About the Book:
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.
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“Don’t trust anyone…Anyone. Do you understand?” (p. 156)
The character that spoke these word to Gwen Marcey spoke them as he held her at gunpoint. He was pretty desperate for her to understand his warning! Sadly, at this point, Gwen almost believes she has come to a place of safety. Little does she know!!
This book tells a great suspense tale that will keep the pages turning at a frantic pace!! But there is a deeper, more thoughtful layer to this story if you will stop and read its underlying truth. In this story, people are desperate to keep their true selves hidden behind the mask of acceptance and comfort, all the while judging others’ lives and faith from a position of a false sense of superiority. Wounded people really do wound others, and in this story, some lose their lives because of these wounds. There are scenes and characters who find themselves lost within the maze of these walking wounded.
I found myself wrongly judging others by the time I got to the end of this story. That was an unexpected revelation. I also found myself relieved and surprised by God’s amazing goodness poured out upon the lives of some of the characters. It should have been a firm confidence builder instead of a pleasant surprise. In other words, I never expected to have spiritual revelation about my own wounds as I read a suspense novel!! God is so good to get my attention that way!!
I hope you pick up this book and enjoy the tale! I hope you enjoy the thrill ride of suspense!! But more than that, I pray that you will come to these pages expecting God to speak! He will! And you will be amazed!!
About the Author:
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.