I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams
Published by Crooked Lane Books on June 8, 2021
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For readers of Jane Harper and Rachel Caine comes a chilling thriller from award-winning author Jen Williams about a woman who discovers her late mother had been secretly corresponding with a serial killer for decades.
When prodigal daughter Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother's baffling suicide, she makes an alarming discovery--stacks and stacks of carefully preserved letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave. The "Red Wolf," as he was dubbed by the press, has been in prison for over twenty years, serving a life sentence for the gruesome and ritualistic murders of several women across the country, although he has always protested his innocence. The police have had no reason to listen, yet Heather isn't the only one to have cause to re-examine the murders. The body of a young woman has just been found, dismembered and placed inside a tree, the corpse planted with flowers. Just as the Red Wolf once did.
What did Heather's mother know? Why did she kill herself? And with the monstrous Red Wolf safely locked inside a maximum security prison, who is stalking young women now? Teaming up with DI Ben Parker, Heather hopes to get some answers for herself and for the newest victims of this depraved murderer. Yet to do that, she must speak to Michael Reave herself, and expose herself to truths she may not be ready to face. Something dark is walking in the woods, and it knows her all too well.
Here is what I thought
When Heather returned to her family home to settle her mothers affairs after a baffling suicide she never expected to find out some startling things about her mother. She has not been close with her mother for a long time but even so she would never have imagined her mother would be writing to a serial killer.
While going through some of her things she finds letters of correspondance with Micheal, a man they called the Red Wolf. She also finds out that her mother use to live in a commune when she was a teenager. She soon finds out that there is a copy cat killer out there and after talking to a detective about her mothers letters, she asks if she can go and talk to the man in prison. Maybe she could get some information out of him that they couldn’t and she could mabye find out more about her mother and those days in the commune.
The more she tries to figure out what happened to her mother as a teen the stranger things keep getting. She talks to some that were in the commune with her and some strange things happen. She keeps thinking someone is following her, something in the woods or near her house.
The story is told in two timelines. You have the timeline of Michael and you get to find out what type of a home he grew up in. How it was close to the commune and how he became friends with some of those from the commune. Then you have Heather as she learns about things from Michael and the big twist of sorts at the end that I didn’t see coming.
I thought this had an interesting storyline though at times I got a little bored. I do think the end was really good and liked the twist. I was never fully invested in Heather and her quest but at the same time I was interested in finding out what happened.