Saturday, December 4, 2021

ARC Review: Dark Night by Paige Shelton

Dark Night

Paige Shelton
Series: Alaska Wild (Book 3)
Publication: Minotaur Books (December 7, 2021)

Description: Dark Night marks the third book in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series from Paige Shelton, in which Benedict, Alaska is met with some unexpected visitors…and then disappearances.

Winter is falling in the remote town of Benedict, Alaska, and with the cold comes a mysterious 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 company: 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 uncover the truth.

My Thoughts: Winter is settling in at Benedict, Alaska, and Beth Rivers is settling in too. She is getting ready to share her secrets with some of the other residents that she has come to trust. But then the "census man" comes to the area, her mother Mill on the run from the law also arrives, and a rather nasty resident is murdered. 

The murder victim is Ned, who is hiding his sister who is a fugitive from crimes elsewhere in Alaska, is known for having a bad temper and for beating his wife. That makes both the wife and the sister suspects in his death. But they aren't the only suspects. Beth finds that she is sleepwalking and wonders if she might have killed Ned though she has no idea why she would do so.

Beth also wonders if her sleepwalking might have something to do with her returning memories about her kidnapping and escape. She knows her mother Mill has been on the track of her kidnapper. They learn that he had known the Rivers family. In fact, that he had dealt drugs with Beth's father before her father's disappearance. Mill has been obsessively searching for her lost husband since he disappeared when Beth was seven. While Beth would like to think that Mill came to Alaska for love of her, she knows that Mill always has multiple reasons for doing things and also lies a lot. 

When the librarian Orin is let into Beth's secrets, he uses his connections from the secret government agency that used to employ him to find out more about her father and his partners than she or Mill had been able to uncover in all their years of searching. And some secrets are closer to home than Beth could have imagined.

I enjoyed this fast-paced thriller very much. I like that Beth is opening up to her new friends and becoming more comfortable in Benedict. I like that some of the secrets about Beth's attacker and her father's disappearance are finally being exposed. 

Favorite Quote:
It's strange to go from darkness one moment to enlightenment the next. That's what learning is all about, of course, but when the darkness has been so all-encompassing, a part of you as permanent as a limb, it can be discombobulating when the light is flipped on.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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