Judith D Collins
Narrator: Eunice Wong
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
Publication Date: 04/11/2023
Format: Audiobook & e-book
My Rating: 5 Stars +
From the bestselling author of the hugely popular thrillers Things We Do in the Dark, Little Secrets, and Jar of Hearts comes Wonderland, a roller coaster of a listen. Now in audio for the first time!
After a personal tragedy and professional scandal forces homicide detective Vanessa Castro out of Seattle, she takes a new job in Seaside, Washington, determined to make a fresh start for herself and her family. The small beach town, best known for its popular amusement park, Wonderland, seems like the perfect place to raise her young son and teenage daughter.
But it's not that easy starting over, especially as the town's new Deputy Chief of Police. When a dead body turns up at the park her first day on the job, and then a teenage Wonder Worker goes missing, Vanessa's investigation is met with resistance. After all, Wonderland is the largest amusement park in the Pacific Northwest, attracting tourists from all over the country and providing thousands of jobs for the locals. A scandal that hurts the park hurts the town, but the more questions Vanessa asks, the more questions arise . . . especially when she learns that the missing teenage boy is the not the first park employee to disappear. The deeper she goes, the more she begins to suspect that the terrifying rumors about Wonderland's dark past might actually be true.
Surrounded by secrets, lies, and corruption at the highest levels, Vanessa's family is now in the center of a serial killer's twisted game . . . and there's nobody she can trust but herself.
A Macmillan Audio Production.
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About the Author
Hi there, I’m Jennifer Hillier. I imagine the worst about people, and then write about it.
I’m the USA Today, Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark, described as “an intoxicating thrill ride” by the New York Times and “propulsive and chilling” by People magazine. It’s a Book of the Month Club selection, an Indigo Top Ten Best Book of the Year, an Amazon Editor’s Spotlight Pick, a Loan Stars pick, and my third consecutive novel to be honored as a LibraryReads pick, which places me in their Hall of Fame.
I’m also the author of six other psychological thrillers. My USA Today bestselling novel Little Secrets currently being adapted for Peacock by Tish Cyrus’s Hopetown Entertainment, writer Melissa Scrivner Love and Universal Television, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Anthony Award. Jar of Hearts won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel and was also shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards.
My earlier novels—which I hope you’ll check out—are Creep, Freak, The Butcher, and Wonderland, the last of which will be published in mass market paperback and audiobook for the very first time in April 2023.
My books have been published in twenty-three languages so far.
I’m Filipino-Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, but I spent eight amazing years in Seattle which is where I first became a published writer. I’m a Seahawks fan but I married a Packers guy. We have a young son who looks most like me when he’s crying. I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless I’ve checked the locks on the doors several times. I love writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. I cherish my family (those who read, and those who don’t), and my friends (those who write, and those who don’t). I’m a cat person without a cat, which makes me sad. But I’m now back in the Toronto area permanently with my family, which makes me happy.
I also have an essay-style newsletter, which I mostly forget to write and send out, but when I do, I think it’s pretty good. You can sign up here. I promise I don’t spam—I usually talk about the writing journey and the lessons I’ve learned—and sometimes I give stuff away.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok, but hopefully not every day. If you see me there too much, remind me to get back to work. I hope to have a new novel for you in 2024. WEBSITE
PRAISE FOR WONDERLAND
"Top of the line writing.. You better call in sick, because you're not going anywhere until you finish reading it. Oh, and you might want to lock the door, too. Just to be safe."
—Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author
“A fast-paced, razor-sharp thriller that is impossible to put down. Jennifer Hillier is a stunningly talented author and Wonderland is her best yet.”
—Mark Edwards, bestselling author of Follow You Home)
PRAISE FOR JENNIFER HILLIER'S GRIPPING THRILLERS
“Hillier's third thriller fairly shudders with tension. [She] sends her reader into a labyrinth of creepy twists and grotesque turns…The secrets of the past refuse to keep quiet in this disquieting, taut thriller.”
