I truly believe that Gillette Park by Gerri Hill is one of her best novels so far. Considering Ms. Hill has thirty-seven published works, several of them award winners, that is saying something.
The story is set in a small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains that has lived under a curse for the last twenty-three years. The town has a serial killer who has been kidnapping and murdering the town’s children since 1997. Sometimes only two children are murdered in a year, though there have been as many as five in one year. During all that time, no one has been able to catch the murderer or stop the killings. Finally the FBI has asked a psychic (Dr. Grace Jennings) to come to the town of Gillette Park to aid in their search for the killer. Mason Cooper, who works in the Sheriff’s Department, is tasked with helping Grace as she tries to find the killer. Thus begins a terrifying time for the two of them.
The town’s reactions in the story actually remind me of the characters in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. One of the characters in the story even mentions this so it could be a plot device. It makes the tale even more scary. This is one of those novels that seems to have it all. There is action and adventure, mystery, murder and paranormal activity. It has a psychopathic murderer/evil entity that will send chills up your spine as you read. This is also a psychological thriller that will have you riding a roller-coaster of emotions. And on top of all this, there is a slow-burn romance that runs through this tale.
The setting of the book is gorgeous as well as creepy. The characters are well-developed, both main and secondary. The story itself will have you on the edge of your seat, turning pages as quickly as you can. I know it did for me.
I must give a trigger warning here. In this book there is talk of children being murdered, and also talk about some being sexually assaulted. The reader does not see this happening, but it is a part of the story. If this would cause you distress, then I would suggest you read another of Ms. Hill’s novels instead.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.