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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I will state that this is the first Gwen Marcey Novel that I have read, but it sure won’t be the last.
As this book opens we are with Gwen, a forensic artist, as she has accepted a temporary job of helping the local police find a serial rapist. She gets a rather cold shoulder from the police when she arrives, but why, and why does she keep feeling that the Chief is involved.
The reason she is here quickly changes from the rapist to deaths by snakes, and an underground religion, quite a change, and just as she is accepting this new assignment, she gets news her teen age daughter is being sent to join her, and the doctor’s office lets her know her cancer has returned.
If you like mystery and suspense and one gutsy main character, boy is this book for you. I had pictures of the energizer rabbit, this girl with all her medical problems, is one tough cookie, and you will be amazed at what she is capable of doing.
The other shoe is about to drop and you won’t put this one down until the last page is turned, and then you will be wondering how you missed the clues.
I received this book through Litfuse Blogger Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.