Trail of Destruction
by Tracy Buchanan
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 21 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 05 Oct 2021
In this chilling tale from the bestselling author of Wall of Silence, a spark of malice ignites into an inferno of violence. Can one woman uncover the truth before it all goes up in flames?
Eager for distraction in the aftermath of her messy divorce, Ellie Mileham dives into moderating the petty squabbles on her local Facebook group. When a prankster starts trolling uptight members, it’s a welcome diversion at first. But then the war of words moves onto the streets of Forest Grove, with threatening letters escalating into violent destruction. It’s suddenly clear there’s something much more dangerous at play.
With lives at risk, Ellie delves into the history of Forest Grove and realises the so-called rural paradise has a dark and sinister heart. As she pieces together the puzzle of her own troubled childhood on the edge of the forest, Ellie learns this is not the first time the villagers have been targeted by an anonymous vigilante with an axe to grind…
Could the two cases be connected? Ellie is determined to find out. But with everybody watching and nobody quite what they seem, can she uncover the truth before online threats become nightmarish reality?
A Note From the Publisher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 50 members
Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC. This was the third book set in the same exclusive forest area, I've read and found it the least absorbing. The village is still claustrophobic, most of the occupants still nasty and gossipy. The main character this time is Ellie, who was left by her husband for another woman three months prior and is just starting to feel slightly normal again. She's likeable: a good mother and daughter, her pet is a boxer (love them), well taken care of and she's a good, true friend. That's why I found it a bit unnerving to find out about her flaws halfway through the story ... it just felt unrealistic. I preferred the first half of the story and was a bit disappointed with the rest of it, it all seemed a bit of a stretch. On the whole though, it was a pleasant enough read that I think will be enjoyed by most of the author's fans.
This book had light suspense, intrigue, and a few twists and turns, it was definitely a decent read and worth reading but just ok for me! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
This is yet another exhilarating tale set in the close knit and gossipy village of Forest Grove. Several member of the local Facebook group have been voicing their opinions a little too strongly for someone. Each person who has a particular bone to pick (dog poop not cleaned up, guns shooting off, etc.) gets targeted with a prank in the same vein (dog poop shoved through a door, guns stolen, etc.). Of course this riles up the stodgy complainers, but everyone else silently cheers on the 'Facebook Vigilante.' Ellie is the new moderator for this Facebook group and she couldn't have taken over at a worse time - she's newly separated from her husband and trying to move on with her life. As the pranks continue, she follows the advice of the resident police officer and archives the Facebook group. But more incidents occur, and they are escalating in scale. Will anyone be able to identify this troublemaker before it's too late? If you're a reader of the previous books in this series, you're familiar with the behavior of these villagers. They are a small enclosed community where everyone knows each other and talks about them behind their backs. For some reason, no one sees Ellie's ex, Peter, for how he is, except her and her best friend, Vanessa. Even though Vanessa is his sister! He's a very obnoxious character and we're given no clue as to why someone like Ellie would have fallen for him, except that he was a 'challenge' to figure out. She creates puzzles as a career, by the way, very cool but that metaphor is overused throughout the story. So sure, we can see why Ellie might have pursued him, but to stay with him for 25 years and put up with the things he did? Too unbelievable. At least their kids see through him - too many stories show children blinded by their parents' love to recognize their faults. That's not the case in this story, and I love that! Anyway, you know how this goes, everyone accuses everyone else, the older members of the community stand together against the younger generation (the term 'snowflakes' plays a starring role) and instead of working together, no one trusts anyone. But unfortunately, this is how circumstances would play out in current times. If readers take anything from this book, it should be to unite as a community, ignoring the petty squabbles and building strength through cooperation and acceptance. Society would do good to remember that, as well.
The 3rd in a series. I have not read the first two but that did not stop me being caught up in the intrigue. As a Facebook group moderator, I could see that the same constant moans and judgments must have reached Tracy Buchanan's ears too. Funny as we also live in the same county. I really enjoyed the book. A few gasps flew from my mouth when things happened that I didn't expect. A very entertaining read and even more so due to the Facebook connection. Doesn't Facebook have a lot to answer for? Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Tracey Buchanan is yet one more author I found on NetGalley. Her books are so suspenseful and filled with so many twist and turns. "Trail of Destruction" does not disappoint. It is an easy, yet great read.
