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Thursday, August 4, 2016

When Death Draws Near: A Gwen Marcey Novel

Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

About the book: 

When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey's job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

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My Thoughts:
I was immediately drawn to the character of Gwen Marcey in the previous book to When Death Draws Near titled The Bones Will Speak.  The very first book in this series is A Cry From The Dust.
Carrie Parks's (author) writing is superbly engaging.  Gwen is so relatable and genuine.  I really appreciate the humor Parks interjects into her story.  The mother-daughter relationship between Gwen and her daughter, Aynslee, is captured beautifully and true-to-life.  As in her previous books, Parks masterfully touches on several themes and brings them together fluidly: Faith, Family Dynamics, Religion, Murder, Suspense, Mystery.  I enjoyed learning about Forensic Artistry as Parks peppers the story with an inside look at Gwen's craft. This one sure is a page turner that you can not figure out with twists and turns and an unexpected ending.  Parks's next book, Portraits of Vengeance, releases August 2017.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks

Happy Reading Ya'll,