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Another great novel by Mrs. Parks--I just wish it wasn't over! The suspense, the mystery, and a tad bit of romance really worked for me. Some interesting moments for my favorite, realistic protagonist while she's trying to figure things out--the cougar scene was intense! It may be that Portrait of Vengeance is the last book of this series, but I sure hope not!!
I downloaded this just a few days ago and simply couldn't put it down! A truly amazing story of courage and perseverance and even although written as a novel it contained so much historic yet current elements within the story. As for Gwen Marcey - one amazing character.
If you’re looking for a fast moving, edge of the seat, suck in a breath (it might be your last) thrill ride - then this book might just be for you.
I haven’t had a chance to read the preceding titles in the Gwen Marcey series but this still worked just as well as a stand alone - although judging from the quality of this one, it won’t be long before I pick up the previous books. It was that good.
Forensic artist (not a vocation you see in many books) Gwen Marcey volunteers to assist local law enforcement to apprehend a potential serial killer who murdered the parents of a small girl and then appears to have kidnaped her following the murders. Add to that the fact that he used an axe to do it and you can imagine the scene only too well.
Journeying to the small town and seeing many similarities to her own history, Marcey immediately feels like the outsider that she is and unwelcome at that. But the dishy police chief may make it a little more tolerable.
Portrait of Vengeance may at first glance look like a cozy mystery but it soon morphs into something much more dramatic and horrific without become macabre. There were several instances of “Oh my!!!” - wasn’t expecting that at all and did that JUST HAPPENED???
If you love to be surprised and to find a book that makes putting it down simply impossible then look no further.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of the Thomas Nelson/ Zondervan Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
That was another roller coaster ride, thanks to Carrie Stuart Parks! I have to stop reading Carrie's books late at night! This one kept me awake like the rest of the Gwen Marcey series.
A master at developing original crime scenes and creative plots, Portrait of Vengeance was no disappointment. Descriptive, suspense filled and poignant, there is no guessing who Gwen can trust. With her best friend and her Great Pyrenees (a bear of a dog) along for the ride, there isn't a dull moment.
I have been waiting for this newest novel by this author, and I can't wait for her next release! If you love a fast pace and suspense filled action you need to read not only Portrait of Vengeance, but the entire Gwen Marcey series!
Carrie Stuart Parks gives outsiders a fascinating introduction to a forgotten corner of northern Idaho and Nez Pierce Indian Tribal life in Book Four of the Gwen Macey series. Like the author herself, heroine Gwen is a forensic artist with years of experience in reconstructing crime scenes and drawing composites of bad guys and their victims.
That strong grasp and deep knowledge of the central character's skills and thought processes gives the whole series a sharp, fresh, reality that keeps the reader turning the pages.
When the story opens Gwen's life is challenging on all fronts. The turbulence includes recovering from a double mastectomy, handling a divorce and the contested custody for her teenage daughter, and uncertainty about how job security.
When Gwen is sent to Lapwai, center of government for the Nez Pierce, after the parents of a four year old are found butchered in their home,and their child still missing, she is assailed by personal self doubt and emotional insecurity prompted by a sense of personal failure over the collapse of her marriage.
It soon becomes clear the case sets off a tsunami of nightmarish recollections from her own childhood, and the story unfolds at a fast pace from there, with multiple other deaths, several attacks on Gwen's life, and the resurfacing of still-smouldering grievances from the 1970s and the activities of the American Independence Movement (AIM) all part of a tumultuous story line.
In a postscript Carrie Stuart Parks explains that she wrote the book at the suggestion of her husband Rick, who was fascinated with the Nez Pierce and had some connection with the prosecution case against Leonard Peltier, a native American activist convicted of gunning down two FBI officers in the 1970s whose case has been taken up by Amnesty International. Yes, all true.
In common with other books in the Gwen Macey series, this sense of past history is a key element in the story that develops, giving it a dimension beyond that of a straight crime thriller. The other element is, of course, the Christian sub text, which is present but never obstructs or bogs down the fast pace of the story telling.
I really enjoyed this very skillful interweaving of the key threads - Gwen's personal story, the case she is working on, and the wider social and historical setting - into the final work.
Gwen is a fallible, sometimes infuriating, but very real protagonist, plagued with the self doubt and questioning we all sometimes engage in, and the relationship with her best friend Beth provides a good foil to her negative self talk. I especially enjoyed the rapid fire dialogue these two engage in, as well as Beth's quirky habit of "vocabulary expansion" and the crazily detailed ways Gwen describes colors, her artist's eye discerning the many permutations of "blue" or "green."
All this to say Portrait of Vengeance is a strong addition to the Gwen Macey series, Offering enthralling suspense, a frantic reach of story lines, and a compelling narrative. Do one or two of the final resolutions challenge belief? Yes, maybe, but in the interests of "no spoilers" I'll leave you to decide that for yourself. Getting there will be an entertaining and thought provoking ride into modern story telling.
Gwen Marcey always takes us on harrowing adventures and this book did not disappoint! I loved getting to delve into Gwen’s past. It took many twists and turns that I did not expect. I am thankful she was able to find resolution to her questions.
While we knew the danger she was in as she worked on the case, I did not see the danger stemming from her parents death coming. What an unexpected turn of events! You realize the strength Gwen has as she battles through all the adversity thrown at her.
Mrs. Parks gives us edge of your seat suspense with her Gwen Marcey books! I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
I saved this book for my solo autumn retreat on the shores of Lake Huron, in Tobermory, Ontario. What a treat! As always, Carrie's writing did not disappoint. I found myself entirely wound up during the plane scene. It was as if Carrie had had the experience before.
This book does not flagg in movement from beginning to end.
Wonderful job, Carrie. I look forward to reading more from you.