Facebook has probably caused more hate and discontent than all other media outlets combined. In this story, Ellie is trying to be the voice of reason in an ugly Facebook feud, but the fight leaves the virtual world for the real one when threatening letters and vandalism strikes the neighborhood. The idyllic neighborhood of Forest Grove has some secrets, as Ellie is about to discover. I’m not sure what’s scarier, Facebook or the villain in this entertaining read
Wonderful book!!! I was so into it I really didn’t want to put it down. The story is just twisty enough to keep you fully engaged in the plot. Loved it!! Definitely one to check out.
I really enjoyed Trail of Destruction, the third book set in Forest Grove, by Tracy Buchanan. The main character, Ellie, was a very likeable character, and one that I think a lot of people could relate to. I found the fist 50 pages to be a bit slow, but after that the book really caught my attention and I finished the whole thing in one sitting. There were some unexpected twists which I enjoyed, and I found it to be really fun trying to guess who the culprit was throughout. Overall, I think that this is a good novel to snuggle up with and enjoy as it has enough spark to keep the reader's intrigue, but it's not too scary or suspenseful as to turn some people off.
I was so excited to read Tracy Buchanan’s novel and venture back to Forest Grove! Don’t miss the importance of that gorgeous cover; terror igniting a peaceful background. The close-knit residents here live in a perfect village on the edge of a thick forest. It’s an idyllic community. Yet, Buchanan writes to peel back some branches and reveal that underneath the façade, they are really just a snobbish and judgmental group of neighbours who hide behind their closed Facebook chat group. The online posts are full of back-stabbing taunts between residents and escalate as unease and suspicion unfolds. It’s here that battle lines are drawn and villagers turn on each other. Families are torn apart as wild accusations run rampant. As in her previous two novels set in Forest Grove, the forest itself is really a character. Buchanan’s use of a seemingly peaceful backdrop to highlight the sense of peril is fantastic. She has created a rich sense of place and atmosphere. Forests are a place of serenity and rejuvenation. The juxtaposition of this with the encroaching village full of suspicious residents keen on destroying each other showcases their humanity better than any other location could ever hope to achieve. Just as there are layers of foliage in the dense forest, Buchanan has layered her tale and as the atmospheric and foreboding narrative unfolds, we are slowly exposed to the evil within. Brimming with twists, secrets, and resentment, this novel focuses on what happens when hurts and misunderstandings are allowed to fester. Buchanan kept me in the dark. I had no idea who was behind the malicious behaviour in Forest Grove, nor did I suspect why they were driven to such madness. You’ll love Buchanan’s writing style; it runs like a movie reel in your mind! She is a master at creating a sense of place and examining interpersonal relationships. Her novels have the perfect mix of drama and suspense. This five-star domestic noir meets psychological thriller needs to top your TBR list this Fall. Publishes September 21, 2021. I was gifted this advance copy by Tracy Buchanan, Amazon Publishing UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
Welcome to Forest Grove – a beautiful and isolated woodsy paradise full of gossipy and back-stabbing villagers. What initially seem to be petty disagreements in the local Facebook group start to take an ominous turn after Ellie becomes the group’s moderator. The “Facebook Vigilante” seems to be targeting the group members with pranks that seem to be escalating in nastiness and danger. Can Ellie get to the bottom of these sinister happenings? “Trail of Destruction” is a quick and enjoyable read, almost a cozy mystery. The suspense isn’t overly dark and there is some light romance. Ellie is a likeable character, and you’ll root for her despite her flaws. The cattiness and infighting amongst the villagers will be all-too-familiar to anyone who follows their own local Facebook or Next Door group. Tracy Buchanan has written two previous books about Forest Grove but you don’t need to read them to enjoy this one – I didn’t read them but I’ll be adding them to my to-read list now! Many thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me an advance copy of this book.
Trail of Destruction by Tracy Buchanan is not billed as a cozy mystery, but that is what it is. If you like cozy mysteries, you will probably love this book. Unfortunately, I do not care for cozy mysteries. I do like psychological suspense and other suspense novels. That said, I did enjoy the light romance in the story. I also did finally become engaged with the story but not until I was most of the way through it. I believe the characters fit the genre and were interesting for this type of story. There were some twists and turns that would appeal to the mystery lover. I gave Trail of Destruction a four star rating because I believe that mystery lovers will enjoy the story. I appreciated the detail and insight into a different culture than I'm used to. That was nice. So, if you like mysteries, try this book. I received an advance copy through Net Galley. All opinions are my own. #netgalley #trailofdestruction
Cosy average thriller of backbiting and gossip in a village . Fun characters and enjoyed reading it Not a blockbuster or ground breaking but is an easy quick read with a few twists which are ok and I did guess who did it but doesn’t really matter . Ty to netgalley and publishers for this read now addition .
