3 Mysteries with Small Town Vibes

I sometimes find books with small town vibes to be a little stressful to read. I can’t always deal with the gossiping and secrets. Occasionally though, it works for me. Here are three books where the small town feel actually made me love the story even more.

The Survivors, Jane Harper

I recently finished the latest book by Jane Harper. I’ve read her Aaron Falk series and really enjoyed it. The Survivors has a slightly different but refreshing feel to it. It’s a slow unravel of small town secrets long ago buried but still festering. I tried to guess the ending but I didn’t get it which was quite a surprise. I really liked this one.

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.

The Searcher, Tana French

It’s no secret that I’m a big Tana French fan. I listened to this one on audio and found myself really invested. I honestly couldn’t tell who to trust in this small Irish town. This one takes a new approach than her past books by introducing us to an American protagonist. It really sells the small town vibe as our MC can’t quite tell if he’s being welcomed or not.

Retired detective Cal Hooper moves to a remote village in rural Ireland. His plans are to fix up the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, to walk the mountains, to put his old police instincts to bed forever. Then a local boy appeals to him for help. His brother is missing, and no one in the village, least of all the police, seems to care. And once again, Cal feels that restless itch.

Dark and Shallow Lies, Ginny Myers Sain

This YA novel follows a group of teens who grew up in a small, close knit coastal town. 2 hours south of New Orleans, La Cachette is nothing more than a swamp. Isolated by most of the area around it, it still manages to attract tourists. Once again, secrets from long ago resurface bringing heaps of trouble. The one ends with a bang as a hurricane sweeps in and unburies everything.

This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World–and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier. When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou – a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history – Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood.

How do you feel about the small town setting and vibe in books?

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