Book Review: Secrets of the Ravine

Hey, readers. Hope you’re having a lovely week and enjoying October (my favorite month of the year).

As a reader, sometimes you’re in the minority. Such is the case for me with Secrets of the Ravine, a title I picked up through Kindle Unlimited. There are not many reviews but all are four and five stars and some raved about how much they loved the characters. You’ll see where I differ when you read my review.

My Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

An okay read…

Good premise, but this one fell a bit flat for me. The book opens with Magpie Mackenzie (yes, her name is Magpie, not Maggie) meeting Zac who is a dead ringer for her former boyfriend who mysteriously disappeared twenty-eight years earlier—the same day her father’s girlfriend was murdered.

At the time of his disappearance, Mark and Magpie were teenagers. She’s now in her early forties, owns a mercantile shop in a ghost/tourist town, and has two grown children. She learns Zac is twenty-eight years old and begins to wonder if he is Mark reincarnated.

The same day Zac shows up, a body is found in an area known as The Ravine—an area inhabited by old hippies. (Most of whom haven’t left the sixties behind.) Magpie’s father was a suspect in the original murder but after Mark disappeared, suspicion turned from him. When it’s discovered the body was Mark, Magpie’s dad is once again the prime suspect.

Magpie and Zac—who instantly had a sexual attraction to one another, despite the age difference—partner up to catch the real killer. Doing so places both of them in danger.

The killer’s identity was obvious from the start. The author didn’t throw in any red herrings. The characters were okay, but throughout most of the book, I didn’t even like Magpie. She lusted after/loved Zac, but alternatively, she was jealous of his attention to the investigation. (Come on, Magpie, you’re an adult, not a child.)

Part of the book seemed to drag, and more than once I considered putting it in the DNF pile. The action did pick up at the end, somewhat redeeming it.

Three and a half stars rounded up to four for review purposes.


With books, you win some and you lose some. This book had potential, but I was disappointed. If not for the last couple of chapters, I would have lowered the rating to three stars.

29 thoughts on “Book Review: Secrets of the Ravine

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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Joan. I had considered reading this after I read Curse of Wolf Falls, but after your review, I think I’ll pass. I didn’t like Magpie in the book I read either. Thankfully, she wasn’t the main character. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I picked this one up after reading your review of that book. I decided to try the first book of the series. Glad I’m not the only one who didn’t like Magpie. I still think I’d like to read Curse of Wolf Falls, and your comment here has encouraged me to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. He was 28 but still… I can read slow burners if they’re interesting enough. This one wasn’t but I was determined. Live and learn. I’m reading the next Cork adventure now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like it had potential with a bit more work from the author. Although the name Magpie has me scratching my head, the premise sounded good. I’m glad it picked up at the end for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is that not insane? And she got her name not because she chattered all the time. I kept trying to call her Maggie. In fact, I typed Maggie at least three times when writing the review. Several characters had weird names.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m okay with knowing who the killer is the whole time if I’m supposed to. A lot of suspense novels are that way. But if this was supposed to be a mystery, that’s a shame. Worse, though, is the dragging pace and the immature lead character. I think I have to pass on this one. Thanks, Joan.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes those books with only a few reviews can be great, as many authors don’t do anything to market their books. I don’t mind the occasional less-than-stellar book, as it’s also a valuable lesson on where an author might have missed the mark.

    Liked by 2 people

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