Pub Date 22 Mar 2016
A reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer,
from the author whose work The
New York Times described as
“riveting” and The Wall Street
Journal called “thrilling.”
“Reader, I murdered him.”
A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.
Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito, and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past?
A satirical romance about identity, guilt, goodness, and the nature of lies, by a writer who Matthew Pearl calls “superstar-caliber” and whose previous works Gillian Flynn declared “spectacular,” Jane Steele is a brilliant and deeply absorbing book inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s classic Jane Eyre.
honest here. When I was sent an advanced readers’ copy of JANE STEELE,
which was billed as an historical crime novel with a Jane-Eyre-style heroine
who becomes a serial killer, I thought someone was pulling my leg. I
decided to read ten pages, just to annoy myself as I’m often inclined to
do. Also, to show what a good sport I am. I was hooked by page five
and read my way through at a merry clip. I loved this book! The
language rings true, the period details are correct. Jane Steele is a joy,
both plucky and rueful in her assessment of her dark deeds. The plotting
is solid and the pacing sublime. If this were a series, this would be the
perfect introduction. As a stand-alone, I give it an A+”
—Sue Grafton, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"This is a wonderfully wicked book. The deadly first chapter actually made me gasp. Jane Steele is a character you will not soon forget. Great evil fun!"
--R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps and Fear Street
Lyndsay Faye pulls off the most elusive feat of historical fiction: to give us a book that reads as though it was unearthed from a perfectly preserved antique chest. Sneakily charming and wildly well written, like Faye's other novels JANE STEELE demands attention.
--Matthew Pearl, New York Times bestselling author of The Dante Club and The Last Bookaneer
“JANE STEELE is lethal good fun! In Jane, Lyndsay Faye has created a heroine unwilling to suffer tyrants or fools. The result is a darkly-humorous, elegantly-crafted story of an "accidental" vigilante. A delicious read.”
--Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist
"Enchanting. JANE STEELE is beautifully rendered and utterly captivating, from the first cry of "reader, I murdered him" to its final pages. Lyndsay Faye is a masterful storyteller, and this is her finest tale yet."
--Maria Konnikova, New York Times bestselling author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
"From the gasp-inducing moment Jane Steele utters the words "reader, I murdered him", you know you are in for a rollicking romp of an adventure that recasts the Jane Eyre story in an entirely new light. But mixed in with the verve and vivacity is a story of real heart, exemplary, near-forgotten history, and an utterly unforgettable heroine. Brava to Lyndsay Faye for what's already one of my favorite thrillers of the year."
--Sarah Weinman, editor of Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s