When Death Draws Near (Thomas Nelson, August 2016)
Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.
Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.
Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.
Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.
Carrie 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.
My Take: This book is part of a series but you can read it as a stand alone. The main character Gwen is a forensic artist. She is good at listening to victims and drawing pictures of criminals from her interviews. She takes a job in Kentucky to draw a picture of a serial rapists but the last victim soon disappears as the other victims did. The sheriff then asks Gwen to go undercover and find out if any illegal activites are going on in a church that handle snakes as part of their practices. Gwen finds out two pieces of information that will have an effect of her life.
This book is a good book as it has a creepy feel to it and the mystery is one that had me stumped until the end. page turner and fast paced but savor it if you can.
I received a review copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.