Paradise, WV

Paradise, WV
Publisher Name
Keylight Books
Age Range
Release Date
July 21, 2021
In a poor West Virginia town decimated by the opioid epidemic, teenagers Henry and Jane have it worse than most. Their father is Hollis Lusher, a convicted serial killer known as “the Blind Spot Slasher.”

Despite being bullied and ostracized, the siblings maintain their father’s innocence. But now, a popular true-crime podcast is coming to town, and their presence turns all eyes to the Blind Spot Slasher’s case . . . and Henry and Jane.

Meanwhile, an eager young officer, Lieutenant Elena Garcia, is put on the case of a missing girl. Despite warnings from her superiors, Garcia begins to dig deeper into the case and realizes there may be other mysteries buried in the flood of opioid-related crimes. With many deaths quickly labeled as overdoses, or “No Human Involved,” she fears the drug epidemic has created the perfect storm for a Blind Spot Slasher copycat to thrive. Unless that is, they never caught the real Blind Spot Slasher.

An amateur private investigator is also on the case: Henry’s new friend, Otis. A home-schooled genius with his own family issues and a suspicion their father might be innocent, Otis makes it his mission to help Henry and Jane find the real killer. As the three probe into the evidence, they discover a possible connection between the killings and a doomsday, snake-handling cult—propelling them all down the dark backroads of Appalachia to find justice for Hollis and themselves. 

Editor review

1 review
YA Thriller
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Paradise, WV is perfect for YA mystery and thriller fans. Rob Rufus has set up an engaging setting in the small town of Paradise overrun by opioid addiction. There are enough main characters to make the events believable and fully fleshed out. There is a cop new to town, Lt. Elena Garcia, so she isn’t as biased about events of the past and is willing to consider new evidence. Henry and Jane Lusher are the children trying to survive being the kids of a famous serial killer in a small town, especially since they believe their father was falsely accused. Then there is Otis Perkins who is smart beyond his years and is friendless in this new town after his dad’s pill addiction ruined their lives. Otis believes in his new friends and is willing to help sift through the internet and see what he can find to help Jane and Henry.
After a new high school girl is kidnapped events speed up in the search to rescue her. The investigation into what happened six years ago becomes relevant again. Henry and Jane finally have people willing to listen and to help and they both put themselves in danger to try and find justice for their father. Add in a snake-handling drugged-out cult with gun-toting members and you have the making for a read that is hard to put down.
Overall, this book was exciting, and the plot flowed well through believable developments. With themes of opioid addiction and bullying mixed with the threat of a serial killer still on the loose this book packs a punch and makes it hard to put down until you know the truth.
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