Review: The Dismembered by Jonathan Janz

In the spring of 1912, American writer Arthur Pearce is reeling from the wounds inflicted by a disastrous marriage. But his plans to travel abroad, write a new novel, and forget about his ex-wife are interrupted by a lovely young woman he encounters on a London-bound train. Her name is Sarah Coyle, and the tale she tells him chills his blood.

Sarah’s younger sister has been entranced by Count Richard Dunning, who is rumored to dabble in bizarre religious rites and experimental medicine. Arthur agrees to help, but he has no idea of what awaits him at Altarbook, Sarah’s ancestral mansion, or the remote English countryside, where Count Dunning and his followers are about to unleash an unholy supernatural power.

The Dismembered by Jonathan Janz. Narrated by Matt Godfrey. Published by Blackstone Publishing, November 2022. Audio runtime of 4 hours 32 minutes.

*Trigger Warning: Animal cruelty.

Well. I finished this one a few weeks ago and I honestly am not sure what I want to write. :/

I have read several books by this author now. (For me,) This author is always a real roll of the dice. Sometimes I finish one of his books and I love it, my mind is blown! Other times, I finish a book and I’m just sitting there thinking, “Bro. WTF.” and not in a good way.

The Dismembered falls into the rare Janz category of mid. As in middle of the road. It’s not a bad story. But it isn’t my fave Janz novel either….

For some reason this one just wasn’t clicking with me. D: Why?? I really dig gothic work. I’m no stranger to the gothic genre, or movies like the Hammer Films. I’ve read the things The Dismembered is a homage to. The plot is fun and unexpected. I just don’t know why I didn’t enjoy this more. 😦 Sad.

The author does do a fantastic job of capturing vibe of the gothic genre. Everything felt very authentic to that era. Except… you know, more blood! 🙂

This is a charming, blood splattered love letter to classic gothic lit. The writing is on point, and the plot is nice and twisty. For some reason I just had a hard time really connecting with this story. :/


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