I had planned on reading this book closer to its release date of December 7 but I kept seeing it pop up on Facebook and on my Kindle so I just had to read it now.
Dark Night: A Mystery (Alaska Wild Series)
3rd in Series
Setting – Alaska
Publisher : Minotaur Books (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 125079627X
ISBN-13 : 978-1250796271
Kindle ASIN : B08R2KMM3M
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.
The days are getting darker and colder and winter comes to Benedict Alaska. The ferry and aircraft come and go less frequently so making the trek to Juneau is hit or miss depending on the weather. Some of the residents handle the darkness, cold, ice, and snow better than others. People who have lived in Benedict for years all have their own ways of coping and for most, it is just their daily lives.
Residents were surprised when the “census man” arrived in town and he definitely was not welcomed with open arms. He made a definite impression with his visit to Ned and Claudia Withers. After the man left their home Ned beat up his wife and by the next morning, Ned was dead.
Also making the trip to Benedict is Mill Rivers. Her daughter Beth has been hiding in this faraway town since recovering from the injuries sustained when she was kidnapped while her captor is still at large. He was injured when her mother found and shot him but he got away again. She was charged for her actions but has gone on the run. So Beth is both shocked and scared that her mother tracked her down after all her efforts to stay safe. If her mother found her can her kidnapper be far behind?
So with a murder to solve, a couple of fugitives in town, a census man wandering around, and the probability of a kidnapper stepping off the ferry and day now, Police Chief Gril has his hands full. Maybe Beth and her mom can assist him or will they die trying? Who knows when everyone in town and beyond are on a very long suspect list.
Again, I was thrilled to receive an early copy of this book for review and I couldn’t wait to start reading. The first two books in this series, Thin Ice and Cold Wind really stuck with me and I have been really looking forward to this installment for some answers and another suspenseful adventure with Beth Rivers.
Ms. Sheldon doesn’t disappoint. So much happens within these pages, it is the kind of book that has you opening it up and holding on tight until you reach the end.
First, the setting of Benedict, Alaska is a character in itself. It is a living and breathing place. The weather is frigid, a blizzard can blow through quickly or take up residence and drop multiple inches of snow, or it can be a clear cold day where business can go on as usual. It can have secrets and reveal them at its will. The author describes the place so well I had shivers running up my spine and was tingling when its residents ventured out in the vastness of Alaska.
Beth has survived a horrific experience that left her scarred physically and mentally. She is a powerful character but she still has demons she needs to remember and face before she can truly start to heal. She does have a heartwrenching breakthrough in this story. She also gets several answers thanks to her mother showing up in Benedict.
Her mother is a hard woman due to the life she has lived and her need to track down Beth’s father and now her abductor. She is also a bit of a loose cannon as you never know what she is going to say or do.
These two women are surrounded by a vast supporting cast. I am in awe of the way the author has created so many characters with so many layers and so much depth. And not everything about their lives has been revealed. The characters are well-developed but still have room to continue to evolve.
Yes, there is a murder mystery to be solved in this book but there are a plethora of mysteries swirling within these pages. Secrets abound. Delving into people’s lives to find a murderer opens doors that lead to astounding revelations. Masterfully plotted this is a story that is impossible to put down.
The Alaska Wild Series is a series that truly should be read in order. Readers need to follow Beth’s path. Her leaving Missouri on the run, her arrival in Benedict, and all the things she encountered in Thin Ice lead to the continuation of her adjustments to Alaska life, and all her experiences in Cold Wind, and that builds to what happens in Dark Night and hopefully future books. There is a large cast of characters and reading the series from the start will enable readers to meet them and follow their journeys.
I have totally escaped into every book in this series. They have held me spellbound and kept me thoroughly entertained. I finish one and get immediately excited for the next installment. Dark Night like the book before it moved me to feel it deserves more than 5 stars. Dark Night has earned a place on my Best Reads of 2021 and receives my Paradise Rating.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
Dark Night is available for pre-order now and will be delivered to your inbox on December 7.
You can also pre-order a print copy as well.
About The Author
PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. She also writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.
Paige Shelton is also the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived in lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”