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of Trail of Destruction in exchange for my honest review. This is the second book that I have read by Tracy Buchanan and I was very excited when I was approved to read it! I found it a bit slow at the beginning, but once the book got to the second part it really took off. I had an idea about who the person might be who was playing all the ‘pranks’, but like the last book I read, I was wrong lol. This is a great read and I look forward to reading more by this author!
If you've been involved in a Facebook or other social media group, no doubt you'll be familiar with the behaviour that plays out. Entertaining page turner that I recommend! Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In Trail of Destruction, by Tracy Buchanan, the community of Forest Grove is at it again! This is such a fun series! The characters are interesting, the setting is mesmerising and all the twists and turns, of the storyline, keep you hooked! In the midst of her divorce, Ellie Mileham is eager for distraction. She jumps right into moderating the silly disagreements on the neighborhood Facebook group. Once a jokester starts pranking the neighborhood complainers, it feels like nothing more than a diversion. When the war of words turns into threatening notes and arson, it becomes apparent that something way more serous is at play. Ellie digs into the history of Forest Grove and finds that their "rural paradise" has a darker side. As she goes through the maze of her troubled childhood she realises that this isn't the 1st time the neighborhood has been the target of a mystery vigilante. Ellie needs to find out if the cases are connected.
This was a good mystery. The community of Forest Grove have their own Facebook group. The forum has been known to be used as a complaint board by various people and things can get downright nasty. Someone in the group starts retaliating against the complainers, things escalate and people start to get hurt. Quite the whodunit with lots of twists. After I read this book, I found out it was the third of three books written and set in Forest Grove. This book was very good on its own but I will go back for the other two books. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Another mixed review., The writing was excellent - I could picture this claustrophobic village and the people in it. I am am admin for our neighborhood Facebook group, so I could TOTALLY relate to the things people were saying and posting.. This would make a really cool movie. So why is my review mixed? Because I actually FELT claustaphobic while reading it. And I actually didn't like any of the characters. While it was an excellently told story I didnt like it. I do want to thank the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.
I have been on a Tracy Buchanan kick for quite some time now. If anyone knows the history of her books you will agree with me that they are nothing short of addicting. Trail of Destruction, does not disappoint and follows the villagers of Forest Grove. Everyone knows the drama that lives among a small community and Forest Grove, is no different. When a few of the townspeople start to voice their opinion on Facebook for a specific individual, it begins to ruffle some feathers BUT a new presence has come to town in a "Facebook Vigilante" kind of way. This was a really cool story, theatrical at times, comical and of course the juicy gossip. I thoroughly enjoy reading about Forest Grove. Tracy Buchanan, does an excellent job of setting the scene and making you feel as though you are right in the center of all the drama. The story is well narrated and easily has you hooked from page one. I would highly recommend Trail of Destruction .
This book truly captured the snarkiness of the Facebook world. I have not read the first two in the series, but that didn’t detract from this book. Slow start turned in to a book with twists and turns that made it difficult to put down.
When her husband leaves her for his first love, Ellie Mileham picks up the pieces of her life & starts again. Their two children & her job are comforts, & Ellie also finds herself taking on moderating the local Facebook group. The group is where the residents of Forest Grove air their grievances about things from people riding their bikes on the pavements to the application of shooting licences to cull the local deer. Most of the posts are rather petty & a prankster starts trolling the posters with variations on their original grievances; playing loud music, & moving all the bins, but things suddenly take a sinister turn when fires are set. Can Ellie find out who is behind the fires & does it have anything to do with the poison pen letters which were sent in the same village years before? This is a very good whodunnit with an engaging main character. Ellie starts off as rather subdued after her divorce but she gradually gains confidence enough to stand up to her ex & start a possible new romance herself. There are quite a few twists & turns in the story, & it certainly captures the nature of a small community where everyone knows everyone else's business. Although it's the third book by the author set in Forest Grove, this is the first book I've read, but I didn't feel it took anything away from the experience. 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4). Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Amazon Publishing UK, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
Thank you Amazon Publishing UK and Netgalley for the arc of this book. I read Circle Of Doubt by this author so was interested in reading this book. It was an easy read and I really enjoyed it. Like Circle of Doubt, there was a Facebook group with postings that really rang true and added to the personalities of the characters.
