When Death Draws Near / by Carrie Stuart Parks. (A Gwen Marcey novel) 1.19.2018

Thomas Nelson ISBN 978140690472

Adult Rating: 4

In When Death Draws Near Gwen Marcey, a forensic artist, has taken a job in Kentucky under the apathetic eye of Sheriff Clay. Gwen is determined not to focus on the possibility of her cancer returning, how she’ll pay for its treatment, or her daughter’s future education, so she plunges into the job. Regardless of the near hit-and-run or the snake placed in her bed, Gwen is resolved to unravel the thread that ties together a serial rapist, a promising presidential hopeful, mysterious deaths, vanishing witnesses, and an illegal serpent-handling church. Gwen’s faith in answered prayer will be repeatedly tested. Will she hear God’s answer?

Moving at a quick easy pace, Parks allows the reader to sink under a cloud of entertainment, implying a sense of escape while lost in the fictional tale. The coiled labyrinth of motives emerging from characters leaves the longed-for feeling of justice bestowed on the villain overshadowed by unmet expectations.

Cicely K. Ben, CLJ

Earlier Series Title Reviewed:  A Cry from the Dust (Jan/Feb 2016); The Bones Will Speak (Jan/Feb/Mar 2017).