Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt

Publisher Hachette
Length 328 pages
Format paperback
Published 2017
Series standalone
My Copy I bought it

My Review
See What I Have Done is the fictitious retelling of the Borden murders in 1892 in which Lizzie Borden was accused of having murdered her father and step mother in their home. 

The book focuses on the murders themselves, though the culprit is never clearly identified as the murders remain unsolved to this day, the daughters in Lizzie (who was a home when the murders took place) and Emma (who was staying with a friend at the time) and housekeeper Bridget. John, Lizzie and Emma's uncle also gets page time having arrived at house the day prior the heinous event. The book is told from the points of view of these key characters as well as another, Benjamin, a streetwise thug hired by John to take care of Andrew and Abby (the murdered father and step mother) by giving them a scare for their inappropriate treatment of the daughters. Whether or not this meant committing the act of murder is alluded to though not explicit.

One thing that stands out is the atmosphere of the house where the murders took place. Author Sarah Schmidt does a great job at transforming the humble home into a stuffy fortress full of vile smells and intimidating characters. 

Reader be warned, there are some stomach churning passages involving mutton broth, vomit and the decapitation of pigeons spattered throughout the book (though not necessarily linked to one another thankfully) which certainly add to the feel of the book. 

I liked See What I Have Done but wasn't blown away by it. Of all the characters I thought Benjamin was the most interesting - his backstory was well written and he added another layer of mystery to the murders. 

My rating: 3/5 stars, there's reread value in this one.   


  1. I just dropped my brand new, partly read once copy of this in the charity donation bin down the street. It was just too gruesome for me. I'm not sure what my threshold for violence and awfulness is but this book is on the other side of it

    1. Some parts of this book were certainly hard to stomach.