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See What I Have Done Reviews

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Tinder Press
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 2 May 2017
ISBN: 9781472240866

'Eeerie and compelling' Paula Hawkins - SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE is a haunting retelling of the infamous Lizzie Borden murders from a dazzling debut novelist.

1 Prize for See What I Have Done

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Carrie Morris, from Booka in Oswestry, said: "I read it a couple of years ago and it still haunts me. It is one of the most unnerving books that I've read and there's a real sense of menace and horror from the outset... What's so compelling it's clear what has happened and how it's happened- it's the why that the reader wants to know."


3 stars out of 5
22 Aug 2017

"a lurid and original work of horror"

But in the Gothic novel a certain imperative applies. A strong tension must be sustained: a movement, preferably quickening and twisting as it advances, that will sweep readers into the very pit of their anxiety and fulfill the implicit promise of the story, which is to deliver them screaming into the final ghastly horror of the thing.

The narrative structure of “See What I Have Done” squanders that tension. There are too many voices and shifts in the time scheme as the novel moves into its final hundred pages. The effect is to undermine the dynamic previously established, both in the Borden household and in Lizzie’s sickening mind... In “See What I Have Done,” Sarah Schmidt has created a lurid and original work of horror. It’s a pity that some of its force has been dissipated by its disorganized and overlong second half.

4 stars out of 5
Justine Jordan
27 Apr 2017

"Schmidt’s unusual combination of narrative suppression and splurge makes for a surprising, nastily effective debut"

The blurring of voices and perceptions, particularly between Lizzie and Benjamin, and obsessive repetition of words and symbols only add to the irresistible momentum and fevered intensity of the book: part fairytale, part psychodrama... Schmidt’s unusual combination of narrative suppression and splurge makes for a surprising, nastily effective debut. Neighbours, doctor, police: visitors to the Borden house in the aftermath of the murders react with incredulity. “I don’t think I believe it myself,” says Lizzie.