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Friday 5 October 2018

‘Hart of Madness’ by Lynne Kennedy

Published by Bookbaby,
21 July 2018.
ISBN 978-1-54393-549-3 (PB)

Two mysteries are pursued concurrently in this book.  The centre of events is the mass burial ground on a small island off the coast of the Bronx, New York City.  This is Hart Island used as a burial ground since 1869.  

In 1902 Ruby Hunt was incarcerated in the woman’s lunatic asylum on the island as a lunatic who had murdered her family - mother, father and brother - in a Central Park apartment.  Ruby was 19 years old and brought up in a very privileged way.  The story of her treatment is terrifying.

In 2016 another woman is murdered in New York and there seems to be a connection to Ruby’s fate since the second victim is a descendant of the Hunt family.  The second victim had been given a suitcase found in an attic which had photos, letters and a diary relating to Ruby.

The use of modern forensic methods on this long-forgotten case is fascinating as is the incorporation of real figures from 1992 New York.  Frank Mead is the modern homicide detective who follows up all the leads on both cases and eventually reaches conclusions on what happened in 1902 and in 2016.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Lynne Kennedy has published previous mysteries set in various historical periods which are solved by modern technology.
Lynne Kennedy was born in Brooklyn, New York. She obtained a Masters Degree in Science from Hofstra University, New York, and moved to San Diego, California in the early 80’s. In San Diego, Lynne worked as a museum director at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, California for many years. In this capacity, she developed education programs, exhibitions and film projects on a number of timely science subject areas. She also worked with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab and the San Diego Police Department to develop forensic programs for teachers and students and conduct mystery nights for families. She has worked with experts at various historical museums, such as the Tenement Museum in New York, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Coronado Historical Museum, in Coronado, to create innovative ways of bringing history to life. She began writing mysteries in 1995. History, digital photography and forensic science are personal interests and play significant roles in her novels. Her position in the museum community has also enabled her to network the community of experts needed to assist in her research and add authenticity to her books.  Lynne is married to John Kennedy!

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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