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Creepy Tale Defies Categorization

The fictional town of Bulwark, Georgia, is a town of secrets and mysteries. When this book opens, sheriff Clay is investigating a strange, large puggle that has a car trapped inside it. Soon, we meet other residents of the town, as well as injured newcomers who claim their children were stolen by a witch who lives in a gingerbread house on a street that Clay has never heard of. Taking the couple to the ED, Clay meets his estranged wife, Jenna, who is a nurse there; they are divorcing due to struggling with the disappearance of their daughter but haven’t signed the papers yet to make it official.

What’s going on in this small town? What other strange things will the sheriff find? Who will die? Who is in danger? What will happen with Clay and Jenna?

To me, this book has an almost Twilight Zone or Twin Peaks feel to it. If you decide to read this book, you can choose to go into it knowing that little will make sense for quite a while. If you can let go and allow that to happen, you might enjoy the ride because this book does take you to strange places.

On the book review site where I downloaded the ARC for this book, it was listed as a cozy mystery, a paranormal romance, and a small-town romance. The cover says paranormal thriller. I can see where the author would have a hard time pinning down the specific genre or genres of this book. I would say there are paranormal aspects, romantic aspect, but I wouldn’t call it a paranormal romance as that suggests to me that, say, a witch and/or shifter love story is happening. That’s not what happens here. The book is super slow burn until you get to the end, so I wouldn’t quite call it a thriller either. There’s definitely an element of the gothic here as well with the creepy, hidden mansion. It’s definitely not a cozy as it is far too dark for that. Although it takes place in a small town, I wouldn’t call it a “small-town romance” either. Maybe call it paranormal suspense with romantic aspects, but even that might not be wholly accurate as the paranormal elements weren’t clear until later in the book.

I am a registered nurse and have worked night shift in the hospital. There are definitely some medical and nursing errors in the book, but they most likely would not disturb anyone who is not a medical or nursing professional.

In a fun twist, the book has two alternate endings for the reader to enjoy and choose from.