Anya Mora’s Gray West Mystery series has always stayed in my mind because of its unique premise. The main character, Gray West, and her daughters have all been in a cult and are shown to be trying to make a life for themselves in the regular world after being in a place which is still in the previous era. The first book, The Sister Wife’s Secret, which came out in June of 2021, mainly dealt with her struggles in making a life for herself along with her daughters, for whom she left the cult, despite being there since she was a child herself.
The second book, The Sister Wife’s Search, showcased her fight to find her younger daughter when she goes missing, all the while trying to connect with her son. And the third book, The Sister Wife’s Husband, describes how she finally dealt with her husband, who is the leader of the cult she was in and a sociopathic, self-proclaimed God’s Prophet. That book ended on a wonderful cliffhanger with her getting to know that her daughter Esther, whom she had thought had died only a few days after birth, is actually alive but is on the run and is wanted for murder.
The fourth book, The Sister Wife’s Daughter, which came out on Thursday, starts from this point exactly and describes her struggle finding her daughter and her problem with understanding her while she tries to help her. Whether or not her daughter committed murder and if she can be trusted with her other children in her house forms the major point of contention in this story.
As for the story, Anya Mora has done a wonderful job of telling fast-paced, interesting, sharp and short stories which hold the attention of the readers effortlessly, all the while keeping them guessing to some extent. And I felt she has done a fairly good job of getting into the mindset of people who have been in a cult.
Gray is the character I loved the most in the series. The author has done a great job in creating a great arc for the character and making us sympathetic with her plight and all the hardships she has gone through. The various stages her mind and thoughts go through have been drafted excellently throughout the series by the author and it’s clear she has done her research. I felt this book is a fairly decent interpretation of the psyche of such a person.
However, I should also mention that the author has got a uniquely abrupt writing style and I feel she doesn’t give the characters enough time to go through their arcs in a way that is believable to the reader. I found it quite difficult to relate to her characters. I am usually the kind of reader who likes a lot more background information and insights into the minds and hearts of all the main characters in a book. As such, I didn’t find the books as immersive as I like them to be. It might be because all the books are quite short.
I still would recommend all the books in the series, particularly because, however written, I enjoyed the short and crisp thriller stories of all the books and the way the events in them unfolded.
The series is an enjoyable read for anyone who likes to read short, fast-paced thrillers with a unique premise. If you are an impatient reader who just wants to know what happened without getting into the why or what of it and want just to get entertained, this series is the right fit for you.
The “Gray West Mystery” series gets a 5/5