Author: Jaime Jo Wright
Genre: Dual-time Fiction
Release Date: April 5, 2022
To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.
Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.
In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.
Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
When a little girl disappears, Arwen has a dream that compels her to try to find her. At the camp where she works, the camp legend of Ava Coons, who killed her family with an ax and still walks the woods waiting for victims, is alive and well.
In 1923 a thirteen-year-old girl walked out of the woods covered in blood, dragging an ax. Six years later, there’s another murder, and Ava Coons is found guilty in the court of public opinion. She didn’t do anything, but she doesn't have a defense with no memory of what happened to her family.
I am so glad I had the chance to read this book. It carried me through many emotions—sadness, angst, hope, love—including tears. In each timeline, the characters were written with depth and originality, making each distinct.
Both Ava and Arwen suffered from haunting dreams and a deep desire to feel like they belonged. Each wrestled with God finding their own way to faith. Noah and Eddie each had an abiding faith while wrestling with their own emotional baggage and relationships with Ava and Wren.
I was given a copy of this book with no obligation courtesy of Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
If you like spine-tingling romance with a twist of spookiness, then you will love The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright.
This absorbing tale begins with a ghost story and morphs into so much more. The author keeps you on the edge of your seat, helpless to put the book down and walk away.
Ava Coons is 13 years old in 1923 when she comes out of the forest, covered in blood and carrying an axe. Her family is all dead, yet no one can find their bodies. So naturally, the entire town assumes a 13-year-old girl somehow overcame her father, mother and brothers and hacked them to death. With sarcasm and wit, Ava asks that question repeatedly, but when two more murders happen with an axe, years later, she is once again the prime suspect.
While some people believed she was innocent, the hysteria and fears of the town take on new levels as they search for Ava, and no one is thinking clearly. They are out for blood, and Ava is at a loss as to how to prove her innocence.
Fast forward in time to Wren Blythe, and the story of Ava Coons is basically a ghost story. But a child has gone missing, and Wren is positive she saw Ava Coons in the woods. How these two women connect is a brilliant piece of storytelling. I will not give anything away because it's too good!
I loved the romantic interests in both periods. They had all the feels! I loved that the surprise reveals came more than once. Just when you think you figured it out, another twist is thrown in. The author definitely keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat.
If you like a good mystery with spooky suspense, you need to put Souls of Lost Lake on your reading list.
I received this book courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley.
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