Blog Tour: This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper

Three women. An isolated town. A decades-old mystery.

They hate me down there, in Boldville. I can read it in their eyes, smell it on their noxious breaths. That dreaded little town hates everything about me: not just my personality and form, the clothes I wear, but the way I think. The things that I know. 

1933. Cornelia Stover is headstrong and business-minded – not the kind of woman the men of Boldville, New Mexico, expect her to be. Then she stumbles upon a secret hidden out in the hills…

1970. Decades later, Joanna Riley, a former cop, packs up her car in the middle of the night and drives west, fleeing an abusive marriage and a life she can no longer bear. Eventually, she runs out of gas and finds herself in Boldville, a sleepy desert town in the foothills of the Gila Mountains.

Joanna was looking for somewhere to retreat, to hide, but something is off about this place. In a commune on the outskirts a young man has been found dead and Joanna knows a cover up when she sees it. Soon, she and Glitter, a young, disaffected hippie, find themselves caught up in a dark mystery that goes to the very heart of Boldville, where for too long people have kept their eyes shut and turned their heads away. A mystery that leads them all the way back to the unexplained disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother Cornelia forty years before…

What I Thought:

It’s the start of a new blog tour and also publication day for This Wild, Wild Country by Inga Vesper, so I’m pleased to be able to start it all off on an enthusiastic note.

Although neither of the dual timelines in this novel feature the Old West, it really does have that feel to it. Perhaps it’s because, even though Joanna is living in the 20th Century, the town of Boldville really isn’t. Even in the 1970s, the men still hold sway and the old American ways are refusing to make way for the new.

When Glitter returns to her home town with her friends and attempts to set up a commune, bad things start to happen including the death of her cousin – are the authorities too quick to write it off as a tragic accident?

As Joanna’s cop-sense starts to tingle, she and Glitter delve into a decades-old mystery that has its roots in the Gold Rush and led to the disappearance of Glitter’s grandmother. A wall of silence, the Wheeler-Howard act and Glitter’s distrust of Joanna as one of the ‘Pigs’ all stand in the way of the truth…

I love a dual timeline novel and this one handles the switch between timelines really well. There are similarities between the two time periods that Inga Vesper has chosen, and the spirit and determination of the women in these time periods really shines through.

I really liked Glitter as a character – she has left home at the earliest opportunity to find a new way to live, and she’s returned home still determined to live her own life, but disillusioned with much of what she’s experienced. I felt she really grew as a character as she discovered more about her grandmother and her determination.

There are some really tricky subjects covered in the book, and they are very sensitively handled. Domestic violence is a big part of Joanna’s story and, although she is in a better place after the novel is finished, I would love to know how she fares after the final chapter.

A thoroughly enjoyable book, and a group of strong, inspirational women – highly recommended.

This Wild, Wild Country is published by Manilla Press.

About the Author:

Inga Vesper is a journalist and editor. She moved to the UK from Germany to work as a carer, before the urge to write and explore brought her to journalism. As a reporter, she covered the coroner’s court and was able to observe how family, neighbours and police react to a suspicious death. Inga has worked in Syria and Tanzania, but now lives in Glasgow, because there’s no better way to find a good story than eavesdropping on the chatter in a Scottish cafe on a rainy day.

This post is part of a blog tour celebrating the publication of This Wild, Wild Country. Check out some of the other participating blogs below for more reviews and exclusive content.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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