Cover Image: Dark Night

Dark Night

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I love a good thriller and this one hit the mark! The spooky cover is pretty great too! Thanks for the opportunity to enjoy it!
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The Alaska Wild series by Shelton is developing into a solid mystery/thriller series. Great character development, interesting plots, and intriguing location all make for great reading!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley--all opinions are my own.
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I have recently discovered Paige Shelton’s Alaska series and have been hooked!  Love the character of Beth, the town of Benedict and all the people who have become her friends.  In Dark Night Beth is still hiding out in Benedict, after escaping from her kidnapper,  when her mother suddenly appears in town. A great, fast paced read involving secrets, mysteries & murder - I will definitely be reading more by this author!! Thank you NetGalley.
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In this next book of the series winter has reared its ugly head in Benedict and with it comes the census man.  Its makes the people uncomfortable when he shows up because most people live in Benedict for privacy or they are hiding something.  Beth is doing her best to avoid the man but ends up getting a huge surprise from a different direction.  Her mother has shown up in town and Beth isn't sure why she has come and if she may have lead any one in her direction.  Meanwhile a woman who has been beaten very badly makes her way into town.  When the police go to arrest her husband they find him dead.  The investigation takes them in several direction even towards the census man but he soon disappears.  Did the census man do it or did something happen to him too?  Follow along as Beth tries to help the local cops in finding a murderer and at the same time trying to make sure she herself is safe.  This was a great read with some great twists and turns.
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Winter is settling in in Benedict, Alaska.  The days are dark and frigid, the snow is piling up, and contact with the outside world is getting harder.  Some residents of the small town are able to cope better than others so it is not much of a surprise when Claudia Withers comes into the local bar beaten and bruised.  When her husband Ned is found dead the next morning, novelist Beth Rivers is worried that the police chief, who is the only person in town that knows about her past trauma, might have had something to do with it.  As if this was not enough to deal with, Beth’s mother Mill arrives in town on the run after shooting Beth’s kidnapper.  Beth worries that if her mother can find her can her kidnapper find her, too.  There are clues to weed through and secrets to uncover as Beth helps Chief Gril get to the bottom of things.

Author Paige Shelton does an outstanding job depicting the hard life in small town Alaska in the dead of winter.  The sense of place is solid – I felt the stress of the cold and the endless darkness and isolation.  The characters are so well drawn yet continue to evolve as the series moves along.  The pace of the writing is brisk, and there is a palpable urgency to continue reading.  Protagonist Beth is flawed but makes considerable progress dealing with her past trauma within these pages.  She shows tremendous growth by telling another resident the secrets of her past.  Her mother Mill is quite the loose cannon; she is fascinating and a bit scary all at once.  The supporting cast provides so much color, and I love getting to know their secrets and personalities better.

Yes, there is a murder to solve, but there are so many other layers of the story that reading became a compulsion for me to find out all that Shelton had to reveal.  This is a series that I think should be read in order to best get to know Beth and the other characters’ histories.  Read them – you will not be disappointed!  DARK NIGHT is one of my favorite reads of 2021.

I received an ARC of this title from Minotaur Books through NetGalley and voluntarily shared my thoughts here.
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Dark Night
Alaska Wild Book Three
Written by Paige Shelton

Someone has killed Ned Withers.

It’s winter in Benedict, Alaska, an isolated town in southeast Alaska. The temperatures are frigid, the daylight is short, and Ned Withers has been murdered sometime during the night. He’s discovered by his wife, a woman he had beaten the day before. Benedict is only accessible by plane and, since it’s winter, a once-a-week ferry that travels back and forth from Juneau. Suspicion falls on the census taker, recently arrived in town. The people of Benedict don’t appreciate outsiders asking personal questions and Ned had an argument with the census taker before his death. 

The deepening cold and dark of winter, combined with a murder, sets the town on edge. Then the census taker disappears. Beth Rivers, living in Benedict with secrets of her own and already constantly looking over her shoulder, is startled to discover her mother is on her way to Benedict to visit Beth. Beth, fearing for her life, hasn’t told anyone, including her mother, where she is. If her mother can find her, can Beth’s secrets discover her as well? 

