Sunday, August 7, 2016

When Death Draws Near

Happy Sunday!  I hope all of you are having a superb Sunday.  It has continued to rain in my area (all night).  Soon I will need a boat to navigate my front yard.  If you enjoy suspense novels, I highly recommend Angela Marsons' Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller series.  There are currently four books in the series and they are excellent.  Kim Stone is a complex character and the mysteries have more turns than licorice twists.

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks is the third A Gwen Marcey Novel.  Gwen Marcey is a forensic artist and her latest job takes her to Pikeville, Kentucky.  Gwen was hired to help with their serial rapist case.  The latest victim, Shelby Lee, is in the hospital, and Gwen cannot speak with her until the next day.  While she waits, Gwen helps Sheriff Clayton Reed by doing a sketch of a John Doe in their morgue (he needs identification).  Unfortunately, Gwen does not get a chance to speak with the victim, Shelby Lee.  She disappeared from the hospital overnight and has left town just like all the other victims and their families. What is going on?  Gwen is staying at a local motel where she meets Ina Jo Cummings, who mans the front desk (and her baby). Gwen goes into the lobby one evening, and Ina Jo is not there, but the baby is and crying.  Gwen contacts the police.  Ina Jo is the latest victim of the Hillbilly Rapist (as the press of dubbed him).  After Gwen is almost run over by car and then finds a rattler in bed, she moves to Campbell house.   Arless Campbell is a state senator and the local buzz states he is getting ready to cast his hat in the ring for President.  When they hear that Gwen connected with John Doe’s (Samuel Adkins) parents (Elijah and Ruby Adkins), Arless and Blanche see an opportunity for Gwen to help with another case.   There is an underground church that uses snakes in their service (can you imagine)!  They belong to Church of the Lord Jesus Christ with Signs Following.  Arless had gotten legislature passed to make it illegal (the snakes).  They feel that Gwen is their best chance for them to get someone on the inside.  Gwen agrees but then she finds out that her daughter, Aynslee (15) is coming (ex-husband, Robert has an emergency with new wife’s family).  Gwen and Aynslee goes to Samuel’s funeral and get invited to the church’s revival.  Their adventure is just beginning.   Join Gwen in When Death Draws Near.

When Death Draws Near contains good writing and has a good pace.  It was interesting to read about Gwen’s job as a forensic artist.  This is the second book in the series, but it can easily be read alone (the author brings the reader up-to date).  The mystery is very complex and full of surprises.  The only annoying thing for me was Gwen’s self-doubt and questioning herself through other people’s eyes (she imagines what they will say).  I took to skimming through those areas.  I give When Death Draws Near 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  I tried to summarize When Death Draws Near, but it is a complicated book.  There is quite a bit going on in the novel.  Be warned that snakes are mentioned in this book (with descriptions).  I have to admit that I cannot stand snakes (they give me the creepies and nightmares).  When Death Draws Near is a Christian mystery novel, but it is light on the Christian element.  I will definitely be reading the next book in A Gwen Marcey Novel series.

The other two novels in A Gwen Marcey Novel series are A Cry from the Dust and The Bones Will Speak.  I believe When Death Draws Near is the best book in the series.  I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

I am off to feed my children their dinner (the cats and dogs). May all of you have a delightful evening.  Make sure to take time for yourself today. All of us need a little quiet time (I know I do or I get snippy).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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