Pre-Release Review: Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

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Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

Rating: ✮✮✮

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Release date: September 24, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“As winter closes in and the roads snow over in Dawson City, Yukon, newly arrived journalist Jo Silver investigates the dubious suicide of a local politician and quickly discovers that not everything in the sleepy tourist town is what it seems. Before long, law enforcement begins treating the death as a possible murder and Jo is the prime suspect.

Strange Things Done is a top-notch thriller — a tense and stylish crime novel that explores the double themes of trust and betrayal.”

My thoughts:

This small-town mystery started off with an interesting premise, but for me, there were some flaws that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. I liked Jo, the main character, who was a journalist seeking redemption, and I liked Cariboo, the main police officer in the tiny town of Dawson City.

And when I say tiny, I really mean tiny. With under 2,000 residents, you’d think suspicious deaths, murders, missing people, and other criminal activity would be surprising. You’d think people would want to know what’s happening. You’d think it would be rare. And yet, in this book, this tiny town is rocked by crime, and it seems like people don’t really care all that much through most of the book. It seems weird to me that there could be more than one missing person/suspicious death in the span of a week or two in a town this size, especially when these things happen just after a newcomer arrives. It wasn’t entirely believable to me.

I also didn’t love the missing memory idea or the pacing, which I found to be unbearably slow at times.

What I did like, though, was Jo’s perseverance and her insights into a town that has many secrets. I didn’t expect many of the plot elements and I liked the idea that anyone could be guilty. In many mysteries, the sleuth has ruled out certain people because of his or her personal relationships, but here, because Jo is new to town, everyone is a suspect. We’re left wondering what’s going on and who’s involved up through the end, which I really enjoyed.

Overall, I gave this book three stars. Some parts of it worked for me, and some didn’t, but I think that this could be a good read if you’re interested in small-town mysteries where everyone is a suspect and no one is safe.

*ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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