Trail of Destruction is the third book set in Forest Grove and the second one I have read. Like the previous book, I really enjoyed this one and can totally relate to the squabbling on local Facebook sites! I found this one a tiny bit slow to begin with but once I was into it I didn't want to put it down. Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for my ARC.
I just finished my third story set in the small town of Forest Grove and I loved every minute of it. The characters you love and the ones you love to hate with all the drama that comes with it. Tracy's books have a way of pulling you in like you are one of the residents and makes it's so enjoyable to see what will happen next. Heres hoping this wont be the last of Forest Grove....I want more! Thank you @Tracy Buchanan & NetGalley for the ARC I had a blast reading it!
A Seemingly Idyllic Locale… The third book set in the seemingly idyllic and peaceful area of Forest Grove and an apparent series of petty arguments and pranks sparks something far more sinister. A credible and convincing cast and an intriguing storyline makes this a wholly enjoyable suspense and a good addition to the Forest Grove series.
I like how Tracy Buchanan uses setting in her writing. I felt like I was part of the Forest Grove community. The storyline is very twisty and I loved that about it. It is also very tense and suspenseful, which is my favourite kind of mystery. There is also a message here about the dangers of social media, not just physical but emotional and mental as well...and not everything you see on-line is to be believed. But the flaw here is believability...This is my second book by Ms. Buchanan and I liked it a lot more than the first. I have to take a moment and say well done to whomever did that cover. It is absolutely beautiful!
Very entertaining! Makes you think about all the actions each character played in this twisty page-turning book. If you are ever on Facebook - a neighborhood group, in particular, you will understand and be familiar of what goes on in this story. Very relatable in a way. Loved it!
Eager for distraction in the aftermath of her messy divorce, Ellie Mileham dives into moderating the petty squabbles on her local Facebook group. When a prankster starts trolling uptight members, it’s a welcome diversion at first. But then the war of words moves onto the streets of Forest Grove, with threatening letters escalating into violent destruction. It’s suddenly clear there’s something much more dangerous at play. With lives at risk, Ellie delves into the history of Forest Grove and realises the so-called rural paradise has a dark and sinister heart. As she pieces together the puzzle of her own troubled childhood on the edge of the forest, Ellie learns this is not the first time the villagers have been targeted by an anonymous vigilante with an axe to grind. Could the two cases be connected? Ellie is determined to find out. But with everybody watching and nobody quite what they seem, can she uncover the truth before online threats become nightmarish reality? This book sees us return to Forest Grove and I just adore Forest Grove and what it brings to a book! Once again, Buchanan has this incredibly beautiful location and a setting that should be an idyllic place to live, if you have read any of the other books you will know this is far from the truth. What we actually have is a very tight-knit, clicky, claustrophobic way of life. There are plenty of different personalities in this who all clash and have their differences. What we are left with is the perfect recipe for disaster. From the beginning, we know there is going to be a devastating fire, Buchanan then takes us back so we can discover what happens to lead to the fire. It was so enjoyable to read about this community again, it seems they will never run out of secrets! The characters in this are excellent as well. We get to meet recurring characters which is always great and this read focuses on Ellie as our central character. As I have touched on, the characters are all very different and bring something different to the plot, not to mention all the lies and secrecy as well! Following these characters is always entertaining and definitely makes for gripping reading. 'Trail of Destruction' is another exciting read from Buchanan and one that had me hooked. Forest Grove is one of my favourite fictional settings and I love seeing what antics everyone gets up to. Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy.
