When Death Draws Near

When Death Draws NearWhen Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks
Series: Gwen Marcey
Genres: Crime, Mystery, Suspense
Published by Thomas Nelson on August 2, 2016
Pages: 336
Also in this series: The Bones Will Speak
Also by this author: The Bones Will Speak

 

About When Death Draws Near (from the back cover):
Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she’s faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. 

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the “accidental” deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her there, Gwen turn her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity there—a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren’t the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself? 

In a thrilling race against time, When Death Draws Near plunges us into cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects.

I discovered Carrie Stuart Parks last year when I read her second book, The Bones Will Speak.  I found the criminal investigation fascinating and loved the main character, Gwen Marcey.  So as soon as I saw When Death Draws Near on NetGalley, I grabbed it up and settled in for another fun mystery.

Gwen has a the ‘Murphy’s Law syndrome’ similar to Sibella Giorella’s Raleigh Harmon and the humorous internal thoughts often voiced by Cynthia Ruchti’s heroines.

Gwen is an absolutely adorable character.  She has a the ‘Murphy’s Law syndrome’ similar to Sibella Giorella’s Raleigh Harmon and the humorous internal thoughts often voiced by Cynthia Ruchti’s heroines.  Add to these qualities, a humble personality that doesn’t realize her own strength and Gwen is one of my favorite crime solving fictional characters.  She’s a strong personality that just begs the reader to hug her and cheer her on as she seeks answers for victims and their families.  In this book, to compliment Gwen, Carrie also introduced an intriguing new character in Blake.  I’m liking where this could be headed. 🙂

The investigative part of When Death Draws Near feels very authentic.

There is a certain amount of cringyness to this story.  I have a massive phobia of snakes….as in someone else must take my kids into the reptile house kind of phobia.  However, I found the snake handling part of this book utterly fascinating even if I did have to rub the chill bumps off my arms at times.  Carrie did a fabulous job of handling this part of the book.  She presented both sides to the argument concerning the legality of snake handling and let the reader draw their own conclusions.  Her restraint in withholding personal judgement allows the story to flow naturally instead of being weighed down with opinion.

The investigative part of When Death Draws Near feels very authentic.  It’s obvious that Carrie has spent years working with law enforcement personnel and applies that knowledge to her fiction.  However, there are some non-investigative parts that are a little less realistic and more escapist in nature.  While I realize these scenes might bother some readers, I was willing to suspend disbelief and go with the story.  It was quite fun that way.  😀

I think it’s safe to say that Carrie has made a new fan.

I think it’s safe to say that Carrie has made a new fan.  I love Gwen’s forensic artist and people reading skills; they add a fun dimension to this series.  I like how the mystery is incorporated into Gwen’s personal life and the overall fun nature of the story.  When Death Draws Near is an excellent addition to the Gwen Marcey series and a book I highly recommend for an end of summer vacation read.

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