Review: When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

About this Book

Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her, Gwen turns her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Author Connection

  Website: http://www.carriestuartparks.com/

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My Review

This author is quickly becoming a favorite! Her Gwen Marcey character is so much fun. I love her tenacity. This story delved into an interesting topic with a snake handling church.

There was a lot of misdirection in this story and I didn’t figure out who was behind everything until the author revealed it. In hindsight there was a clue early on that I forgot about when the author tied it together. A mark of a good story. It was there but not obvious.

The hard part is I read the next book in the series before reading this one and that’s all I’ll say.

If you’ve read any of the first two books in the series and enjoyed them, this one is even better. The author is definitely doing a good job in developing Gwen.

New Book Watch: When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries Book 2) by Vannetta Chapman 

A Terrible Secret Hides in the Bulrushes

Amish bishop Henry Lapp eagerly awaits the annual arrival of 20,000 sandhill cranes to the San Luis Valley of Colorado. But his visit to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge reveals more than just a miracle of God’s creation. Hidden among the bulrushes and cattails is the deceased body of a young woman.

As the local authorities attempt to unravel the mystery, Henry feels God’s calling to use his extraordinary talent to aid in the investigation. His ability to draw from memory in photographic detail could help solve this puzzling case.

Henry’s closest friend, Emma Fisher, has always urged him to embrace his gift. As their relationship deepens, Henry realizes his involvement could put him and those he loves in the direct path of a killer, one who is willing to do anything to cover up a brutal crime, including framing the bishop.

When the Bishop Needs an Alibi is a compelling story of faith, friendship, and finding courage only God can provide.

Product details

  • Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (September 1, 2017)
  • Language: English

Review: Memory of You by Catherine West

About this Book

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. He knows Natalie intends to close the gates, and he’s determined to convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it. For both of them.

Author Connection

  Website: https://www.catherinejwest.com/ |
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My Review

My first Catherine West book was Yesterday’s Tomorrow, and I found it to be a tough read, not one that I enjoyed greatly. Earlier this year I read, The Things We Knew, and although emotionally charged, it was really good.

Then I read, The Memory of You, and OH GOODNESS! This was a riveting story, that was emotionally charged, but so good. I loved the characters in this story. The heartaches they faced, their challenges, and their victories.

I have to be careful because I don’t want to give away the story, but it did have some surprises I didn’t see coming. And it dealt with a lot of issues that hit too many families, especially when it comes to a loss of a child.

Catherine West is another author I look forward to reading more by. She has the ability to write stories that touch deep emotions but they don’t leave you in a pit of despair.

Disclaimer:  I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, I was not required to give a review and the opinions here are my own.

Tour Giveaway

(1) Winner will win a gourmet gift basket + a signed copy of The Memory of You, courtesy of the author, Catherine West. (US mailing addresses only for the gift basket & print book prize. International winners will win a digital copy of the book.)
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