I have read every book of Tracy Buchanan’s and have come to the conclusion that’s her earlier books that I have enjoyed more. In her latest novel, it’s the third set in the town/neighbourhood of Forest Grove. Each is a stand alone, in fact I couldn’t tell you if I have come across any other the characters in the other books, so that shouldn’t impact anyone trying this. For me I feel I just didn’t like any of the characters and the pettiness of the Facebook comments. Yes, the setting of the town is claustrophobic, yes the storyline did keep moving but I just missed the connection to the characters. Will I read another book about Forest Grove if it is written? I’m not really sure….. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
This is the third book in the Forest Grove Series and before I had reached the end of the first chapter I was drawn into the world of Ellie Mileham and her family. Someone in Forest Grove is targeting residents who are complaining via Facebook about the bins, dog poo, loud music etc and before too long a prankster is at work. However, things take a sinister turn when Ellie receives a threatening letter and someone in the village is putting residents’ lives at risk. Ellie is trying hard to keep on top of everything after her husband has walked out and started a new life in the next village. She will do anything protect her family. A wonderful strong and likeable character with a bit of the devil running through her. The Forest Grove novels show a true picture of neighbourhood spats, jealousies and friendship. However, beware, because there is a very dark and sinister undertone to this village which is what makes this book a heart stopping read. Tracy Buchanan’s perception of how the tone of a Facebook thread can change in an instant is awesome.
An interesting chain of events occur precipitated by backstabbing on social media between the residents of a small town, Forest Grove. Everyone is in each other’s business, their lives constantly cross and nothing goes unnoticed. But these petty gripes that are played out on Facebook take on a more destructive bent: first in vandalism against the whiners but it goes up a notch with several major fires. Finding out the originator of the damage reveals a not uncommon reason but a very unlikely suspect. Makes you want to think twice about small town life!
Trail of Destruction is the third book to be set in the seemingly idyllic village of Forest Grove, but it can easily be read as a standalone. It follows Ellie Mileham as she takes over the admin of her village’s Facebook community group, however, something which starts out as a pleasant pastime and a welcome reprieve and distraction from her impending divorce, after her husband left her for his first love, quickly takes a sinister turn. She throws herself into caring for her two children, her job and moderating the ridiculously petty squabbles that frequently take up space on the group’s wall. The locals tended to use the group as a place to air their grievances and post complaints about other residents and issues pertaining to the village. There's everything from complaints about dog walkers not cleaning up after their pets to the sound of gunshots ricocheting around the area and irritation at cyclists riding their bikes on paths instead of the road. Unfortunately, someone has decided they have had enough of people whining about what they deem to be somewhat trivial problems, and they begin targeting those who have publicly voiced their opinions with an act that is a slight variation on their original complaint. These include dog faeces shoved through a person’s letterbox, playing loud music, rubbish bins moved from their usual resting place and stealing an individual's guns. The prankster who becomes known as the Facebook Vigilante trolls the uptight group members, but the delight it has brought normal members of the community of Forest Grove seeing these whinging busybodies getting their comeuppance disintegrates when fires are set and it becomes dangerous. Taking heed of the advice of the police, Ellie archives the group, but this does little to settle the terror being unleashed. The incidents continue to escalate, and as Ellie remembers the poison pen letters that had been delivered around the village a few years prior, she decides to take matters into her own hands, which takes her down a very dark path, forcing her to confront her own childhood and secrets she thought were long buried. This is a compelling and enthralling mystery surrounding a race to catch the prankster whose acts are spiralling out of control, but it's also a tale of dark village history, devious secrets, family skeletons in the closet and two-faced, backstabbing neighbours in a tight-knit, gossip riddled community. You can feel the claustrophobic small-town atmosphere emanating from the pages, and the few twists and turns throughout catch you off guard. The key to the book's compulsive nature lies in the gripping writing with its claustrophobic small-town backdrop and utterly compelling characters. It makes for a heartbreakingly real family drama that you engage with from the very first page. An incredibly beautiful, picture-perfect location with a sinister backstory always makes for brilliant reading. Highly recommended.
The third of Tracy Buchanan’s books set in Forest Grove, Trail of Destruction is a standalone thriller. Beginning with a raging forest fire, the story then moves backwards a month in time to recount the reasons for this inferno. Ellie Nash’s marriage ended three months ago, as she struggles with her new life in the idyllic paradise of Forest Grove. Taking on the local social group’s facilitator role, Ellie has to monitor the petty complaints and divergent views of her small local community. As things escalate and the divisions and tensions rise, the darkness underlying the town become visible. Just like the vitriolic letters of the past, a vigilante is again targeting people as the danger of increasing violence looms. Can Ellie identify who is behind it all in time to prevent catastrophe? An enjoyable enough portrayal of the gossip and hypocrisy underpinning communities and the length some will go to right perceived wrongs. So, a three-star rating and no previous knowledge of Forest Grove necessary. With many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and the author, for an uncorrected proof copy for review purposes.
