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Carrie Stuart Parks offers up another enjoyable novel with her latest, "When Death Draws Near", a book that kept me turning the pages from start to finish. I have greatly enjoyed watching Gwen in her job of forensic artist in the first two instalments in the series, so I was glad to see her return in a whole different kind of mystery as she goes undercover with a group of snake handlers! Gwen is one of those characters who you just can't get enough of, as she shows herself to be so strong in the face of challenges that may force someone else into just giving up. And I must confess to a bit of character envy, because I wish I could draw with the same skill that Gwen employs in her work with her fantastic memory for faces and her ability to bring them to life. Parks has definitely ratcheted up the "chill factor" in this suspense novel to a whole new level, and I was kept guessing throughout the book trying to figure out who was who and what, exactly, was going on. My only hesitation about the novel is that Gwen ends up choosing to take her daughter undercover with her into a cult where danger abounds. As a parent myself I simply can't imagine doing so, no matter how much I felt I had no other choice. At the same time, though, she shows us that we should never judge people just by what we think we know about them, as readers discover that the members of the cult are all too human, wrestling with their fears and doubts, just like any of us can do.
The Gwen Marcey series continues to fascinate me with its unique characters and well-written plots. "When Death Draws Near" is another solid addition to the series and one I am sure readers who enjoy suspense will be eager to add to their collection. I award this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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