Secrets in a Small Town by Nicole Stiling is a well-written story about two women who are thrown together because of a stalker. Savannah Castillo, the town manager of Winter Valley is a perfect ice queen character. She must always be in control of everything and everyone around her. The only person she is close to is her seven year old daughter Eliana. When Savannah begins to receive anonymous gifts and messages that gradually become more ominous and threatening, she is forced to ask for help from the one person in town that she really detests. Deputy Chief Mackenzie (Micki) Blake agrees to help Savannah even though the two can barely stand being in the same room together. The two are completely different and mix like oil and water, but they must learn to put that aside and work together to find the stalker before someone is hurt or worse.
This is a very enjoyable read. The characters are well-developed and the dynamics between the two are perfectly written. The pacing of the story is good and kept me interested from the first page to the last. While the reader is given lots of clues to who the stalker might be, the author kept me guessing almost until the last, and even threw in some twists that threw me off the scent for a while. I also loved the humor the author displays throughout the tale. She had my interest from the first sentence and had me chuckling by the second page. Humor helped to keep this book from being a totally scary and nail-biting tale, and made it something you could read and enjoy without having to keep all the lights on in the house.
I really enjoyed this book. I believe this is a debut novel for Ms. Stirling, and she did an excellent job. I will be looking for more from this author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.