming out about the 1916 shark attacks that occurred at the Jersey shore. I was lucky enough to obtain an advanced reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Amy Hill Hearth’s upcoming historical fiction

I devoured the book in two days. Yes, I said devoured- like a shark.

I grew up in New Jersey and had never heard of these shark attacks. I spent many days “down the shore” in my youth. I don’t think I would have been as keen to get in the water had I known about these attacks.

This is a fictionalized retelling of the events that occurred during the Summer of 1916, through the eyes of the surgeon who treated the victims, Dr. Halsey,

Told with urgency, as the doctor tries to convince the authorities, as well as the public, to take safety measures, things go from bad to worse. No one wants to shut the beaches and lose money, so they dismiss Dr. Halsey’s alarm. The consequences are disastrous, leaving four dead.

I really enjoyed how the author highlighted the humanity of those involved as well as the heroism shown once the people accepted that there was a shark, or sharks, attacking.

Silent Came the Monster will be released on May, 16, 2023. Why not preorder a copy from your local independent bookstore, or wherever you buy your books?

Thanks for reading.


The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis

I love it when I read an advance copy of a book by an author I’ve never read before and love it. I love it even more when I find out that they have MORE BOOKS for me to read! This is what happened when I received an advance copy of The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Twenty-one year old Lillian Carter has been modeling for artists since she was fifteen. Under her mother’s guidance, she became Angelica, the most sought-after artist model in New York City. When her mother succumbs to the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919, she is lost. When her landlord’s wife is found murdered with a flirtatious note Lillian sent her husband, she is wanted for questioning. Instead of complying, she runs with hopes to get out to Hollywood to become a movie star.

Lillian stumbles into a job interview for the personal assistant of Miss Helen Frick of the daughter of the infamous industrialist, Henry Clay Frick. She manages to not only get the job but become a valued member of the Frick household. When the patriarch of the family dies, Lillian is caught up in a scandal unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

This book, with it’s many detailed descriptions great art, New York society and it’s landmarks, was an interesting look at how life would be for a young woman with a so called scandalous profession at the time. Flashing back and forth between 1919 and 1966, the book manages to tie up all the missing pieces without being trite.

If you like historical figures and locals mixed with a good fictional story, this book is for you.

The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis is scheduled for publication on January 25, 2022. You can preorder from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local independent book store.

Thanks for reading.