Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Haunting Circus Grounds and a Gripping Mystery

1928
The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My Thoughts: Whoa. Just whoa. There are good mysteries, then there are great mysteries. This is one of the great ones. Wright has a gift for weaving two storylines together while evolving the characters and the mystery with each turn of the page in a gripping manner. This was certainly one that I couldn’t walk away from and I couldn’t stop thinking about in between reads. All throughout the day, I was puzzling over the mystery and trying to figure out how everything fit together. And I’m happy to announce that I while I had a portion of the mystery figured out, I was far from having it all figured out. It was a surprise right down to the very end.

There are two tender romances and an important message on self-worth and the need for people in your life. But if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t always confident that there was a healthy balance between submission and rebellion. The characters were allowed to have their own opinions on authority or ghosts that the reader might not agree with. On the one hand, characters should be their own person, but I think I was just missing a sound foundation that would help the reader to either feel safe within the story or to steer them back to Biblical understanding. I couldn’t help feeling like all opinions were equally valid, while in a Christian novel I’m expecting certain thoughts to outweigh others.

But at the end of the day, this really was a remarkable story. Wright’s talents were on full display and I’m already eager to read her next novel.

Rating and Recommendations: I’m giving The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus 5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy a great mystery or a circus setting.

~ I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

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