Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks (Review)

Portrait of Vengeance Carrie Stuart Parks

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An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out…

Gwen Marcey has done a good job of keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, her ex-husband back home is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.



Unless you live or have lived in the Pacific Northwest, you probably haven’t heard of or been to the small Idaho towns where Carrie Stuart Parks’ fourth Gwen Marcey novel is set. For those of us who do know or have been to towns such as Lapwai, Orofino, or Kamiah, it’s a pleasant surprise to run across them in a story.

What was even more enjoyable about this story was the mystery around Gwen Marcey’s past. In Portrait of Vengeance, Gwen has a probationary position with a new task force and delves into a case of a double homicide with a missing four-year-old. The similarities to what happened to her were too much coincidence for her to leave alone.

I love this character’s sense of humor, her relationship with her best friend, and the fact she doubts herself where her personal life is concerned. She’s usually got it together professionally but when the personal bleeds into her job, it’s hard for her to keep it together. The behind-the-investigation scenes are interesting and engaging, but it’s Gwen’s journey that made this book an emotional and enjoyable read.

My Rating:

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. 

The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks

bones will speak cover

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is shocked when she finds her dog playing with a skull. One that is obviously human. After calling the police, she follows the dog to the location he found the skull. Once at in the area, Gwen finds a young girl who looks like her own daughter barely alive in an abandoned cabin. As she works with the police to figure out what is going on and they discover more bodies, they know they are now searching for a serial killer. At first, the only link between the dead girls is their resemblance to Gwen’s daughter.

With a little digging, Gwen is able to link the murders to a race-hating group, one that does not tolerate people inferior to them or people who betrayed them. People like Gwen whose drawings of potential bombing suspects led to two deaths and an arrest of member of the neo-Nazi group. Someone has a grudge and they want Gwen to pay.

Fast paced and intriguing, this book held my interest from page one. While a little vulnerable from past sickness and experiences, Gwen is whip-smart and likable. She’s a good mother and friend even though she’s struggling to make a living for herself and her daughter. The book kept me guessing as to who the killer was. I waffled between three and four suspects until he was revealed near the end of the book, which is a feat in itself as so often you know who is behind everything right away. The action sequences in the book, especially the one near the end, kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Bones Will Speak is the second Gwen Marcey novel by Carrie Stuart Park. While it was the first one I read, it definitely will not be the last one. Parks’ experience with police investigations and procedures is evident in the details of her story. Fans of Terri Blackstock, Dee Henderson, and Brandilyn Collins will enjoy the Gwen Marcey series.

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