Inspired by H.G. Well's classic, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Shepherd weaves a Gothic tale worthy of literary stardom. Loyal to the Victorian Gothic horror, The Madman's Daughter begins in London and leads to an uncharted, remote island where experiments in the interest of science border on the insane. However, all advancement comes at a price and despite the horrific nature, some vital knowledge is gained for the benefit of humanity. The gruesome violations will make you wince and squirm, as the tension builds at a sometimes maddening pace. Some scenes are slow and drawn out as if guided by the precision of a surgeon's blade, which adds dark tension similar to Goethe. You'll wish you could look away, but can't, you must see the vivisection, your curiosity will force you to witness what is happening in the medical school basement or island blood house. The pacing of the prose is systemically executed to push and pull the story in a violent wave towards the inevitable outcome. However, there is a bit of a twist that makes the final pages exhilarating. For those who appreciate and love the classic structure of literature, this will be a journey worth taking. It starts in one place and sails towards another world. I use the term journey, because this is not necessarily a quick read, but unravels into chaos and madness, much like a true Gothic horror should. The love triangle also stays true to Victorian tradition and remains fairly chaste--no bodice ripping affairs occur, but the depth of love is satisfied with hope of more to come.