Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Dark Night by Paige Shelton
Series: Alaska Wild Mysteries #3
Published by St. Martin's Press on December 7, 2021
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Apple
Winter is falling in the remote town of Benedict, Alaska, and with the cold comes an uninvited guest. The dreaded "census man," seemingly innocuous, is an unwelcome presence to those members of this secretive community who would prefer to keep their business to themselves. Meanwhile, thriller writer Beth Rivers has received her own unexpected visitor: her mother. The last Beth heard, Mill Rivers had gone underground in the lower forty-eight, in search of Beth’s kidnapper, and Beth can't help but be a little alarmed at her appearance: If Mill was able to track down her daughter, who knows who else might be able to?
Beth doesn't have time to ponder this for long, after a battered woman stumbles into the town bar one night, and her husband is found dead the next morning. Suspicions immediately turn to the census man, but when he, too, goes missing, everyone in Benedict—including the police chief—is suspected, and Beth and Mill must work to figure out what really happened. Meanwhile, in the lower forty-eight, another author has disappeared, and the police think Beth’s kidnapper just may be at it again..
Dark Night is the third book in the Alaska Wild Mysteries. I would read the series in order as both the mystery plot arc and the personal relationships grow throughout the series. Each book has smaller mysteries in addition to, and sometimes tangled up in, the main series mysteries. There is some small town quirkiness and a few things seem ridiculous, but overall it’s an interesting and enjoyable read.
Beth has been trying to live below the radar in small town Alaska. She doesn’t want her stalker to find her. She is remembering more over time. She is also settling into the town and making friends. But she feels badly being disingenuous with them as she gets to know them more. There are many in this area who are hiding from one thing or another, or just want to be left alone. It makes it difficult to know who to trust. Slowly, Beth begins to trust a few others and tell them her real story.
Now there’s a murder in town, and her mom, also on the run, shows up in town. Beth is glad to see her mom but also worried. Her mom isn’t completely honest with her about many things but she is her mom. Beth and her mom work together until her mom takes off again. Beth learns much more about her father and who he was, before he disappeared when she was 7. She perseveres to figure things out in a shocking conclusion.
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