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Friday, September 4, 2015

Carrie Stuart Parks: The Bones Will Speak

By Kelly Bridgewater

From Amazon
Back Cover Copy:

A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.

My Thoughts:

I love books that have a synopsis that mentions a serial killer. I know that sounds morbid, but that means that the body count will be high and that there should be plenty of action written in the story to capture my attention. In Carrie Stuart Parks second novel, The Bones Will Speak, Parks does exactly what I wanted. She is a great fit for the suspense genre.

Since Gwen Marcey is a forensics expert who reconstructs faces from the victim’s memory or from a skull, the story gripped my attention from the first chapter. I liked how Gwen’s dog found the skull and brought it home to her. This sparked Gwen’s thirst for a mystery. And mine. I couldn’t wait to turn the pages and find out who the killer was and who the skull belonged to. The story never lagged. Parks did a great job at keeping my attention, even though I did figure out who the killer was pretty early on. I still kept flipping the pages, glued to the action to prove that I was right or wrong.

Gwen is a newly divorced woman who recently surpassed breast cancer. While trying to raise her daughter and living with the struggles of paying her bills, Gwen comes across mysteries, needing her expert opinion to solve the case. Gwen is the typical mother that too many women today can relate too. She wants to be a good mother and shelter her daughter from the horrors of her daily job, but she also wants to allow her daughter to have some freedom. The never-ending struggle consumes her thoughts and life.

The writing is written with close attention to the colors and details of the surroundings. Parks does a good job at allowing the readers to follow the first person point of view of an artist. I really enjoyed how Parks invites the reader into Gwen’s stream of concinsous to solve the murders. I understood every move that Gwen made and followed closely, wanting to be proved that the killer was who I thought it was.

Another aspect was Parks’ research into the Phineas Priesthood. It enhanced the story, not detract from it. I really enjoyed reading and learning about the inner workings and beliefs of this Priesthood, but I did not feel like I was reading it from a textbook. It was enjoyable. Parks voice floated from the page, creating an enthralling tale of history mixed with suspense, not taking away from the movement of the plot.

The tension of the serial killer filled the pages. There was no romantic tension. The whole story centered on Gwen and the serial killer who is targeting her with the victims who look like her fourteen-year-old daughter. Every time I thought Parks would slow down the action, it would escalate and make me want to read faster to keep up with Gwen as she ran for her life, protecting her daughter.

Parks really did not mention God a lot. There were references to Bible verses and how Jezebel died, but nothing that would overwhelm fans of the ABA market. On the same vein, there really was no questionable content to flinch from. As an avid reader of suspense, thrillers, and mysteries, it holds about the same amount of violence, but nothing cringeful or distasteful. The Bones will speak is an original story with a predictable villain, at least for me. But I truly enjoyed the twists and turns. Fans of Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason would love the story. I truly loved The Bones will Speak and can’t wait to see what else Carrie Stuart Parks puts out next.

Always thrilling, Carrie Stuart Parks’ latest suspense novel The Bones will Speak will grip readers with a relatable heroine who struggles with her daily life, but the non-stop action will keep readers glued to the page, begging for another book from Parks.

****   This review first appeared on BookTalk where I am a regular reviewer.  **** 

Carrie Stuart Parks
From Amazon  I Love this picture!!
Carrie Stuart Parks' Writing Bio:

Carrie Stuart Parks and Rick Parks met in the romantic hallways of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. They married in nineteen eighty-nine and formed a dynamic and successful team in their fine and forensic art, working on major national and international cases and creating exquisite watercolors and stone carvings. They travel internationally, teaching forensic art to a variety of participants: from the Secret Service to the FBI, from large law enforcement agencies to the smallest two-man departments in their one-week classes. They welcome civilian artists to attend their courses as well. Carrie has won numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence and is a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society. Rick has received national recognition for his exquisite art placed on musical instruments.
Carrie began her fiction writing career while battling breast cancer. Mentored by NY Times bestselling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie's debut novel garnered immediate interest by major publishing houses and landed her a three book deal at HarperCollins Christian.

Where to connect with Carrie Stuart Parks:

Where to purchase The Bones Will Speak:
Your Local Favorite Bookstore

What aspect of a book mentioning a serial killer captures your attention?  

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