Wednesday, March 24, 2021
MARIAH'S THOUGHTS on The Crow Man by Kate John
September 5, 2017
When your worst fear is your own mind.
Grace Waters lost a baby and now stands amidst the ruins of her marriage. Trapped within the loneliness of grief, her perfect and beautiful life as a GP’s wife begins to quickly unravel around her. With her husband increasingly concerned about her state of mind, she begins to doubt her own sanity – especially when she begins to see the terrifying figure of The Crow Man.
Referred to psychiatrist, Doctor Daniel Rose, Grace dares to hope for healing and recovery, but what she finds is an unending nightmare in which those pretending to be the voice of reason are the most dangerously insane of them all.
A terrifying Frankenstein of the psychological age. An exploration into the dark recesses of the human mind and the terrifying psychological experimentations of the 1950s.
This book contains scenes of horror and violence. It is designed for a mature audience. The language, and experiences of characters reflect this. Please note that some readers may find elements of this story distressing.
Praise for The Crow Man
“Chillingly creepy. Brutal.” Lisa Green
“I couldn’t sleep until I read the last page.” James Pettigrew
“A devastating exploration of women trapped in the barbarity of 1950's psychiatric practice.” Mary Haighs.
“A psychological journey that had me questioning absolutely everything. The storyline is truly exceptional, keeping me gripped throughout.” 5 stars Goodreads reviewer
**About the Author**
International Bestselling Author Kate John has been writing stories and poetry since childhood and has always been away with the woodland fairies. She also writes as Katie M. John, author of A Fantasy and Upper YA Romance. She is author of the Amazon UK Bestselling YA Fairy Tale Romance series, The Knight Trilogy, and a dark, Gothic paranormal detective novel called Beautiful Freaks.
Kate has a love of writing weird and wonderful short stories and can be found 'visiting' writer friends' anthology collections.
Kate likes to keep it varied and pinning her down to a particular style or genre is hard; she mainly writes for YA and NA, and in the Dark Fairy Tale genre; however, she also dabbles in more adult works of horror and issue-focused work.
Kate often draws on her ten year experience of teaching in a London Comprehensive school in her work.
Kate is married to a handsome giant and mummy to a two foot mud-fairy. She originally is from Brigg, North Lincolnshire, UK. Kate currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Stay connected with Kate John
Note: This Review contains SPOILERS
The story is in the 1950’s, it follows Grace Waters, the very vision of the perfect suburban mother to her two sons and perfect wife to her husband, Doctor Paul Waters. But one incident in their marriage begins to unravel this seemingly beautiful little world into The Crow Man.
Grace Waters lost her daughter during birth just a few months prior and despite needing a shoulder to cry on, the comfort of her husband, she is instead given the cold shoulder. She is left alone to grieve and then referred to Dr. Waters’ old classmate and psychiatrist, Doctor Daniel Rose. Even though Grace begins to visit Dr. Rose to heal and move forward her mental health only deteriorates as she is manipulated and discarded by society as a crazy woman.
The story is a thrill to read and teleports me to a different place and time. Kate John’s writing style is captivating and took me on a journey. With each chapter, Grace expresses her pain and sorrow. In her eyes, her husband is stoic and seemingly uncaring. Dr. Rose is handsome and educated. She sees society’s expectations to move forward and play her part just right. And then, there’s the Crow Man, a terrifying shrouded figure that looms onto Grace’s thought and in the corner of her eye. At first, he seems to be a manifestation of Grace’s grief, but he becomes more real the longer she spends time with Dr. Rose and receives his prescriptions. All of this, through Dr. Waters’ eyes is just a ploy for attention from someone he once loved.
The Crow Man does not only take into consideration the perfect housewife of the 1950’s like Grace, Camille is also introduced early on. Camille is a prostitute and someone who has no one or at best her employer. Both women are seduced and manipulated by Dr. Rose to the point of submission and a dismal state of mind that forces them to rely on him. Kate John’s writing drags the reader into witnessing the lengths a mad man or mad genius with power can do. Dr. Rose’s outward gentlemanly appearance and his practice in psychiatrics only mask his obsessive and cruel nature resulting in both women’s entrapment and mental breakdowns.
This isn’t just a story about a society lead by male doctors. The Crow Man is about Grace and Camille’s spirits to fight against that which oppresses them. Grace snaps back at Paul. She denies every accusation of madness. She screams back when the orderlies of the mental institution want to give her an abortion. Camille perseveres. She takes care of herself. She refuses to be erased by Daniel’s torture. Despite it all, in the end, the only thing they receive is an apology. Daniel Rose is captured and incarcerated, but none of that is enough to repair them. Their original lives were demolished and now they must start over to rebuild it. I enjoyed The Crow Man despite its predictable end.