See What I Have Gone and Done
In this debut novel from Australian newcomer Schmidt, we are taken inside the delusional mind of accused 19th-century ax murderer Lizzie Borden and also witness the churning interior monologs of her older sister, Emma, and the Bordens' hapless Irish maid, Bridget. We get to inhabit another character as well: a potential hit man named Benjamin, lured in by the sisters' nefarious Uncle John. Schmidt employs some unusual word choices—animals "critter" instead of walk, lamplight "rages." Not surprisingly, the prose is rife with a creepy physicality, its imagery dwelling on skin, blood, fingernails, smells, etc., although readers are spared much of the actual crime's gruesomeness.