She Wore a Pretty Mask by J.W. Bouchard

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

When evil invades the sleepy little town of Crater Lake, Iowa, a rookie sheriff goes on the hunt for a serial killer who is murdering young girls by staking them through the heart and decapitating them. But that’s not all – before killing them, he first drains their blood.

After enlisting the help of a female FBI profiler, Sheriff Nathan Murphy begins a descent into darkness as the investigation leads them down a trail of the supernatural. They soon discover they may not be dealing with something human at all, for their suspect may be far older and far more dangerous.

The first victim may be the key to unraveling the mystery. A girl whose death doesn’t fit the killer’s M.O. A girl who is pulled out of the lake with a strange mask covering her face.

What is the killer’s connection with the Unknown Girl of the Seine? Are they chasing a serial killer or a vampire? Whichever it is, Nathan knows one thing for certain…they are hunting a monster.


I loved this book so much, but it’s going to be so hard to tell about it without giving away too many spoilers!! Given to me for free in exchange for a fair and honest review, I was told that it was a stand alone serial killer mystery with a supernatural twist. There is no better description than that!

People are dying in the small town of Crater Lake, a town that hasn’t seen even a single murder in as long as any one resident can remember. The first mysterious body that washes up in the lake is bad enough with the eerie mask that has been placed upon the dead girls face. But when a second girls body, a local girl, turns up in the woods with a stake through her heart and her head chopped off, the small town police department starts to freak a little.

I think that the characters are well written and fleshed out. Nathan is a relatively new police chief, sorta new to the town and even newer to the job of sheriff (I enjoyed picturing him as my own Charlie Swan). He only has the help of a couple deputies that have also lived in the same town all their lives. The work that the cops are doing trying to unravel the mystery is broken up by scenes of the killer, from the killers point of view. Throughout the story I was constantly turning the pages to get to the next time that the killer is shown. The jumping around is in no way confusing, but fuels the story in a great way.

Small town serial killer murder mystery, kinda gory but not predictable. VERY SMALL SPIOLER I found I spent most of my time trying to figure out if there was really a creature or if it was in the serial killers head, a delusion. So props to you author to keep me guessing until the last 1/3rd of the book or so. He has a nice style of writing that was easy to read and easy to follow along.

Thoughts: While there are some extremely minor sub-plots in this, there is no romance and the cop/serial killer story is front and center and it plods along at a moderate pace.

If you enjoy James Patterson or Kathy Reichs I think you would enjoy this story too. The descriptions of the crime scenes are a little graphic but nothing that they wouldn’t show on TV, and while a little violent, most of the serial killing is done “off camera.”

This was a book that you could get lost in. The way that the author describes the surroundings, there were times I felt like I could clearly see the crime scenes, see the dense fog or smell the pine trees.

I think what makes this book unique was the ending. I didn’t see the twists coming, and in the end it was an altogether satisfying read.

This is my first book by this author but I will be checking out his old stuff and eagerly awaiting anything new! I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

You can purchase this book on AMAZON

Check it out on Goodreads

And follow the author on Twitter

, , , ,

Post navigation


Sara is a book hobbit that lives in a house of all boys, located in the promised land. Books stack the walls to the ceiling in some places, and she just keeps adding more. She was raised on top of a mountain that is locked in the dead of winter ten months of the year. She wears a size eleven shoe and enjoys her chicken cooked on the BBQ grill. In addition to reading she enjoys pinning crafts on Pinterest that she will never make and watching movies about people with sad lives or documentaries about serial killers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *