When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

I’m not sure whether it was the plethora of romantic suspense novels I’ve read this month or the fact I was in the mood for something more light-hearted (mostly likely a combination of both of those), but I had a little bit of a difficult time getting into the book. First, let me point out that this is categorized as a mystery and suspense novel (not romantic suspense) and it is the third in the Gwen Marcey series by Carrie Stuart Parks.

when death draws near cover

All that said, I’m glad I stuck it out because once all of the characters were introduced and I knew all the players in the game, when Gwen Marcey had something at stake, the story really kicked into high gear.

When Forensic Artist Gwen Marcey takes a job in Kentucky to identify some remains for the local Sheriff’s department, she’s immersed in a much deeper conspiracy. With an unsub dubbed as the Hillybilly Rapist’s pattern evolves, she’s not sure who she can trust—even the Sheriff and his son are suspect. Then she’s asked to investigate a religious group with some strange practices—snake handling and ingesting poison—and her confusion grows deeper. Through everything, her foremost concern is the safety of her daughter. But will she be able to uncover the truth before she becomes the next victim?

What I appreciate about Gwen Marcey is that she struggles with her faith. Her life has not been easy (if you’ve read the either or both of the previous books, you’re already aware of her fight with breast cancer and how her marriage fell apart) and there are times she gets angry and quits talking to God. But her sense of justice makes her keep pushing to bring the truth to light in her cases, even when everything in her screams to stop, ignore it, return home where life is predictable and safe.

Overall, a good read that has a slow build up that is worth the outcome in the end.

***Booklook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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