Shelton’s Alaska Wild series is one of my favorites. The Alaskan atmosphere is easy to experience through Shelton’s writing; she immerses the reader into the long dark Alaskan night and the mental strain such darkness can put people under. Throw in a murder and the intensity increases. 

Beth Rivers continues to grow throughout this series. She’s still a deeply damaged woman, still struggling with both the physical and mental aspect of her ordeal. She looks over her shoulder, locks her doors, and is constantly battling the fear her tormenter unleashed in her life. The twist at the end is one I didn’t see coming, but I’m glad Shelton wrote it into this story. 

I highly recommend this series. 
Other books in the series: 
Thin Ice
Cold Wind
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*I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for my honest review.*

Beth Rivers is facing her first winter in Benedict, Alaska where she ran to recuperate from her attack. With a census man and her mother facing the winter in Benedict with her, there is sure to be some excitement.

I am really enjoying this series! I have long wondered what Alaska is like and the series just makes me want to go and spend a year. Very unlikely I can do this, so I will enjoy the town through Beth's eyes.

I feel as though in every cozy series, there are certain characters that really make the series and help keep your attention as well as moving the story forward. This series is no different. The women's inn manager is one such character and I can't wait to hear what her whole backstory is as I am sure there is something that led her to where she is. But there are many more in this series.

I have read some cozy series where the author shies away from the thrill aspect of a story and I don't feel like Shelton does this at all. I highly recommend this book and series to everyone I can!
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From my blog: Always With a Book:

This is the third book in Paige Shelton’s Alaska Wild Mysteries series and I really enjoy these books! The series has such a dark, gritty feel to it and is completely atmospheric, too!

Once again, my favorite part of this series continues to be the combination of police procedural and amateur sleuthing. It just works so well here. I will say that while this book can absolutely be read as a stand-alone with its contained mystery, there is the continuing thread of Beth’s kidnapping and with the introduction of Beth’s mother showing up, that is really developed here in this book.

Having Beth’s mom, Mill show up brings so many questions, the biggest being just how she ended up finding her. It’s definitely a case of what you see is not what you get with her and I definitely found myself completely suspicious of her motives the entire time.

This book is such a great addition to an already fantastic series and while we do get some answers to some of the questions that have been brought up, we of course are left with more. I cannot wait to see what comes next and hopefully get more answers soon.
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I have books 1 & 2 in this series on my book shelf but I read book #3 first. Even though I have a pretty good idea of what happened in the first two books, I am going to have to pull them off my shelf and give them a read. I thoroughly enjoy Paige Shelton's books and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

Quick pace, intriguing story, fantastic characters, and a cliff hanger, what more could you want in a story.
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Thank you Netgalley and Minotaur Books for the gifted book!

The third book in the Alaska Wild series not only adds to the intrigue of the first two books but has me hungering for what is to come.

As with the first two books we get more information on the overarching mystery shrouding Beth's life and there is a standalone mystery that is solved in these pages.

You can read this book as a stand alone, but if you like police procedurals and amateur sleuths with a definite sense of place, you will want to pick up this series starting with book 1 so you can fully appreciate and enjoy these characters and this story.
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DARK NIGHT is the third book in the Alaska Wild mystery series by Paige Shelton. This series just keeps getting better and better and I found myself on the edge of my seat, unable to put the book down until I’d read the final page. Set in the remote town of Benedict, Alaska, the harsh realities of winter is settling in, making the town even more isolated. The protagonist, Beth Rivers, has been hiding out from her brutal kidnapper, hoping law enforcement will be able to capture him before he finds her. In this newest installment, it’s Beth’s on-the-run from the law, mother, who finds her. I enjoyed meeting eccentric Mill Rivers as it gave the reader the opportunity to find out more about Beth’s backstory and personality. It also added an emotional depth to the book.  

