BOOK CLUB: The Scarlet Cross

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The Scarlet Cross by Lyn McFarlane is a psychological crime thriller set in St Jude’s Hospital.
Meredith Griffin manages the Emergency Department at the hospital.

She is a specialist in psychiatric nursing. Her own life is complicated with her own battles. For example, she cares for her sister who suffers from mental health issues.

Several women have turned up in the ER with the same fatal wound, two deep gashes in the form of a cross. Their deaths conveniently have been labelled as suicide. Meredith has her doubts and she is quite sure it was something else.

The women all have case histories in common. All have been referred to and have been attending St
Jude’s Psychiatric Department prior to their deaths.

Meredith’s professional life and her private life collide. She is dating Leo Donnelly a senior homicide
detective, who is investigating these deaths. He has asked for her help. A murder investigation is
under way, and all hospital staff who have had contact with the women are under suspicion.

Meredith has put her job and her own safety at risk as she uncovers St Jude’s secrets while secretly
working with Leo and the Police. She can trust no one!

It is a difficult task as the hospital is owned by the Catholic Church. There is a network of powerful
people who don’t want the truth to be known and will do anything to protect their funding.

The police are working frantically to find and expose the killer before any more women are

It is a great story with so many suspects, twists and turns that keep you guessing to the very end.
Thoroughly recommend this book to all those murder mystery lovers!

Thank you to Pantera Press and to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this great story.

ISBN: 9780648795193
Copy courtesy of Pantera Press

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Scarlet Cross by Lyn McFarlane. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Scarlet Cross

  1. Thank you very much for this book reading opportunity.

    The book was not difficult to read but I found it a little hard to get into it and really enjoy it.

    It was going along well, but slowed down in the middle, quite a bit, and there’s so much happening with the characters and their personal problems. There were stories within stories, which was different, and made an interesting read.
    I was able to read the book, but couldn’t get into it although the side characters were enjoyable to read about.

    I appreciate the opportunity to read this book, thank you once again.

  2. The Scarlett Cross
    Canadian Australian writer Lyn McFarlane’s debut novel, The Scarlet Cross is an intriguing crime thriller. Based at the British hospital of St Jude’s in 2015, Meredith Griffin, the novels female protagonist works long hours committed to her role as a psychiatric nurse.
    Young women dying of what appears to be self-harm are turning up at St Jude’s hospital, but things just do not add up for Meredith. Rather than accepting these deaths as suicide, she believes there is more to it and alongside Detective Leo Donnelly, is on a mission to uncover the truth.
    Meredith’s question and enquiries are not met pleasantly by management who are determined to quieten her investigation. There is far too much of a coincidence with the deaths, in Meredith’s eyes. Whilst battling her own addiction and share of personal problems beyond work, Meredith’s selfless determination pushes her to dig deep in the hope of putting a stop to more women turning up in the hospitals morgue with the same ritualistic injuries
    Suspenseful and full of twist and turns, The Scarlet Cross is a novel to get your hands on. Thank you to Pantera Press and Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review The Scarlett Cross by Lyn McFarlane
    This is the debut novel for Lyn McFarlane which covers many subjects from workplace harassment to how well managed mental health is. The novel takes place at St Jude Hospital in 2015. Nurse Meredith Griffin investigates the death of three women who have fatal injuries which are similar. You get the feel of what it is like in a hospital emergency ward which is chaotic and the characters are complex and hurting. Meredith is a nurse who is capable of doing her job but has an eruptive home life and her addictions could obstruct her career and reputation. She is determined to find the killer and the dishonest forces who are at St Jude.

    I really enjoyed this book and like the way it was written. I would recommend it to everyone.

  4. The Scarlet Cross by Lyn McFarlane is a very detailed murder mystery set in a Catholic hospital.

    I found it a little hard to get into, and while I finished the book, I never really engaged with it.

    I found the premise interesting however felt that there were too many detailed mini stories going on at the same time, making the main story hard to track. I also had trouble with the unfamiliar medical terminology which required research, thus losing my place in the story.

    I also liked the character development, and learning little details about each of them, however, some of these details didn’t add anything to the story, and actually detracted from the story as a whole.

    Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.

  5. Thanks to Beauty Lace Book Club and Pantry Press for allowing me to read ‘The Scarlet Cross’ by Lyn McFarlane.

    This story revolves around an emergency department nurse manager, Meredith, who begins to notice there may be a pattern in some patients and how they died. Meredith shares her thoughts with a Detective and is helps him try and figure out if there needs to be a concern all while dealing with her own issues in her personal life.

    Essentially this story is a mystery and there is mention of self harming if that is a trigger for anyone. But it is well written and the story flows and definitely keeps you guessing until the end!

    I actually think this would make a great movie and can only hope it can come to life on the screen on day.

  6. Brilliant, suspenseful, dramatic. I LOVED this book. It’s one of my favourites of the past year.

    It is so well written with well developed characters, especially main character, Emergency Nurse Meredith Griffin. You can feel her anxiety, tension, worry and empathy jump right off the pages.

    The Scarlet Cross is a murder mystery but much more than that and it really kept me guessing right up to the very end.

    Lyn McFarlane is to be congratulated on such an excellent story. I was blown away to learn this is her debut novel. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for any of her future work.

  7. The Scarlett Cross is a suspenseful and intriguing murder-mystery set in St Jude’s Hospital, owned and managed by the Catholic Church. The main character, Meredith Griffin, is a highly trained and well respected psychiatric nurse who manages the hospital ER. Despite her professional acclaim Meredith has a lot going on in her private life but this doesn’t stop her noting and delving into her suspicions after more than one unusual fatality in her ER.
    There is a lot happening in this novel alongside the main storyline – Meredith’s relationship with Detective Leo Donelly, who also happens to be the lead Detective assigned to investigate the deaths; Meredith’s personal issue with addiction; corruption and cover up within the Catholic institution; Meredith’s sister’s mental health and the introduction of a number of other characters in Meredith’s life along the way.
    I found it a little difficult to get into the story initially and it took a few tries and persistence but after the first few chapters it had me hooked.
    This is a fantastic debut novel and I look forward to reading more from Lyn McFarlane in the future.
    Thank you Pantera Press and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review The Scarlett Cross.

  8. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pantera Press for giving me this book to read.

    St Jude Hospital has women turning up with the same fatal injury and as the emergency department manager Meredith Griffin begins to notice a few too many coincidences appearing.
    With the help of Lee Donnelly, a Detective, she begins investigating the pattern she sees emerging.

    Meredith is a character with multiple layers which allow you to get to know why she is so determined to find out what is happening to these women.
    She will search high and low to find the answers to uncover the truth.
    This setting of a murder mystery in a hospital is clever and one that will hook you in.

    I enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read more from this author.

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