This cover! Totally sets the tone for the book before you even open it up.
Thanks to Scarlet Suspense and Penzler Publishing for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review
VICIOUS CREATURES – Ashton Noone (Releasing August 2nd, 2022)
Ava Montgomery never wanted to return home. She fled Reachwood fourteen years ago after the discovery of Adam Albright’s body in the forest shattered her young life. But when a violent divorce sends her running back to her parents’ house with her troubled daughter Marjorie in tow, Ava discovers that not much has changed in the small Oregon town where she grew up.
It doesn’t take long for Ava to fall back in with her old crowd, most of whom stayed in town after high school. Each one of her childhood friends found fame and fortune after they graduated, including Victoria Gallagher—Ava’s high school best friend and ex-lover, now unhappily married to a wealthy husband from one of the founding families of Reachwood.
Meanwhile, Ava’s daughter becomes intrigued by the forest, fascinated by an urban legend about its secret power—and her curious questions bring Ava’s long-repressed memories of the traumatic events surrounding Adam’s death back to the fore. And then, when the body of a missing child is found in those same woods, that dark past begins to repeat itself.
After a knife is left on Ava’s doorstep and a threatening message appears on her front door, she wonders if her friends have something to do with the newest crime. They never told anyone how much they really know about what happened to Adam on the night he died; does one of them want to drive her out of Reachwood to keep that secret? As Marjorie becomes obsessed with the infamous murder, and old friendships and feuds reignite, Ava is drawn back into the forest to confront her own role in its violent history—before her daughter becomes its next prey.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
I gotta stop reading books with creepy things going on in the woods 😂 will I? Of course not. Keeps things exciting when I let the dogs out at night and stare into the dark abyss that is our wood line. This was so good. It grabbed me immediately and while the pacing felt a little slower building, it was good and consistent and kept my attention. I loved this premise and the character development. The two timelines, past and present, wove together nicely and I was super curious what was actually going on in these woods. A great debut and an author I’ll for sure pick up again.