To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.
Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.
In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.
Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.
You can read an excerpt here.
Wright is the master of creepy. I have read all of her books and I continue to be amazed at how she gives me chills yet brings the plot to a realistic conclusion, current mystery solved. She does the split timeline well, including historical events as they relate to current events. The general setting is creepy dark, in the woods. The contemporary characters are believable, trying to understand how a ghost story from over a generation ago can influence people today.
Wright fleshes out the scary nature of the novel by adding relationship issues. We see prejudice and forgiveness as major themes characters must address. There are deadly family secrets. There is potential romance too.
I liked this engaging novel that is just creepy enough to not read too late at night but including enough spiritual and relationship matter to draw me in, reading it to the end.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Jaime Jo Wright (www.jaimewrightbooks.com) is the author of six novels, including Christy Award winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her cat named Foo; her husband, Cap'n Hook; and their littles, Peter Pan and CoCo. To learn more, visit www.jaimewrightbooks.com.
Bethany House Publishers, 384 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)