Cover Image: What Waits in the Woods

What Waits in the Woods

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Member Reviews

Thank you to the publisher for an ARC copy in exchange for a review.

I've not read Terri Parlato before but I enjoyed this mystery. The characters were compelling and I enjoyed learning about the detective as well. Apparently, this is the second in a series, but it didn't seem that reading the first novel was imperative to the story, which was nice. I'd definitely read from this author again!

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A worthy police procedural and mystery. I was glad to spend time with Rita again and follow along on the investigation. There were some twists and a surprise ending.
Many thanks to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This one was all over the place for me. There are 2 POVs from some pretty uninteresting MCs. It all comes together at the end but you have to work to get there. It was just middle of the road.

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I really liked her first book, but this one just fell flat for me. I felt like I put it down more then I was willing to pick it up.

The pace was slow, and as much as the twists suprised me, I can't say it was worth it much. A lot was dragged out. It didnt pick up till the last 40% I'd say.

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Thank you Netgalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Little did I know that this was the 2nd in a series, but I believe each can be read on its own. So I have the kindle version of this one, but ended up switching to the audiobook because I had a 6 hour car drive and figured why not. It held my attention throughout the car ride and I was guessing the entire time who could have been behind it all. I have to say even though I read so many mysteries, I tend to SUCK at finding out the main culprit.

In this book, you'll meet Esme who recently moved back into town after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. Esme was a professional ballet dancer, but her career ended shortly after a hip injury leaving her wondering what the next step in life was to be and becoming stagnant in her mundane routine. Now that Esme is back home, old memories are popping up, and paranoia that a man is out to get her. Where does this paranoia come from? Well she was involved in a car accident while her father was driving, which resulted in her mother losing her life. After the accident, Esme remembers a man coming up to her and threatening to kill her too... only her friends and family are convinced it's a figment of her imagination. HOWEVER she's starting to feel watched and followed.

The night Esme returns back home BOOM her childhood friend is murdered, having Detective Rita Myers become involved to figure out why someone would want her dead. I love Rita's thinking and it's easy to follow along what her thought process and the evidence she's collected. The two POVs allowed for the book to hold my attention because it was easy to differentiate between the two and understand their perceptions.

I noticed I can be a bit harsh when it comes to rating thriller books just because I read SO many. but hey that's the way of life. Honestly, this was a good book but I can't say it was AMAZING and I was in love with it because it didn't feel too different to other detective books I've read.

Overall, if you like detective type books and whodunit then this is the perfect one for you. I recommend the audiobook because it was easy to follow along, however you might want to take notes of the characters just because there are quite a a bit.

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I didn’t find out that this was a part of a series until after I had finished the book, and while it can definitely be read as a standalone, some aspects make a lot more sense once you find out that there is an overarching story of detective Myers behind all this.

I did not expect the plot to evolve as slowly as it did. There was a lot of back and forth and the focus was really on the police investigation, which, again, made sense once you know that this is part of a series about Rita‘s cases. The same is true for all the background trivia about her life.

I think what really bothered me the most, though, was the general atmosphere. Thrillers aren‘t known for their cheeriness, but this one felt downright depressing. Even scenes that supposedly took place during the day played out in gloomy twilight in my head, which must be attributed to the writing style and Esme‘s character.

All in all, this one wasn’t for me, sadly!

3/5 stars.

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3.5 rounded up to 4.0

The second in a series, this novel has what seems to be an intergenerational cast of characters.
From older adult characters like our straight-talking detective Rita Myers to what seems to be millennials like Esme' and her grownup friend group. Rita's voice is practical with moments of compassion. The other main POV is Esme' and her actions and interactions (especially going into the woods after a murder, multiple times) will perplex most seasoned mystery readers, but she requires empathy. It definitely follows the well-loved trope of "grown-up child returns to a small town and discovers secrets", while still providing surprises at the end for Rita and readers.

Thanks to Kensington and NetGalley for the
e-galley. I listened to the audiobook on Everand for the review.

My reviews and ratings are my own.

Spoilers ahead


Fatal car accident; grief; alcoholism; infidelity; someone taking pictures of others without consent; illegal drug use; drug distribution

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3.5 stars rounded up. I found most of the book to be a lot. There were many pieces in the story that I didn't feel needed to be there and could have easily been omitted without losing the intent of the story. The last 50 or so pages went quickly and I enjoyed the ending; it was a twist that I did not expect and could not have guessed. I just wish there were better easter eggs throughout the story that kept me guessing and intrigued. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this and to check out a new to me author!

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Thank you Kensington Books for the ARC. I was looking forward to seeing what Terri Parlato's second book would serve up as book #1 was promising. This was a bit bland to me.

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When I started I did not know that this is second book in the Rita Myers detective series but you can definitely read it as a standalone as well.

Author has spent quite a time on the background of many characters so you know almost all of them but she has painted almost all grey so you either do not really like them or you do not care for them. Atleast I did not.

