Death in the Dark Woods

Berkley. (Monster Hunter, Bk. 2). Dec. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593441602. $27. THRILLER
A possible Bigfoot attack that kills a hunter in Wisconsin’s Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is too intriguing for cryptozoologist Morgan Carter to pass up when she’s brought in on the case by local conservation officer Charlie Aberdeen, who is eager to prove the cryptid sighting. When a second man is killed, a footprint is found near the scene, and Charlie is all in, knowing this is her chance to substantiate Bigfoot’s existence. Morgan, on the other hand, approaches with her usual skepticism, and when she and her dog arrive in the village of Bayfield, she soon suspects that there’s more going on. Small-town antagonists and a burgeoning romance complicate the investigation, but the novel’s intriguing premise and engaging story are hindered by an unfortunately slow beginning. Opening chapters laden with backstory and unnecessary interiority might make this one a tough sell.
VERDICT Fans of A Death in Door County, the first book in the series, will be pleased with the reappearance of Chief of Police Jon Flanders. Purchase where Ryan’s other books circulate or where there’s interest in cryptids or monster lit.
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