Book Review: The Mourner’s Cradle

Hello Night Owls!

Okay, maybe it’s not all that late. Maybe I’m just an old man for being kinda tired before 10pm on a weeknight. Eh, I’ll take it.

I’m posting at this later hour because I was determined to finish the book I was reading, and I did it!

This time around I finished The Mourner’s Cradle by Tommy B. Smith.


Fun fact, I met Tommy B. Smith at Crypticon last year, and we bonded over a love for dark fiction.

Also feel free to check out my interview with Tommy B. Smith should you be more interested in his creative process after reading this post.


The tale of a widow’s harrowing journey through grief and peril into the cold remnants of a dead world.

Damon Sharpe had in part found victory, he believed, in his battle to unearth a truth obscured by time. By autumn, he was dead, leaving to his wife Anne a house of unfulfilled wishes, remnants, and the key to the enigma of his obsession, the Mourner’s Cradle.

A journey through grief and peril delivers Anne Sharpe from her home in St. Charles to the faraway skeletons of a long-dead civilization where she will find the desperate answers she seeks…or die trying.


The Review:



I gave this novel four stars!

In a nutshell, this book is about a widow named Anne Sharpe. Her husband Damon was researching a location he thought housed a long-gone civilization just before he died, and in a strange turn of events, Anne decides to embark on a journey to discover just what lies there.

Expecting a hard trek, Anne’s journey quickly spirals out of control, turning into a complete nightmare. Can she survive the brutal landscape where this supposed civilization’s ruins lies or will she freeze to death in the frigid mountain range?

This is my second read of Smith’s, and I had a great time!

Knowing Tommy’s style of dark fiction from my reading of Poisonous, I was amped, and I believe that overall he delivered to his fans.

First off, I really liked the characters, especially Anne. Her situation is very understandable and she felt three-dimensional with her feelings and actions. I also liked how no-nonsense she was. Her narrative felt balanced. And Keller? Pft! Don’t even get me started on that piece of work. He makes a great antagonist in this novel, head to toe.

The plot felt very original, and I couldn’t predict anything that was about to happen. The plot twists really kept me on my toes and there’s nothing better than that. I will say that I think on some level, this book could be in the same universe as Poisonous given the location and similarity of initial setting, but I can’t be 100% sure.

If I had to state any quips I would say that maybe if the darker elements were spread out a bit more evenly throughout the book I might have rated this a smidge higher, but this was a very strong book (I kept going back and forth between giving this a 4.5 or a 4), and I’m happy to have it on my bookshelves at home.

The Mourner’s Cradle is a memorable, dark experience that I definitely won’t forget anytime soon. Worth a read!

That’s a Wrap!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading!

Have you read this book before? What did you think? Do you have a book recommendation similar to this one? Feel free to share in the comments!

If you’d like to see other reviews of mine, feel free to check out my blog homepage or my GoodReads. You can also follow my GoodReads reviews here. There are some great binge-worthy books on there!

Have a great day!

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