GENRE – Adult crime/suspense fiction
PUBLISHER – Simon & Schuster
RELEASE DATE – December 7, 2021
AVAILABLE – US, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Perú, Colombia, México, Arabic, Russia. Available in large print as well.
A richly atmospheric adult debut following three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune as they investigate the disappearances of two outsiders.
Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.
Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.
Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.
Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.
"A terrifying and timely book."Erica Ferencik, bestselling author of The River at Night
“A lurid, fast-paced story of a reclusive commune. . . . The twisty plot brims with tension. There’s plenty of fodder here for a miniseries.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“A richly embroidered tapestry deepens in hues as the story turns darker. Readers will sink into this one.”
“Ernshaw has crafted her very best work yet.”
“What a wonderful rabbit hole to fall down.”
— Erika Swyler, author of Light From Other Stars and The Book of Speculation
“As spine-chilling as it is beautifully crafted.”
— Ruth Emmie Lang, author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
“Shea Ernshaw treads a graceful path between creepy atmospheric thriller and riveting domestic drama while messing with your mind in the best way. I couldn’t stop reading.”
— Laini Taylor, NYT bestselling author.
“A History of Wild Places is as eerie and enticing as a gingerbread house in a dark forest. My advice? Gobble up the whole thing. This book will enchant you with its delicious, dangerous magic.”
— Abby Geni, author of THE LIGHTKEEPERS and THE WILDLANDS
- Amazon - Book of the Month
- Indie Next Pick - December 2021
- Book Of The Month - selection
- Library Reads - December Pick
- Pop Sugar - Best of December
- Washington Post - 10 reads for December
- Goodreads - Most Anticipated
- Book Riot - December Pick
- Den of Geek - Top Horror Books of December
- Crime Reads - December Picks
- Pure Wow - Best of December
- Inspired by author Maggie St. James