Esme Foster has been estranged from her family but an injury which lead to ultimate fall of her career, she decided it's time to be back at home to her alcoholic and sick father and divorced brother. What she doesn't know is there's another tragedy waiting to happen at the same time which leaves her devastated.

"It's just hard to picture that people from your past have moved on, have had other lives. You think of them as they were, stuck in your memory."

Detective Rita Myers is trying to figure out what and how and why of the tragedy and who is responsible for it. The end reveal was good even when I had it figured out still it left me surprised. It wasn't easy to guess and was definitely shocking. Overall an enjoyable and we'll written thriller mystery novel I would like to recommend to fans of the genre.

Star rating : 3.5 stars

Thank you Netgalley and kensington books for the ARC in exchange of an honest review.

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This is a unique story I enjoyed beginning to end! Its perfectly paced and well-written. It's a very well done mystery that I would recommend! Special Thank You to Terri Parlato, Kensington Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Esme Foster leaves everything behind when she gets the chance to be a ballerina. She is really good until an injury takes her out. She moves back to Graybridge and when she pulls up to the house, there are police everywhere. One of her old friends has been killed. Her father, who is very sick, thinks he hears a scream. She runs in to all of her old friends and they all have their own pasts, and some have secrets. Esme has lived with a nightmare of the night her mother died in a car accident and a man who haunts her dreams. The killing of Kara brings back the painful memories of the little girl who drowned in the lake when they were kids. Terri Parlato does a great job of creating suspicious characters throughout the book.
Detective Rita Myers is left running in circles trying to solve Kara's death. Just when you think that you know who does it, you second guess yourself. I did not know who it was until the very end. Terri Parlato did such an amazing job with this book, and I can't wait to read more books from her. The ending shocked me and I will be recommending that we purchase this book for my library.
I can't wait to recommend this book to my patrons!
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read this as an arc.

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This is my second glimpse into the world of Detective Rita Myers Esme has returned to her childhood home, only to find one of her closest friends murdered. I enjoyed how the suspects were revealed as red herrings accumulated. I also liked how the story was told from the POV of Detective Myers and Esme. The eerie atmosphere of the woods added an element of suspense with an overall creepy feeling that saturated the plot. This character-driven mystery captivated me from start to finish. I look forward to more books with Detective Myers in the future. Thank you, NetGalley and Kensington for my copy.

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I didn’t realise this was book two in a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone.

When a body is found on the Foster property, an investigation begins, and everyone is a suspect. Pasts are unravelled, friendships are tested, and new light is brought to old cases.
I was expecting a little more suspense from this one, but even without that, the author has done a great job at throwing you off the scent. For a small town, there are a lot of people with secrets to hide, and that makes for a good mystery.

The story is enjoyable with twists and turns at every corner, I just would have liked a little more suspense to bump up my rating.

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A digital copy of this book was provided to me by NetGalley and Kensington. The opinions are my own and freely given.

Esme leaves her hometown to become a professional ballerina, but an injury ending her career and the end of her long-time relationship brings her home. Only to discover that her once best friend, Kara, has been discovered dead in her own backyard. With her father's health declining and her brother taking care of him, the suspicion lies primarily at the house. But detective then Rita Myers starts to look into the neighbors and deaths and accidents that happened years ago. You can never trust your neighbors, no matter what you think you know about them.

Loved this story. Kept me guessing and wondering who was behind the murder and why.

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Thank you Netgalley for this audio edition of What Waits in the Woods by Terri Parlato.

If you're looking for a chilly thriller, you could probably do better than this one. I just doesn't have the umph needed to stay fully compelling. I think my biggest complaint is how the situation of the cop and Esme, the protagonist, were just too similar. I think I saw what the author was going for, but it just ended up confusing to me.

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I was excited to have the opportunity to review What Waits in the Woods because I adore twisty thrillers and mysteries. When I finished the book I decided the detective, Rita, was the singular enjoyable character. I see now that is because the author, Terri Parlato, was writing a series with her character. I did not realize there is a Rita Myers novel before this one. I’m planning on reading it next. I appreciate the books can be read as stand-alone novels as this is a great way to introduce someone to a character such as Rita.

The book itself was slow to start out and later on I struggled to keep up with the many characters. Detective Rita Myers kept me engaged and I soon realized this was the main character. I enjoyed the dual perspectives between Esme and Rita. The book finished strong and I was pleased to discover another Terri Parlato novel I can read next!

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I loved book 1, so i was so happy to get book 2 and it was just as good! i love her writing and the way it sucks me in, the twists were good

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OK I did not expect this to go the way it did!

Esme Foster returns home after she leaves her partner. Having been a ballerina until injury ended her career. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She returns to her family home where her alcoholic father and brother still live. But on the night she arrives home, the body of her childhood friend is found practically in her backyard. Who done it and why?

I thought I had this figured out so many times but I'd never have guessed the reply culprit. Really enjoyable read. Dual pov between Esme & Rita (police).

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Sequel to a book a didn't read, but an kinda interested in. Detective Rita was interesting. Esme is kinda boring, lots of things happen to her, she doesn't really activate anything. And the ending kinda comes from left field

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