Digital Reads Reviews

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This post contains affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through those links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Wow! A true amalgamation of truth and fiction, nary had an author’s words ever spoken true to my heart. Abuse in form of other, prison in one way or other, and a solution, easy or difficult, paved the way for this book.

My first book by author M. M. DeLuca, and I had to take a deep sigh and it seized my lungs as words brought out the vivid imagery of how the women were treated in those times. Compounded by the fact that in some corners of the world, it was still true.

Though a slow start, I loved how the pain and desolation, desperation and restlessness were written in. The words appeared to be etched on paper, but they captured the cells of my heart.

Truly a talented hand that caused me pause for a few moments taking the entire feel for the book, for the main character Clara and how twisted a life her husband Henry made for her, just to attain his own needs.

Shadows in characterization were well depicted as the book progressed with Clara’s meeting with Mary Cotton, a woman accused of murdering people with arsenic.

Like the dark clouds traversing the sky playing a game with the shining sun, the story too made me see both the women with different eyes in every chapter. But my heart truly belonged to Clara, and I wanted nothing more than her freedom and happiness.

This was one book that would stay with me for a long time as the feelings that it evoked in me twisted by insides and filled me with a wicked sense of what needs be.

A line from the book which caused to smirk and nod in agreement.

Most men have no sense. They’re like arses, best out of sight.

— author Marjorie DeLuca


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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The Savage Instinct journeys into the dark and desperate mind of a woman with nothing left to lose. After she’s released from the insane asylum her husband sent her to, Clara Blackstone struggles for her freedom and sanity under his watchful eye—until she finds an unlikely confidante and mentor in Mary Ann Cotton, England’s first female serial killer, accused of poisoning her husbands and children. As Clara grows increasingly suspicious of her own husband’s intentions, her fascination with Cotton grows. What lengths will Clara go to protect her money, her freedom, and her life?


Publication Date: July 2021

I received an ARC from the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be found here.

5 Responses

  1. I think this one may be too angsty for me, you are more patient than I am, I grow weary of constant conflict. Excellent reviewing!

  2. The women versus men situation is eternally fascinating, and will always be talked about. The problem is that men are physically stronger than women, and that it’s women who get pregnant. I’d enjoy this book, I think. Thanks for the post, Shalini.

  3. How angry it makes me that “civilized” society and “doctors” supported a system where men could have their wives institutionalized because they weren’t happy with something they did!

  4. Will avoid this one, thanks. Such books have a way of lingering for long in the mind, and I’m just not up to it.

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