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  • Writer's pictureCaroline

Haunting at Bonaventure Circus | Book Review

About the Book

Welcome to the Bonaventure Circus. Where misfits go to hide.

In 1928, the Bonaventure Circus has become a refuge for many, but Pippa Ridley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby and is no longer content to leave the reason for that rejection unquestioned. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the "Watchman", she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa's search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Decades later, an old circus train depot's future hangs in the balance -- it will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its fate rests on Realtor Chandler Faulk's shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot's history, she's also balancing a newly diagnosed disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My Thoughts

Think Greatest Showman, but on the dark side. Jaime Jo Wright is an award-winning author, and her writing really shone in this story. It's spooky and suspenseful without being depressing. Although vivid imaginations will find some scenes shuddery (especially if you're claustrophobic), I enjoyed the ebb and flow of tension and comedic relief. Usually, dual-timeline books aren't my favorite, but this time I didn't mind the twisting threads of the past and present.

I was genuinely surprised by some elements of the story, while others, like the "haunted" train depot (yawn) were more predictable. Chandler's struggles with anxiety, autoimmune disease, and being a boy mom definitely pulled me in. And then there's Hank, who's basically Jason Momoa in a book. I loved his classic "big guy who's a teddy bear" character.

Serial killers are not a fun subject, but Pippa's search for her identity (combined with the sweetest baby elephant and a handsome animal trainer) had me cheering her on from the first chapter.

If you're in the mood for something a little romantic, a little historical, a lot page-turning, with a dash of crime show thrown in, jot this book down on your Christmas list. It was a fun one.

"Life was far from perfect. The circus celebrated that. And while some believed that it only mocked it, Pippa knew better. She knew deeper. She knew, in her soul, that they found communion under the circus banner. And they would rescue each other, because that's what family did.”

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher and happily provided my honest review. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own.*

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