While this book could be read as a standalone with it’s contained murder mystery, there is the thread of the kidnapping and Beth’s backstory that begins with book one and continues through book three and, hopefully, beyond. Ms. Shelton’s descriptive voice captivated me as the setting and people came alive. As the suspense built, I had to turn the pages faster and faster to find out what happened next. The author’s ability to weave a cohesive arc between all three books while interjecting a standalone mystery into each one exhibits great skill. I’ll be waiting on pins and needles, anxious to find out what happens to Beth next!
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  Hidden away in Benedict Alaska, Beth hopes she is safe from the man who kidnapped and tortured her.  Only a few people know she is a world famous writer and she wants to keep it that way.  But as they say about best laid plans of mice and men, Beth’s life is going to become far more public and complicated very quickly.  While she suspects there are a few people who may have twigged to her real identity, she learns that sometimes the best way to protect yourself is to gather your family close around you.

In Beth’s case the family are the people of Benedict who ask no questions when Beth’s mother arrives on the ferry.  She is on the lam for having shot Beth’s abductor but Beth knows, with her mother, what you see is not what you get.  She is suspicious of her mother’s motives for her surprise visit.  It is not until the end of the book when all the pieces of the puzzle are fitted together that Beth has any clue as to why her mother came to Benedict.

In the meantime there is a murder and another near death experience.  Beth wonders if and how any of this relates to the disappearance of her father when she was seven and the abduction and torture she suffered not that long ago.  It is quite an intricate plot well paced and set in a very cold and dangerous environment.  Five purrs and two paws up.
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This third entry in Paige Shelton's "Alaska Wild" series is the best to date, full of action and with personal consequences all around. Her first hard winter in Benedict, Alaska, finds Beth Rivers -- the best-selling thriller writer hiding there from the man who abducted and terrorized her back home in St. Louis -- gets an unexpected visit from her mother, Mill, herself on the run from the law. Mill has her own motives, as do almost all the others in Benedict, and it's unclear throughout who the bad guys and gals are, and vice versa. The plot is marred only by a crucial coincidence, one big enough to drive a dogsled through. "What were the chances?" everyone muses. The need to suspend disbelief over that twist is nicely balanced by the welcome arrival of Gus the sled dog. Finally, Beth has a fellow she can rely on.
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4 1/2 stars    While this is the third in the series and I did not read either of the first two, I was immediately drawn into the action. The author does a great job of telling an exciting story, just enough to get the reader involved and picking on the backstory as the book progresses. Beth Rivers is hiding out in Benedict, Alaska, away from the stalker who kidnapped and tortured for three days. A town full of runaways of with secrets. Fast- paced and exciting you'll will be kept guessing throughout. Even when you might guess the who, the how's and whys are illusive and motives are not what you might expect.
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Although I usually read more traditional cozy mysteries, I like this series with a touch a suspense.  I find myself really drawn to Beth and her location in Benedict, Alaska.  Although I have never been to a town as remote as Benedict, I think that Ms. Shelton does capture the Alaskan 'vibe' as I noticed from my trips to Alaska.

I read the first two in the series and I always find myself on the edge of my seat jut hoping that her kidnapper won't be locate her.  When her mother arrives, I just knew the kidnapper couldn't be far behind.  I liked that in this book, she begins to be able to trust a few people with her secret and that no one is surprised but there are a lot in the area that moved to Benedict for a 'clean' start.

The characters seem very 'real' and I liked the relationships that are continuing  to grow.  The mystery was well-written and overall the book is an easy read.

I can't wait for the next one in the series.
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In this 3rd in the series, Beth's mother Millicent shows up in Benedict. 

Together, they uncover significant information about Beth's father's disappearance, which both have puzzled over, over the years.

This episode ends on an emotional cliffhanger for Beth.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. 

This is the third book in the Alaska Wild series and it is the best one yet! We finally get to meet Mill, Beth's mom. We also uncover more information about the kidnapping of Beth as well as about the disappearance of her father. I loved getting reacquainted with the main characters, especially Orin. Like the other books this one has a mystery that is its own; but takes place in the context of Beth's own past. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one in the series.
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This was a really interesting take on a remote Alaskan town, reminiscent of Kelley Armstrong's Rockton series that is is set in the Yukon. The isolation of the small town and the way that everyone needs to rely upon one another but not so much upon material goods is both heart-warming and frightening.