Trail of destruction is amazing! It's a compelling thriller, who know Facebook groups could be so deadly? This mystery is really enthralling but the twists and turns make it really interesting.
Amazon Publishing UK y'all rock and I love you! Trail of Destruction by Tracy Buchanan is an absolute amazing story! And how the heck I have never read a book from her on KU is beyond me.... But that changes today! Thank goodness for Kindle Unlimited! The story is really well told and there are many faucets to it, it’s exciting, quick moving and horrifying yet keeps you hanging onto every word! I felt like I had it all figured out very early on but the story became more suspenseful with every chapter and later on in the book I was second guessing myself and enjoying every little revelation because for the most part I didn’t see them coming. This book was so good, really well written, great plot and interesting twists! Thank you again for this amazing book! I will post to my platforms closer to pub date!
I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s well written which made it a quick, easy read. The suspense and twists were decent. At the same time, I didn’t like the characters and many times found the dialogue between them annoying. Overall, it was just ok in my opinion. I’ve seen that this author has two other books set in the community of Forest Grove. I think those who have enjoyed those will like this one.
"Trail of Destruction" gives the reader a peek into the dynamics of life in a small town where the residents are all involved in each other's business, for better or for worse. When Ellie takes over as moderator of the town's official Facebook group, a vandal starts targeting the townspeople who make particularly rude or judgmental posts. Things soon take a disturbing turn, however, as the incidents begin to escalate into a string of arson attacks. Ellie and the local police officer race to figure out who could be responsible for the string of increasingly violent acts threatens to overtake the town. Overall, this was an enjoyable and relatively quick read, but there was nothing that really stood out about the story to me. I tend to prefer books that have strong character development and backstory, or suspenseful plots that have a lot of depth and complexity, and this book did not have either of those things. The plot advances at a fairly quick pace but is a bit simplistic, so I wouldn't describe it as a page-turning novel. Instead, it is more of a cozy version of suspense - the incidents are restricted to minor vandalism, theft, and property damage. There is a bit of mystery and intrigue as we follow along with Ellie and try to figure out who is responsible for the attacks, but the level of drama is befitting of the small town setting. I would recommend this book for a reader who is looking for a little bit of drama and suspense, but would prefer a lighter read with a storyline that is easy to follow. Readers looking for a lot of character development or very complex plot lines probably would not like this book.
Trail of Destruction by Tracy Buchanan is a mystery about Ellie, the town of Forest Grove, and the town's Facebook group. Ellie somehow ends up the new moderator of the Forest Grove Facebook group, where most of the townspeople go to complain and gossip. Someone in the group is tired of the complaints, though, and starts pranking anyone who complains. The pranks get more and more dangerous, and Ellie starts researching the history of Forest Grove. She uncovers some very sad secrets. I really enjoyed this book; the setting and the townspeople really came to life. And the reveal of who was committing the pranks was outstanding. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy. All opinions are my own.
Thank you NetGalley and Tracy Buchanan! This is an awesome book with a full cast of characters who I love and hate. Whatever emotion they evoke, they certainly sell the story. In my mind this is a classic case of the cowardly, mean-spirited and even outright harmful things some people, like the residents of Forest Grove, will do when behind their computer keyboard, pen/paper and on the telephone. These flimsy tools give a level of guts to people who otherwise wouldn’t confront. They feel not only strong, but vindicated by group sentiment without a thought to how their targets might be harmed. Think the community Facebook page. Without any evidence, they carried right on “blaming” anyone who they had the slightest beef with. There’s an entertaining string of this late in the book where the FB group members mention guilt because of a “falling out”, being a “bit odd”, or “that hair of her’s is very odd”. All said of three different people. You must also take into account the small-town community where everyone knows your business. To say nothing of the far too close relationships that are formed and move in destructive directions. The jealousy and pettiness among spouses, exes, and neighbors is nearly a living being. This is the third book set in this town. I definitely want to read the other two.
