How would you feel if you found out your mother was friends with a serial killer?
A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams
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.
For me, the highlight of A Dark and Secret Place is the fact that it was different from any other book I’ve read previously. Not just the mother/serial killer friendship aspect but how both those characters weren’t written in the stereotypical fashion. Michael Reave and Heather’s mother were also the most interesting characters. They were key to the plot but also had a good backstory and development journey. Considering the heavy focus the author also puts on Heather, I would have expected her character to be unravelled a bit more, and a stronger backstory outlining her relationship with her mother would have made this a much stronger book.
While I enjoyed A Dark and Secret Place overall, there were areas, besides the characters, where I would have appreciated a bit more. For example, more vivid descriptions and more detail in areas. For a book about murder, I was surprised that the scenes with the victims weren’t more fleshed out. However, despite the book having some areas I felt were lacking, the more I read the more invested I became in the plot, and I found the ending to be tied up neatly.
Sounds intriguing? Pick up your copy of A Dark and Secret Place here.
I was provided with a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.