The Trials of Marjorie Crowe

Trials of Marjorie Crowe C.S. Robertson - Cover
The Trials of Marjorie Crowe | C.S. Robertson

The Trials of Marjorie Crowe is yet another wonderful portrayal of a very unusual woman, in a vivid and immersive 5-star crime novel.

Marjorie Crowe has live in Kilgoyne, Scotland, for 25 years, but locals are still not sure about her. How old is she? What’s her story? And most important of all, is she a witch? When the death of a teenage boy occurs, the whole village turns on her, projecting all of their fear and rage onto this one lone woman.

This is a multilayered novel with interconnecting themes: social cohesion and social disconnection; the way women – especially old(er) – women are perceived, and how they are expected to behave; the persecution of witches through the ages and mysognyny in general; and teenage angst and those who take advantage of it. And of course, murder.

It’s also about the beauty and majesty of nature, in particular the haunting beauty of the Scottish countryside. The setting is vividly and beautifully described, transporting you to the scenes.

Robertson gets under the skin and into the minds of his female protagonists to an extent I rarely see in male writers (these days at least). I’m impressed.

In fact, this novel impressed me at least as much as his previous novel, The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill, although that’s a very, very different story. And Marjorie Crowe is a very different character to Grace, although they are both rather weird, social outcasts. Marjorie is the descendent of a line of women who some might call ‘witches’. The parallels between her life and the lives of women persecuted in the past are deftly revealed in (no doubt factually-based) vignettes of women ‘wirried and burnt’ after being accused of and tried for witchcraft.

The mystery at the heart of the novel revolves around teenagers, secrets and a possible satanist cult. And at every turn, the clues seem to come back and point the finger of suspicion at Marjorie Crowe. Despite the violence against her, she is determined to stand her ground, figure out what’s happening and prove her innocence.

C.S. Robertson is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for providing an ARC. All my reviews are 100% honest no matter how I acquire the book.

You might also like:

The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill | C.S. Robertson

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