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Dark Night: Alaska Wild #3    by Paige Shelton order for
Dark Night
by Paige Shelton
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Dark Night follows Thin Ice and Cold Wind as the third in Paige Shelton's Alaska Wild mystery series starring thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild. She fled to remote Benedict, Alaska as Beth Rivers, after escaping from an obsessed kidnapper (still not caught). She has memory loss from a severe head injury and neurosurgery.

Beth has helped Benedict police Chief Gril in past episodes and now runs the local paper. She stays at a halfway house for parolees, given lack of other accommodation. As this episode opens, there are new arrivals in Benedict - the unpopular census man, and also Beth's unpredictable mother Millicent (on the run from the law), who had searched for her daughter's kidnapper but has now managed to track Beth down.

It's not surprising that a thriller writer should be good at solving puzzles. Beth has more than one to dig into this time, after a man who abused his wife is found dead and the census man goes missing. She finds her mother's company a very mixed blessing, but does learn more about her father's disappearance, which both have puzzled over, over the years. Beth introduces Mill to Tex Southern, to whom she's attracted (it seems mutual).

When Mill goes missing, Tex helps Beth search for her. There's more violence before it's all sorted, but Beth does find her mother, and a few more memories along the way. Dark Night moves the overarching series plot forward on several fronts, and concludes on an emotional cliffhanger.

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