“As she ably proved in her debut (Creep, 2011), [Hillier] has a fine knack for creating hideous killers. This time she turns the formula whodunit on its head… A tense, suspenseful, thoroughly creepy thriller.”
"Once I got started I couldn’t stop reading, and I confess to having sweaty palms a few times. A thrill ride that will have your attention from start to finish! This one is 4.5 stars."
"Hillier writes beautifully horrific stories… Readers will be immersed until the final page, thanks to the velocity at which this unique thriller is told.”
—RT Reviews (Top Pick)
"[A] rapid-fire thriller of dark, unsettling proportions with some very surprising twists. With the turn of each new page, the suspenseful plot is tense and gripping...a skillfully penned tale of murder and cover-up that will keep readers enthralled until the powerful finish. Thriller fans should not miss The Butcher!
"I was engrossed on page one, couldn’t put the book down and breathless at the ending. Be prepared for late night reading. Then sleep with the lights on – if you can. This one blew me away."
—Robert Dugoni, #1 New York Times bestselling author
K I L L E R !
WONDERLAND is a 5 Star+ Top-Shelf Psycho-Crime Suspense Mystery Thriller!
Part whodunnit thriller and cop procedural set in the small fictional town of Seaside, WA, where there’s a popular amusement park filled with teenage “Wonder Workers”… some of whom go missing.
Someone better grab the film rights to this Wonder, ASAP! No one can do creepy, and twisted, like Canadian, JH. Definitely worthy of the hype, plus more!
Now, to the down-and-dirty, twisted roller-coaster ride.
What you will find at WONDERLAND: intrigue, magic, fun, clowns, Ferris wheels, amusement, porcelain dolls, thrills, excitement, and mystery. What you do not see behind the façade of Wonderland and the small town, of Seaside, Washington, its preppy young faces, purple shirt crisp uniforms, and winning smiles, . . is a serial killer.
Of course, there is the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls, and did I mention hidden dungeons and tunnels? Spine-tingling.
Everyone wants to work at Wonderland.
Most of the management and ownership of this well-known amusement park—for generations past, has been a victim of a sexual predator. Even the prior owner of Wonderland, Jack Shaw, now deceased, preyed on young boys and used them to his advantage.
Many of his once victims, now grown– have returned to Wonderland, to demonstrate life goes on, by working in management or ownership. The police department seems to cater to Wonderland's needs since without this business, the town would have no jobs, revenue, or nothing to attract tourists.
Everyone has a secret. Many have a dark past. They are disguised; successful, handsome, beautiful, and the worst kind of scary, you would not be aware of their addictions, love/hate, demons, or obsessions. They look like normal, the guy or the girl next door.
MEET THE MAIN CHARACTERS:
A femme fatale, CEO, of Wonderland Bianca, (Dragon Lady) —a cougar in her late thirties, loves young teenage blonde boys. She lures them with her position, offering promises, and advancement while using her sex appeal and alluring evil seduction. When she is tired of them, they are discarded like trash, and on to the next. She leaves behind a string of sex-crazed teenagers and men. Can we count, how many? How does she have time to do her real job?
An MIA grimy creepy night security guard, of Wonderland, Glenn loves porn and is not playing with a full deck. Why is he still working here after all these years? What does he know? Is he capable of murder? Where was he the morning of the murder of Homeless Harry and the missing boy wonder, Blake? Is his mom protecting him?
VP of Operations, Oscar Trejo, best friend with the new owner, Nick (who is sending emails and traveling). Good-looking and intelligent, he appears to be rather protective of the CEO, Bianca, yet he longs to get to know Vanessa a little better.
The new Deputy Chief, with her own demons, Vanessa Castro has left Seattle behind for a new start with her teenage daughter, Ava, and younger son, John-John in Seaside. It is her first day as deputy police chief and everything falls into her lap on day one.
