A young drifter is in deep trouble, his sister is his only hope…
Lucy’s younger brother has gone missing. When she sets out to find him, the trail takes her to Night Town. It’s a rural backwater deep in the forests of south western Australia.
Lucy tries to enlist the help of the local police, but she is met with hostility. She befriends a man who might help her cause. Yet he is not quite who he says he is.
As the locals begin to resent her presence in the town, danger quickly mounts. The town has secrets and they seem to centre on the enigmatic Samuel Nightmesser, its wealthy benefactor.
What connects her missing brother to this grim boondock? And why do the townsfolk want rid of Lucy?
As the story unfolds we are immersed in a creepy, claustrophobic drama in which everything is at stake. If you like books with a strong female lead that keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ve found your next favourite read.
I’m delighted to be rounding off the blog tour today for Small Town Nightmare by Anna Willetts. My thanks to Emma Welton at damp pebbles blog tours for asking me to take part and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
Well, this book does exactly what it says on the tin! The story of Lucy who is looking for her missing drifter brother in a tiny, remote rural town in Western Australia and finds a horror more awful than she could have anticipated. The book was gripping from the opening pages to the end and kept up the suspense all the way through and anyone picking up the book because of the title will not be disappointed. The author really brought the environment and setting to life and I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the book, as it is not a place I have read much about, but is a harsh and barren land very fitting to the story.
The author has set the book in a town where community are close-knit and suspicious of outsiders and, as the story is kept largely within its confines, we feel intimately the constrictions of the setting which gives an intense sense of claustrophobia to the story and heightens the tension to almost unbearable levels, particularly towards the end of the book. There were plenty of moments which had my nerves jangling and would be ‘peeping from behind a cushion’ scenes if this were a TV drama.
The book was well-plotted and had a surprising narrative, one which some people might find disturbing as parts of it involve fairly graphic examples of torture and violence. There is a theme of sadism and disturbed mentality in the book that will not suit everyone but makes for a compelling story for the reader. Lucy is a strong protagonist, which is always a pleasure in a book, although I did find her very reckless and naive to a degree that didn’t quite ring true for an investigative journalist if you really stop to examine it closely, so it requires a suspension of disbelief. Quite why she trusted one particular person so quickly and readily, given the circumstances, was the main sticking point for me.
The one other issue I had with the book was that I felt there were couple of loose ends which were adequately explained for me which left the book slightly hanging. I one way, the ending was great and exactly right and the motives of the main antagonist were clear but there were some developments at the end which happened rapidly and weren’t fully fleshed out and left me guessing. This may have been deliberate but it left me feeling faintly dissatisfied with that particular thread. It is hard to say more without giving away the plot so I apologise if this doesn’t make too much sense. You’d better read the book yourselves and then come back and tell me if you know what I mean and whether or not you agree!
This book is quite a quick read, but packs a lot of punch into the pages and definitely is one I would recommend. It was tense, disturbing and gripping thriller set in an environment not much written about and the author really captured a sense of menace and insularity in the pages. A worthwhile read.
Small Town Nightmare is available now and you can get a copy here.
To get a range of opinions on the book from my fellow bloggers, make sure you check out the rest of the blogs on the tour:
About the Author
Anna Willett is the author of Backwoods Ripper, Retribution Ridge, Forgotten Crimes, Cruelty’s Daughter and the best-selling thriller, Unwelcome Guests. Her new release, Small Town Nightmare is available on Amazon. Raised in Western Australia Anna developed a love for fiction at an early age and began writing short stories in high school. Drawn to dark tales, Anna relishes writing thrillers with strong female characters. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys reading, travelling and spending time with her husband, two children and their dogs.
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