Novel Idea: Hillary Pacheco

Name: Hillary Pacheco

Job title: Information services teen specialist for the Jackson County Public Library

What’s the name of the book and author you are recommending?

“A Dark and Secret Place” by Jen Williams

What made you want to pick up this book in the first place?

I was actually recommended this by Hoopla, one of our free reading apps, based on my reading interests. I was first intrigued by the ambiguity of the title. After reading the blurb, I knew I wanted to know more of this seemingly dark and twisted story.

Once you got into the book, what made you want to keep reading it?

This book holds you at its precipice the entire time you’re reading. I felt the book’s plot chasing me through the dark setting of Fiddlers Mill as I read it and I, much like the main character, needed answers.

Once you finished the book, what did you like about it?

The twists this book takes you on are incredible. I had no idea it would end the way it did, and once it had, I could better appreciate it for what it is — a thrillingly evil and bleak tragedy.

What is the book about?

The news is out in London. The word is that there’s a monstrous serial killer out there taking women into the woods, carving them and leaving flowers in their wounds. The killings are copycats of the already convicted and imprisoned Red Wolf. It opens with Heather Evans returning to her family home after reports that her mother has committed suicide. Heather and her mother, Colleen, had a tumultuous relationship, but even so, she never expected suicide to be at the forefront of her mother’s mind. Being a former reporter, Heather starts snooping through her mother’s things for answers when she finds correspondence letters between her mom and the convicted and notorious serial killer, Michael Reaves, aka The Red Wolf himself. Questions consume her. Why was her mother writing to him? What were they to each other? What did Colleen know? Now with new copycat murders popping up, Heather starts working with a local detective to help interview Reaves and see what he knows about the murders and her mother. Interweaving between the past and the present, we gain insight into the mystery, learn about the boy who made the murderer and slowly realize how all of the pieces fit together. Deaths occur, blood is shed, family is not who you think and the Red Wolf is in the woods again.

Why would you recommend this book to others?

I understand this sort of wicked read isn’t for everyone; however, if you’re into thriller novels, enjoy a female lead character, revenge novels or simply want to get into the spirit of the season, I highly recommend this nightmare fuel of a novel.