Wonderland is a large amusement park in the small town of Seaside, WA. We start off the story with one of the Wonder Workers, an 18 year old disgruntled employee, sneaking into the park before it opens and free climbing the 150 foot Wonder Wheel ride to take a selfie and post it to the internet. While he’s up there someone shows up at the bottom of the Wonder Wheel and turns the ride on.
Next we meet the new Deputy Chief of the Seaside PD, Vanessa Castro. She’s crawling out of the bed of her latest one night stand to head into her first day at the police department. When she arrives she learns that a body has been found at the park below the Wonder Wheel. The thing is the body has been dead a while and our selfie taking Wonder Wheel climber has disappeared.
This book just kind of sucked me in and I didn’t want to put it down. I still don’t know if it was because of the thriller/mystery aspect of the story and wondering just who our killer is or the secrets and lies that unfold throughout the story. Seaside should be a charming little town but it’s residents have so many skeletons in their closets I’m surprised it’s not a nudist town as they wouldn’t have room for a wardrobe in there.
The book changes the point of view between the various characters in the story and I thought this was a wonderful way to add to the layers and depth. We get to know exactly what has gone on from all angles as the list of suspects grows and grows.
Absolutely adored Ava’s character and her love of all things creepy. Sure she’s a rebellious teen but she reminded me of myself in her wanting to work in the Clown Museum and scare people. I spent 5 years getting my head chopped off every October at a haunted hayride so when we got to Ava working the Clown museum I was just smiling away waiting for the scares.
Vanessa is tough as nails as a detective and determined to not drink the Wonderland Kool-Aid but she herself has her own shady past too. Hard to find someone in the story without something questionable going on which just intrigued me just as much as finding out the killer.
I’d highly recommend this to any fan of a much darker, creepy mystery/thriller and will definitely be looking into more of Jennifer Hillier’s work in the future.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.