Book Review: When Death Draws Near

19 Aug

UnknownGwen 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?

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

 

CParks-387Carrie 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.
Find out more about Carrie at http://www.carriestuartparks.com.

 

My Impressions:

Have you ever encountered an author you immediately connected with? One whose writing sucks you in and keeps you enthralled until the last page? One whose characters touch something deep in your being? Well for me that is Carrie Stuart Parks. You see, I love suspense — the twists and turns, the peek-between-the fingers moments and the page-turning goodness. And when I find an author who combines all of that plus excellent writing, multi-layered characterization and a plot that really could happen, I am hooked. But when I find an author, such as Parks, who can relate spiritual truths seamlessly while giving me goosebumps, I am going to buy her books every time. All of that to say, When Death Draws Near is another winner! This one is highly recommended.

Gwen Marcey returns in the third book by Parks. When Death Draws Near finds Gwen way out of her comfort zone in the heart of rural, Appalachian Kentucky where accents, food and snake-handling worship are definitely foreign. Gwen is in Pikeville to help the local sheriff with a serial rapist case, but soon finds herself drawn into an investigation of mysterious deaths some attribute to the secretive practices of a Pentecostal congregation. Gwen must rely on her forensic skills as well as intuition and mamma-bear instincts to solve the case and save herself and her daughter.

When Death Draws Near is suspense at its best. With a determined investigator who draws upon deep reserves of courage and faith, this novel becomes a race against time for both the characters and the reader. I just could not put this one down! Gwen is a fascinating character. Intelligent and tenacious, she is also vulnerable in her dealings with ex-husband Richard and her struggle with breast cancer. Gwen does a great deal of wrestling with God as she doubts the effectiveness of prayer, but yet knows that’s all she’s got. I could really identify with that. The setting of the novel is perfect. Parks created a small town and culture that I could easily see. Her Southernisms were spot on and gave me a few chuckles. As in her other books, Parks’ subject matter involves a religious cult, but this time she adds a refreshing twist. And if you are a fan of CSI or Criminal Minds, you are going to love When Death Draws Near. Parks’ own expertise shines through. Believe me, the book is definitely better!

When Death Draws Near can be read as a standalone, but I recommend you travel with Gwen from the very beginning. Her character’s growth is the best part of the series. I impatiently await the next installment in the Gwen Marcey series.

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the publisher and LitFuse for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
A copy of When Death Draws Near
A $30 Michael’s or Hobby Lobby gift card (winner’s choice)
Colored pencils
A sharpener
A pencil case
An eraser
A coloring prayer book
A coloring notecard set
A lap desk

when-death-draws-near-collage
Enter today by clicking HERE, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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4 Responses to “Book Review: When Death Draws Near”

  1. Carrie August 19, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    absolutely agree! I hadn’t read Carrie’s books before this tour but I started with book 1 and kept going through book 3 – what a great series!! I’m very impatiently waiting for #4 now too 🙂

    Like

    • rbclibrary August 19, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      I “stumbled” upon her first novel over at Avid Readers FB page. I listened to the audiobook of that one. From then on I was hooked. I bet you will meet her at ACFW. Jealous!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carrie August 19, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        Ooo I need to add her book to my pile then! Yay!

        Like

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