Social media is a great time pass but what if it gives rise to vigilantism? Ellie Mileham, recently divorced, mom of two kids and puzzle/riddle creator lives in the eco-village Forest Grove. She has been living there since the village was opened for its inhabitants. Ages have passed but Forest Grove remains the same gossipy, bitchy place since she was a kid. Poison pen letters were rampant all those years ago which led to the nervous breakdown of her mother. In current times she is also a moderator of the village’s Facebook group and that's when the games start! Pranks that seem harmless are unleashed upon some of the rude and whiny residents, but they soon twist to more harmful ones and cases of arson are reported in many areas. The same kinds of poison pen letters are now targeted at Ellie. She becomes a person of interest in the arson cases and the villagers keep playing the blame game. Ellie needs to find out who is behind all of it so she can live a drama-free life with her children and also bring peace to her mother. Many in the village think the vigilant is a hero. But if the residents deserve what they get, can it be justified if someone ends up being dangerously hurt or even dead? Fast paced writing makes the story very engaging. There are two parts to the novel, which brings out a twist in the middle but the ending shocked me even more! Great cast of side characters, specially the detectives and Ellie’s best friend Vanessa. Ellie’s arc transitions in a mind-boggling way!
Another fun book by Tracy Buchanan, starring the characters of Forest Grove! She does a great job of depicting the conflicting views and opinions voiced within community forums. I felt bad for the main character, Ellie, as she repeatedly dealt with harsh comments from friends, family, and neighbors. As much as a small town can be charming, I question whether I’d really enjoy living there with everyone in your business constantly. The characters really come to life convincingly. I was surprised by and especially enjoyed the bit of romance thrown in amidst the mysterious pranks of the “Facebook Vigilante”. I made predictions along the way, and I’m thrilled to say Tracy kept me guessing! This is the third book involving the Forest Grove community, and I appreciate how Tracy includes some of the same characters and references from her other books. I think it’s very clever and a nice little nod to her other works. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!
Gossip Girls. And Guys. Who doesn’t like a little scintillating neighborhood conversation? Divorce, grousing, and those with too much time on their hands create an amusing combination here. When Ellie accepts the reins of the Forest Grove Facebook group, she presumes that she’d be overseeing petty tiffs about trash pick up and dog poo. Par for the course - until it wasn’t. Escalating acts of property damage place the residents on edge. Is it retaliation or is anyone in danger? Comprising both sly and overt humor, this resided closer to the cosy catagory and was a welcome respite from recent somber books. I had fun with this and recommend it for those desiring a less cumbersome read these fall and winter months. Did I mention that there was also a little G rated romance? Thank you to Amazon Publishing, Tracy Buchanan, and NetGalley for my reader’s copy set to publish on October 5, 2021.
Gossipy neighbor drama? YES! Family mystery? Also YES! A sprinkle of romance?Again, YES! This book kept me guessing up until the reveal. Every single chapter had me second-guessing myself. And there are MORE books set in Forest Grove?? I will be making some purchases and returning to this little village for more drama.
I'm sure a lot of mystery lovers will be a fan of this story, but it just wasn't for me. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and the start of the book felt too slow, and it just didn't hold my attention. I hope it's a better fit for other readers.
I have been so excited to read this book, another set in Forest Grove, an idyllic village where everyone knows each other and no one’s secrets are safe as gossip is rife. Once again we follow the drama as it unravels in the village and is shared on social media by the gossips I love the way Tracy sets the scene and gives a great character insight. Her characters are so well written, you feel like you know them personally. Reading this book makes you feel like you’re living amongst the drama. It grabs you from the start and compels you to just read one more chapter, oh and then just another before you can put it down Another great read and I wasn’t disappointed Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this title
Trail of Destruction is a fun thriller set in the fairly small village, Forest Grove, where there is no shortage of gossipy villagers that become potential suspects for an escalating spade of vigilante acts aimed at other gossipy, hypocritical, and judgmental members of the town’s local Facebook group. This has the same tone of claustrophobic gossip and the spiteful, small village setting as The Casual Vacancy and features some of the same features: teenagers AND adults getting up to shenanigans, small-town romance blossoming, villagers gossiping online, decay of morality and a push to go back to the “old way.” (Whatever that means, considering how young of a village Forest Grove technically is.) Trail of Destruction was rather poignant and had moments of seriousness when considering the effects of what would happen if a vigilante used Facebook to target people, and the idea of fearmongering and violence taking place behind the screen and then manifesting into the real world