Review: Donn's Hill
Caryn is one of my wonderful author friends. I met her either at FanX or LTUE several years ago...I can't remember which, now. I'm excited to discuss one of her books on the blog today.
In Donn's Hill, Mackenzie Clair moves back to the town she remembers from childhood to restart her life after a nasty break-up with her cheating boyfriend. The town is haunted, however, with a lot of strange activity, and her road to reinvention and self-discovery leads her into paranormal territory she's never taken seriously before. An old cat named Stryker also adopts her for its new owner after the original owner passes away, and the cat's personality and antics play a large role in taking Mackenzie through her journey to unravel mysteries about herself and her childhood town.
This story is mainly about the main character rediscovering her gift for sensing the supernatural, and learning more about the secrets of her deceased parents. The first half of the story is character development in this regard, with adventures that lead the main character to join a ghost hunting TV show crew, dabble in psychic activities with the town's medium, volunteer at a town festival celebrating the dead, and forge new friendships with a variety of characters, including a possible budding new love interest. The second half evolves a brief murder mystery and personal conflicts between herself, law enforcement, and the town mayor. Discovering the strength of her own gifts, and following her cat into eavesdropping range of others in town who have deep personal secrets, complicates all of these.
This cozy paranormal story with mystery elements is delightful and entertaining. The story moves at an easy, unhurried pace, and has an interesting premise. The main character is likable and assertive, with relatable flaws. The accompanying characters have a few layers, and aren't exactly what they first appear to be on the surface. And the backdrop of Don's Hill, where the story takes place, has fun quirks. I love how Caryn has given a wave to Salt Lake City, and integrated her own love of cats and passion for animal rescue into the main character's background and story. Knowing Caryn personally makes those details all the more fun.
I listened to the audiobook for this story and enjoyed the production by narrator Jessica McEvoy.
You can find this book in digital and paperback editions here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Donns-Hill-Soul-Searchers-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07QJTSSRK Or on Audible here: https://www.audible.com/pd/Donns-Hill-Audiobook/B074CJHPLW.