*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: What if the best decision you ever made was also the worst?
The new tourist season is about to start. The witches, carnies, fortune tellers, and other lovable outcasts of Whispering Pines are abuzz with excitement. Sheriff Jayne O’Shea, however, is nervous. After their tragic last season, the lakeside hamlet became known as the Murder Capital of Wisconsin, and she would love to redeem their reputation.
Everyone has assured her they’re ready and that it’s going to be a great opening weekend, but Jayne can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Then, just as waves of happy tourists start to arrive, villagers go missing one by one.
This is the showdown Jayne has been preparing for. She knows who’s responsible, but before catching the kidnapper, she first needs to save the victims. That means releasing control and letting others step up because this time she’s too close. Failure could mean the end for those she loves most.
Wow! I’m still reeling from this one!
Shawn McGuire’s Whispering Pines mystery series comes to a long-awaited climax with this thirteenth book (unlucky for some, but not for this author or her readers!) and it fulfils all of the promises made during the twelve book build-up… and more!
Obviously, I am going to recommend that you read books 1-12 first – you will still get the standalone story of Jayne investigating the kidnappers, as per the blurb, but would miss out on all of the fantastic character and community development which caused me so much delightfully thrilling, nail-biting anxiety when said characters began mysteriously disappearing in this instalment. I have no idea how Jayne managed to investigate at all, as I was a nervous wreck!
This is definitely my new favourite book in the series, with high stakes for the main character (and the thoroughly-invested reader!) and while the mastermind behind events will be no surprise to regular visitors to Whispering Pines, there are still plenty of surprises as the plot unfolds. Without giving anything away, I can confidently state that the community (and the series) will be very different from this book onwards.
And, personally, I cannot wait to see where Shawn McGuire takes us, Jayne and the whole of Whispering Pines in future. I feel like I know these people, this place, so intimately now and am desperate to read more stories from this unique, outsider community of troubled families, long-buried secrets, and Wiccan magics.
I highly recommend this series to mystery fans looking for something warm and cosy, a little woo-woo, but with an official sheriff’s badge attached. I’m looking forward immensely to my next visit to Whispering Pines.
‘Was Gran’s the voice that had been waking me with a start for the last seven straight days? If not her, whose could it possibly be? The message was upsetting and confusing. Now, the same feeling of dread that made my stomach clench every morning flared up and nauseated me. A massive shiver wracked my body as I wondered again what the message meant.– Shawn McGuire, Wayward Secrets
What if staying in Whispering Pines was your worst decision ever?‘
Find more from Shawn McGuire at her website here, or follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Wayward Secrets is releases on Amazon TODAY!
You can find my previous reviews of the Whispering Pines series here: Family Secrets (#1); Kept Secrets (#2); Original Secrets (#3); Hidden Secrets (#4); Rival Secrets (#5); Veiled Secrets (#6); Silent Secrets (#7); Merciful Secrets (#8); Justified Secrets (#9); Protected Secrets (#10); Burning Secrets (#11); Wayward Secrets (#12).
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