Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

This is the fourth of the Gwen Marcey novels penned by Carrie Stuart Parks. Now, you don't have to read these in order. But for me, coming in at the fourth novel I can't help but wonder if beginning with the first if it would have made it even more enjoyable. 

So, what's cool? Carrie Stuart Parks was mentored by Frank Peretti. That alone intrigues me. Also, Parks has a great knowledge about what she's writing since she is a forensic artist. She didn't begin her writing career until diagnosed with breast cancer. You just gotta love how God works in the hearts of His people! 

This is a fast paced read. Right off the bat we are off on a mystery and it is one that the reader is glued to because Parks does a great job at allowing the reader to connect to the characters.

The story-line is fascinating. I love when two stories come together as one. Parks brings the past to the present as Marcey is heading out for a case with the feeling it has something to do with a past case that is very close to her. All these years it has gone unsolved, but has never left her. Now she is facing the past head on and this brings the reader to really appreciate this character and all she has endured. 

What elements I really enjoy? Marcey is off to an area where she is an outsider. She doesn't receive that warm welcome, but yet that doesn't shatter her. It gives her more strength to push ahead. This is a women who seems so tough, but she has some inner wounds that I'm not even sure she realizes she has until she is right here in this precise moment fighting to solve a mystery and to bring evil to a standstill. 

Gwen has lived her life trying to protect her heart. Divorced. She has a teenage child, but she lives with her dad. Gwen hasn't really been great with relationships. She tends to push people out of her life. She feels unworthy of love, but somehow kind of walks through life with an attitude that she doesn't need people. Here in the depth of this wild country she comes to see that she does need people. I love seeing this woman grow into knowing her true self. That's a special moment when we realize all we have been missing. 

I am now intrigued to check out the other Gwen Marcey novels. I think in doing so, in going back, I will come to understand even more about this woman who is such a truthseeker. Maybe that's the thing I love the most. She is daily on the hunt for truth, wanting to unveil answers so she can uncover the ugly to get to where it is possible to change the course of prevailing evil, she buries down deep the truths of her own life.

Parks is great at detail and giving the reader just enough so that you must keep turning pages! Yes, if you enjoy a great mystery, I encourage you to check out the Gwen Marcey novels!! 

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. She teaches forensic art courses to law enforcement professionals and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing. Carrie began to write fiction while battling breast cancer and was mentored by New York Times bestselling author Frank Peretti. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling with cancer. 


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