Newly-released crime thriller takes place in Oceana County

August 23, 2023

Newly-released crime thriller takes place in Oceana County

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

HART — After author Jill Wagner first visited Oceana County last summer, she soon decided it would serve as the perfect setting for her next book.

Jane’s Punishment, which is the second book in a series, is now available on Amazon

“Last summer when I visited Mears and the dunes, I was absolutely captivated by the area and knew it had to be the setting for my new book,” said Wagner who lives on the east side of the state near Holly — the setting for her first book, Jane’s Journey.

“FBI agent Jane Newell is back with the whole gang in this crime thriller that will make you question the refuge of small town living,” states the description of Jane’s Punishment. “Join the team in rural Hart, Michigan as they track down a serial killer who is even more sadistic than the copycat killer in book one, Jane’s Journey.

“Commonly referred to as the Third Coast, Jane’s Punishment will take you to the shores of Lake Michigan, where the sparkling white sand and

Jill Wagner

ultramarine blue of the water become tainted with the gruesome reality of a heinous string of grisly murders. Bloody messages at the scenes lead the team on a hunt for a serial killer on a mission of revenge. While the husbands and fathers of the small community panic for the lives of their loved ones, the team must determine if the ritualistic kills are being manipulated by Jane’s infamous father, psychopathic serial killer Tad Wilkins — from behind his prison walls.”

Local businesses, Stella’s Coffee House, Pink Elephant Diner and Kristie’s Pour House, are featured in the fictional novel, as well as local landmark, Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Silver Lake. 

“The FBI team investigating these crimes are in Hart — that’s where they’re working from,” she said. Ludington and Pentwater also featured, she said. 

“There are a lot of local things in the book that would resonate with the residents. It is fiction from beginning to end except for the locations.”

Wagner, a retired insurance agent, is in the research phase of a third book in the series. Her daughter, Shay Brown, designed the book covers.

Self-published Jane’s Punishment was just released this month. The Kindle price on Amazon is $4.99. Wagner is hoping to have paperback and hardcover copies for sale at area bookstores soon. To stay up to date about obtaining a copy, visit her Facebook page,; Instagram jill.wagner_author; or email

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