A must-read Gothic mystery... Night Falls on Predicament Avenue by Jaime Jo Wright (Review) #nightfallsonpredicamentavenue #jaimejowright #historicalfiction #historicalsuspense #inspirationalfiction #gothicfiction #newbooks #bookrecs #bookx #austenprosepr #bhpfiction @jaimejowright @bethany_house @Austenprose

Welcome! I just finished reading this one and have added my review below. It's definitely one to add to your shelves if you're a Gothic suspense, true crime or cold case fan. Find out more below...

Night Falls on Predicament Avenue
By Jaime Jo Wright
Christian Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Dual Timeline
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 368 Pages
April 9, 2024 by Bethany House Publishers


As the walls of the house at Predicament Avenue reveal their hidden truths, two women--generations apart--discover that fear and foreboding are no respecters of time.

In 1910, Effie James is committed to doing anything to save her younger sister, who witnessed a shocking murder, leaving her mute and in danger of the killer's retribution. Effie must prove what her sister saw, but when a British gentleman arrives, he disrupts Effie's quest with his attempts to locate his wife, Isabelle Addington, who was last seen at the supposed crime scene in the abandoned house at 322 Predicament Avenue. Just as Effie discovers what she seeks, she finds that the blood staining the walls will forever link her to a scandal she couldn't imagine, and to a woman whose secrets promise to curse any who would expose them.

A century later, Norah Richman grapples with social anxiety and grief as she runs her late great-aunt's bed-and-breakfast on Predicament Avenue. But Norah has little affection for the house and is committed only to carrying out her murdered sister's dreams until crime historian and podcaster Sebastian Blaine arrives to investigate the ghostly legacy of the house's claim to fame--the murder of Isabelle Addington. When a guest is found dead, the incident is linked to Isabelle's murder, and Norah and Sebastian must work together to uncover the century-old curse that has wrapped 322 Predicament Avenue in its clutches and threatens far more than death.

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My Review

NIGHT FALLS ON PREDICAMENT AVENUE is a Gothic romantic suspense, light on the romance, that switches between 1901 and present day in a small American town. The characters are endearing with a story that is so compelling that readers will be turning pages as fast as they can to find out what happens. A very compelling story that is recommended to Gothic suspense and cold case or true crime fans.

This story starts off with a traumatic moment for two sisters in 1901 that then instigates events that shape the community for over 100 years after. There are two very tragic and violent murders over 100 years apart in this small town, and both are unsolved with eerie similarities. What unfolds is a slowly retelling of the history of one murder while in present day the characters are trying to find answers to both murders. The level of suspense grows from the first page on until the climatic ending. The author did a fantastic job of hiding the villains in this story. Readers might catch an inkling here and there, but nothing definite. Thankfully the truth is uncovered in the end for both timelines with everything being resolved. I also appreciated that the author didn't tie this one up too prettily. Not everything is perfect, but there are still some happily-ever-afters and some inspiring words of hope.

I also liked the characters. They are quite flawed and had their own journeys and things to figure out to move forward. All of them let fear rule their lives in one way or another, which is a strong theme of the book, and countered by a few messages of faith and hope in living life. As in one character's words: "We can't be afraid to live just 'case we're afraid of dyin'." I thought the romance wasn't forced, but kind of just fell into place, and it was sweet. It also wasn't the main focus of the story.

There isn't too much to have issue with in this story. Norah's anxiety and fear is fairly uncontrolled and all consuming at one point and her belief that someone is a murderer even when there is no proof came across as prejudiced. It was a bit much for me, but at the same time understandable. The violence with grit in this story is dark. The characters and moments of hope help balance everything out, but it is a lot to wade through, especially in Christian fiction. I also didn't understand one women's choice to remain when she knows she isn't safe. 

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was a riveting book with likable characters, edge-of-your-seat suspense, Gothic atmosphere and sweet romance. It was gritty in parts, so best for adult readers.

Content: Some gruesome violence, murder, strangulation, teenage pregnancy, and kidnapping.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jaime Jo Wright (JaimeWrightBooks.com) is the author of ten novels, including Christy Award and Daphne du Maurier Award-winner The House on Foster Hill and Carol Award winner The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. She's also a two-time Christy Award finalist, as well as the ECPA bestselling author of The Vanishing at Castle Moreau and two Publishers Weekly bestselling novellas. Jaime lives in Wisconsin with her family and felines.

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