Although this is the third in a series, it's the first I've read and it works very well as a standalone. Shelton weaves the past into the storyline without the reader feeling as though she's just doing a recap, and there is enough of an understanding of what happened to the main character, Beth Rivers, in the past that a reader new to the series does not feel disoriented. Beth is an author who had a harrowing experience previously and has escaped to the backwoods of Alaska to settle her mind and continue writing. However, she has a volatile mother who tracks her down at the same time that Beth is concerned that other aspects of her past life might be doing the same. Most folks in town have pasts they do not discuss, so while she fits in because of that, she is also left concerned that she is in danger. And, of course, the murder in town does not help.

There is a bit of a police procedure that takes place behind the scenes, while Beth insinuates herself into the murder investigation in investigation that does not move along traditional lines. Beth herself, her mother, and many of the other characters in town are very finely drawn, feeling very much like folks you might meet in such a cold, dark, isolated setting. And that setting has as much of an influence on events as do any of the people.

Now that I've found this series, I'll be following it. The characters, the plot, the setting...they are all very well written.
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I liked this book a lot, it’s a well-done mystery novel and the 3rd book in the Alaska Wild series.  I’d read the other books in the series first, there’s too much information you’d miss if you read this one alone. 
I think the series is improving over time. 

Beth Winters has moved to Benedict, Alaska to hide from  a kidnapper.  She’s actually a well known author who was kidnapped because of something her father did, then escaped.  Her kidnapper disappeared at the same time. 

Not many in Benedict know her real name or what happened to her, but many residents come to Benedict for their own personal reasons and now that Beth is a “local” they protect her privacy.

Beth’s mother Mill has a warrant out for her arrest, she’s been searching for the kidnapper using more unorthodox methods.  Mill tracks Beth to Benedict, and they are happy to see each other.   However, Mill is suspicious of the only stranger in town, a census taker.  After an abusive man is found murdered, suspicion falls on the stranger but why is he there at all?  Does he have a connection to Beth’s kidnapping?

I liked the character development Beth has experienced over the series, she’s become much stronger. There are lots of twists and turns and red herrings, and was a fun one to read.  The descriptions of life in Alaska were fascinating, it’s a hard life during the winter. 5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Dark Night by Paige Shelton is another episode in Beth Rivers' (pen name Elizabeth Fairchild) who had been kidnapped and tortured by her kidnapper and had now run to Benedict, Alaska to hide until her was caught. Only one person here knew her story, Gril, the sheriff, but several others had guessed who she really was. All in all, she felt safe and as if people had her back. Now Gril comes to her with the news that her mother has been spotted in Juneau and may be headed this way.  Since it was winter, the weather had shut down most access to Benedict, but it looked like the ferry would be running today. She and Gril met it. Her mother was on it. She had missed her, although after a few days she was sure that would wear off. Then things started happening. Claudia ran into the bar, bleeding. Her husband had done it. It had happened before but she always let it go. She probably would this time, too. But, it turned out her sister-in-law was at their house. She was wanted by the law, so Gril went and picked her up. Then, the next morning, Ned, her husband was found stabbed in what amounted to the village square. She was in the clear. She's been with Benny all night at the bar. Lucy, the sister-in-law, had been locked in at Benedict House. A conundrum. One that would keep them busy for a while. 

The overlying story is Beth's escape from Travis, her kidnapper. She still suffered from PTSD. A secondary story is that he had been a friend of her father's way back then, when Dad and two other men a disappeared. She was always looking for her father. Her mother had been for years. Beth wasn't able to trust, but she was close to sharing her story with several of the people in Benedict that she counted as friends. She knew they'd have her back. Everyone was here in Benedict for a reason, some worse than hers. She's a good character and we've watched her reclaim much of herself in the three books in the series. Benedict is a very odd place, what with the weather and all, but she is adjusting, and growing to like it. Shelton has set the tone perfectly so that the reader is right there with Beth and with the residents of Benedict as we have gotten to know them. This story is a good one with several storylines at all times and plenty of misdirection, poor communication, and outright lies. It's full of surprises. I recommend it.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Dark Night by Minotaur Books, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #minotaurbooks #paigeshelton #darknight
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