has never been more topical. There is a lot of bullying and threats that appear in here, showing the repercussions of such hatred and jealousy. One thing that was woven throughout the novel that I did not like was the amount of sexism. Sexist ideas are used frequently to justify why certain people were bullied and targeted in poison pen letters. Women are often portrayed as dismissive of bad behavior and submissive to their husbands, as well as driven mad over losing control over their husbands and easily blame other women for why he cheated on them. Women are also shown to be manipulative and have idle hands, so they get up to a lot of destructive mischief. To be fair, nearly every man in the novel is shown to be superbly arrogant, manipulative, philandering, authoritative, and vicious. Essentially, almost everyone in the novel are irredeemable and reprehensible. (Except for our designated heroes, of course.) But it isn’t just sexism that makes the majority of characters reprehensible. Most are simply incredibly arrogant and judgmental, chronically complaining, and something about them feels too real (bickering online and calling anyone who disagrees with them a “snowflake”) and yet they feel half-formed because they are one-dimensional characters that are not particularly dynamic. They are mob of Karens, which is the true reason why I hate most of the characters. Given how the characters are and the mounting paranoia and suspicion among the villagers, there was a missed opportunity for a darker and more realistic tone. This would make a great beach read or a book to read on the train or a plane, because of how engaging the twists were and guessing game of what might happen next. Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
"Trail of Destruction," by Tracy Buchanan, is a story set in Forest Grove, apparently the third book set in this town, though this book is a stand-alone read. The main character is Ellie, who becomes the moderator for a town based Facebook group. There’s a bit more than just that, of course! We slowly discover that although Forest Grove seems like this little pleasant town, there’s a dark side (or maybe just continual small town gossip!). I found the first part a really good read - it was interesting, fast paced, and enjoyable, with a mystery/thriller element. The second part dragged a little bit for me, though it did pick up toward the end, where I flew through the story. Ms. Buchanan did a good job building suspense, throwing a few red herrings, and eventually unmasking the person who started the fire mentioned in the opening chapter. In an amusing way, this book reminded me why I’m not part of my community web groups - I don’t want to deal with the drama or know the gossip; I like being in the dark, thank you very much! This was a very fast (I finished it in about twelve hours) and enjoyable read. I’d be likely to read another book by this author.
Facebook is controversial. How do you feel about chat rooms? Small towns using it to gossip about neighbors? People reading each other's comments and taking it personally? When a village surrounded by a beloved forested area becomes embroiled in drama, newcomers to the chat moderation realize there's a connection to similar events from over forty years ago. What is Trail of Destruction by Tracy Buchanan really about? You'll have to read more to decide for yourself. I enjoyed this novel a lot. In the beginning, I wasn't feeling much suspense or a big story. Some narrative, lots of chat posts. Over 20 names to keep track of, some related in weird ways. But soon, when connections begin to leap from social media to reality, things get intense. A vigilante is seeking justice, but for what reason? Buchanan drew me in with Ellie's drama... and when we learned the identify of the 1st vigilante, it was surprising. But when someone else takes over, and even the original vigilante doesn't know who it is, we have a suspenseful book to dive into! Overall, this was a good story, but you can't give up on it too soon. There is a lot of groundwork to lay, and by 50% thru, the characters and plot are pretty solid. There are the snowflakes and the hardcore justice warriors. There are rude people, and there are kind souls who shouldn't go online. So much of this could be political, but Buchanan does a lot to make this not about liberal and conservative as much as it is about people's views on privacy and vengeance. Two topics that can really come to a boiling point, as they do when fires begin to take control of the village. Some of the tone/style was hard to follow because of so many characters, but if you focus on the primary 4 or 5, it's a lot clearer. That said, there were moments where I couldn't stop flipping the pages. I read one book by the author 4+ years ago and liked it but for some reason didn't pick up her latest 2. When this one was released, I gave it a try. Now I'll go back to the others and catch up.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review. What a great book. I could not put it down. Really enjoyed it
Unforgettable and Wonderful Tale............ Trail of destruction by Tracy Buchanan is a wonderful, fast and page -turner story set in Forest Grove. The plot is so gripping that you would not be able to take your eyes off. The characters may not seem perfect which makes the story more interesting. With each page the plot takes a new turn. The book has everything, Romance, Thrill and Suspense. Trail of Destruction is worth adding in your TBR. Also, to add the climax is mind boggling. I would surely give the book 5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an opportunity to review the book.