In the shadow of the Mormon church, a 19th-century conspiracy is about to be shattered by a 21st-century forensic artist. In 1857, a wagon train in Utah was assaulted by a group of militant Mormons calling themselves the Avenging Angels. One hundred and forty people were murdered, including unarmed men, women, and children. The Mountain Meadows Massacre remains controversial to this day–but the truth may be written on the skulls of the victims. When renowned forensic artist Gwen Marcey is recruited to reconstruct the faces of recently unearthed victims at Mountain Meadows, she isn’t expecting more than an interesting gig . . . and a break from her own hectic life. But when Gwen stumbles on the ritualized murder of a young college student, her work on the massacre takes on a terrifying new aspect, and research quickly becomes a race against modern-day fundamentalist terror. As evidence of a cover-up mounts–a cover-up spanning the entire history of the Mormon church–Gwen finds herself in the crosshairs of a secret society bent on fulfilling prophecy and revenging old wrongs. Can a forensic artist reconstruct two centuries of suppressed history . . . before it repeats itself?
Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.
I now have a new must-read author! A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks is an excellent edition to the suspense genre. With a flawed, but relatable major character, well-drawn secondary characters and well-researched and detailed plot, this novel kept me listening, to the detriment of all else pending in my life! I could not get enough of Gwen Marcey!
Gwen Marcey is a forensic artist working on a reconstruction for the site of a mid-1800s Mormon massacre in Utah. It soon becomes apparent that her re-creation of one of the victims has triggered the interest of a number of groups — anti-Mormon activists and fundamental religionists. Gwen is soon plunged into a race to find out who is behind the murders and uncover a far reaching conspiracy. And while her personal life may be a little (ok, a lot) messy, she is at that top of her game professionally as she races the clock.
Gwen is a wonderful character. Parks has given her an impeccable professional background that has been impacted by a messy divorce with all its fall out and a battle with breast cancer. Recovery seems to be around the corner, until she is faced with a rebellious teenager, unforgiveness towards her ex-husband and a ruthless fundamentalist group determined to trigger an apocalypse. Gwen is resourceful and determined and becomes a mama bear when her daughter is in danger. The plot of conspiracies surrounding the Mormon church and fringe and splinter groups is intriguing and touched on a part of history I was not aware of. I was kept on the edge of my seat, while trying to guess just who was behind it all.
The audiobook version was very well done and the narrator did a good job with just the right amount of emotion mixed in.
All in all a great first book from another talented author. I am eager to read more! The Bones Will Speak has just released. Yay!
(I purchased the audio version from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)