Winter’s End: A Mystery (Alaska Wild)
4th in Series
Setting – Alaska
Minotaur Books (December 6, 2022)
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250846595
ISBN-13 : 978-1250846594
Kindle ASIN : B09NTK1KVJ
The fourth installment in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series, Paige Shelton’s Winter’s End.
It’s springtime in Benedict, Alaska, and with the warmer weather comes an unseasonably somber local tradition…the annual Death Walk. At the end of each brutal winter, citizens gather downtown and then break into groups to search the community for those who might have somehow gotten stuck at home. Beth Rivers sets off with her friend Orin and dog Gus, toward the cabin of an elderly resident, intending to check on him.
When they reach the cabin, the old man is alive, but not in the best shape. Beth stays with him while Orin hurries to town for help, but it’s not Orin who returns. Gril comes back with shocking news, and it soon becomes clear that Orin has also vanished. When they discover that their friend has been doing some top-secret research, they start to worry he’s been exposed, or worse.
Meanwhile, Beth continues on her own search, for her father, who allegedly is alive in Mexico, but won’t return her calls. Still, she’s making progress in healing from her own trauma, though can’t quite shake the feeling she’s being followed…
Benedict, Alaska has a unique tradition due to the vastness of the area and the savage winter months. When the warmer weather of spring returns the annual Death Walk commences. Each citizen must check in downtown. Failure to do so means a visit from members of the community to check if they are still among the living. Newcomer Beth Rivers takes part in her first Death Walk and after checking in travels with her friend Orin and dog Gus to visit an elderly resident who has not appeared in town. They arrive to find the man alive but in a pretty bad state. While Orin leaves to arrange for him to be transferred to the doctor in town Beth stays to try to get some fluids into the man who is clearly dehydrated.
Sometime later Police Chief Gril returns to help Beth and tells her Orin has disappeared. When they return to town she also learns another of her new friends is missing too. Just what Beth needs in her life, more missing persons. She has been searching for her dad and her mother came to Alaska for a visit and took off without saying where she was going. She is also still recovering from her own traumatic event involving another missing man that needs to be caught. Beth also has the eerie feeling someone is watching her. On the upside, there is a new tenant at Benedict House, and boy can they cook!
Beth Rivers is a wonderful protagonist. She moved to Alaska to escape, to hide, from a man who kidnapped her and kept her locked in a van for 3 days before she was able to free herself. She was injured and hospitalized and with a little help, she left the lower 48 and touched down in Alaska to check in to Benedict House until her kidnapper could be caught. As a successful thriller author, using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Fairchild, she can write anywhere. Even in the wilderness of Alaska. Now with this 4th book, Beth is more settled. She has a routine and has made friends. Just a few know her true story but she has fit right into this unique town that is mostly made up of misfits, each with their own distinct story. Ms. Shelton has created a whole group of multifaceted characters including several new characters for this book. They all have layers that are slowly peeled away as the story/series continues. They are all intriguing in their own way and really draw you into the story.
There are several lines of mystery entwined together. A family feud, missing persons, a dead body, a mysterious individual, a weird landmark, and more all come together within these pages. The author has written a fast-paced riveting novel full of mystery and suspense. The location is almost a character in itself. I was able to clearly visualize every place our protagonist traveled. From where she lives at Benedict House, to the shed where she writes, the nearby library, the compounds at each end of town, and even the airport.
Winter’s End is another fascinating read from Paige Shelton. I escaped right into it and had a great time with the residents of Benedict, Alaska.
I have enjoyed every book in this series. I do recommend that you read them all in order to fully appreciate the character growth and development. Plus they are all fantastic reads. The best thing is that Beth’s story continues . . . but we have to wait until December when Lost Hours will be released. Ms. Shelton, can you see me tapping my foot? I am excited and impatiently waiting until that day.
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About The Author
PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood, as her father’s job as a football coach took her 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. She thought she’d only stay a couple of years, but instead, she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and the Alaska Wild series. Her other series include the Farmers’ Market, Cooking School, and Dangerous Type mystery series.
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.”