A Dark and Secret Place is a terrifying thriller that begins when Heather Evans returns home after her mother’s shocking suicide. Their relationship was difficult and full of conflict so Heather swings between anger, grief, and confusion. Adding to her confusion, she finds a stash of letters her mother has saved from years of correspondence with an infamous serial killer named Michael Reave, infamous as the Red Wolf who dismembered women and placed flowers in their bodies.

A woman has recently been murdered, her corpse placed in a tree in a way eerily similar to the Red Wolf murders. Hoping to help, she takes the letters to the police and begins working with the homicide detective Ben Parker, visiting Michael Reave in prison, in hopes of getting insight into who the Red Wolf may be.

And so begins a tense, and intriguing thriller with long, lost secrets, mysterious cults, and one of the most seriously twisted serial killer plots I’ve ever encountered.

I was completely engrossed by Dark and Secret Place though I did not always want to be. The characters were well-developed and the plot was fair, disturbing as it was. There are narrative shifts between Heather today, the Red Wolf in the past, and the present-day victims. The Red Wolf narrative gives us an insight into the creation of a murderer, but the true scope and purpose will still be a surprise because, despite the fairness, most people are just not that twisted.

Seriously, this is a disturbing story. I was completely captivated, but it has many disturbing elements including child abuse and ritualistic murder.

I received an e-galley of A Dark and Secret Place from the publisher through NetGalley