There is an unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside an amusement park, and now a teenage employee with a photo going viral on the top of Wonder Wheel the same morning—now he seems to be missing?
The mayor, Frank Greenberg was a best friend of Vanessa’s late husband, and she has to do a good job to make him proud. Of course, as the book opens she is getting a little action of her own in the sack, which could complicate things when she finds out his identity.
To make matters worse, her fourteen-year-old daughter, Ava is now working at Wonderland with a janitor stalker on her trail and has eyes for a sexy teen new employee.
As the book opens, Wonderland normally a sea of moving bodies, noise, and energy; is totally inanimate, dead. Blake, a disgruntled young teen employee, the social media king, wants to give his last FU to Wonderland, by climbing up the Wonder Wheel and taking selfies to tweet.
He plans on this being his last day at work, and wants to make an impression with his middle finger, displayed promptly. It was only 5 am before the park opens; however, he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
A murdered homeless man with his face eaten off left at the park, and Wonder Boy, missing in action on the same day. After further investigation, she finds a number of young boys, all blonde, age eighteen, which have gone missing over the last eight years. They all worked at Wonderland? It appears the police department has many cold cases and looks like they did not do a lot of investigating. What is the connection?
Vanessa is tough and determined to get to the bottom of this mystery—a dangerous serial killer. She continues to balance her work and personal life, as a single mom. She refuses to allow the politics of the small town and the connections between the police department and Wonderland, to get in her way.
Her head is spinning and this small town is anything from dull. Between all the cold cases, the parents of the boys demanding answers, her strained relationship with her daughter, the weird relationship with Oscar, and the pressures of the job, mayor, and chief of police; Everyone expects her to find the serial killer before he or she strikes again.
WOW! One fast-action heart-pounding intense page-turner. With many red herrings, mixed with, wit, and contemporary social media fun ---keeping you guessing until the end! Loved Vanessa’s character; hope we see more of her in the future, as well as Ava.
For all you Freak & Creep fans, you will enjoy revisiting Seattle PD Officer, Jerry Isaac, (love him), with the scarred neck and tortured speech, who comes back to town, to help out Vanessa with a case he worked on years ago in Seaside.
Also if you read Little Secrets, this is PI Vanessa Castro's original story. A former homicide detective with Seattle PD, Vanessa has just moved her family to Seaside to take on a new job as the town’s Deputy Chief of Police, only to discover a dead body in Wonderland midway through her very first day.
Jennifer, being pregnant and giving birth, during the writing of Wonderland, did not slow down Hillier, the serial killer queen of fiction. Your Twitter fans, and bloggers offer a special “thank you” for your brilliant execution once again, just in time for Halloween! Trust me, you need to buy; one you will not want to miss; A wild twisted ride!
AUDIOBOOK: 🎧 I was delighted to revisit WONDERLAND again in audio format narrated by the fabulous narrator, Eunice Wong for a highly entertaining performance for all voices.
I read WONDERLAND for the first time when it came out in 2015 and landed on my Top books of 2015. I was introduced for the first time to Jennifer with The Butcher in 2014 when I started my blog and grabbed this gem from NetGalley and was blown away. Top Books of 2014. I then went back and grabbed the audiobooks, Freak and Creep, and then Wonderland.
Since these have been a huge fan and have read all her books. I would not miss a book! They are all 5-star WINNERS. A huge fan, I anxiously await her next book, and she is so much fun to follow on social media. A TOP thriller author!
A special thank you to #MacmillanAudio and #NetGalley for a gifted ALC in exchange for an honest review.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Audio Pub Date: April 11, 2023
My Rating: 5 Stars
April 2023 Must-Read Books
THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK TOP BOOKS OF 2022
LITTLE SECRETS TOP BOOKS OF 2020
JAR OF HEARTS TOP BOOKS OF 2018
FREAK (2012) before blog
CREEP (2011) before blog
Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interviews with Jennifer where we go behind the scenes of the book & the author.
THINGS WE DO IN THE DARK