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DEADLY ECHOES by NANCY MEHL REVIEWED

Deadly Echoes
By Nancy Mehl
Published Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-1158-4
324 Pages

Back Cover: After a youth filled with tragedy and upheaval, Sarah Miller's life is finally settled with all echoes of the past silent at last. She happily calls Sanctuary her home and spends her days teaching at the local school.

Sarah's joy at her recent reunion with her sister, Hannah, and meeting the niece she didn't know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed.

As she learns more about Hannah's death, the circumstances are eerily similar to their parents' murder. Sarah enlists Paul's help in digging deeper into the murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul's concern encourages Sarah's growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one person will do anything to hide--even if that means coming after the last remaining members of the Miller family.

REVIEW: Another nail biting story in the quit little town called Sanctuary; where people keep their secrets close to their chest. Sarah Miller has settled into this peaceful town after coming to grips with the death of her parents. She feels safe in Sanctuary…”it combined modern culture and the simplicity of its conservative Mennonite citizens with complete success. This was a special place, and everyone who lived there protected the spirit of this community with a quiet zeal. The town’s name was more than a label. It was a way of life for its residents, some of whom had come here because they were looking for a safe refuge from the past. Others because they were just looking for a simpler life.”

Sarah’s world starts to spin out of control when she learns of her sister Hannah’s murder. Startling is one glaring fact that is similar to the brutal murder of her parents 20 years ago. The connection is the rare flower petals sprinkled over the dead bodies of her sister and parents.

I was thankful that this author didn’t get too graphic about describing the crime scene in which Hannah and her parents were murdered. I’m a chicken and can’t even watch the crime scenes on T.V. The author tells enough for readers to feel the chill in the air and imagine the brutality that took place.

I was afraid for Sarah Miller because of how safe she felt in Sanctuary. She’s a trusting soul and was one of the many people in her small town that didn’t lock her doors. As the story developed I became jumpy and paranoid as a host of law enforcement characters weaved in and out of the Sarah’s life. I didn’t trust any of them. Sarah didn’t give it a second thought. I anxiously read through the pages of this fast paced story; I feared Sarah was going to be murdered any minute; abandoning Hannah’s daughter Cicely.

Well timed humor gave me a chance to breathe and relax in-between all the drama and suspense. This can be read as a stand along but I recommend you don’t This author does a great job of having the reader get to know Sanctuary and the colorful, fun characters in the first novel. You’d be missing out on them and how the events of the first story impacted the town and its people as they were thrust into the lime light by a breaking story happening in this cozy town.

This author does a great job of building suspense throughout the story that quickly grabs your attention and pulls you into Sarah’s world. This novel deals with tough issues murder, taking care of newly orphaned child in a believable way. Written in first person through Sarah’s eyes. I found it hard to read in parts. I have a few friends that have had loved ones murdered in horrific ways and justice escaped their families just like Sarah’s.

I highly recommend this for a good read. It would make a great book club pick as it’s a captivating complex story I was all caught up in. There is so much to talk about. There is a good balance of suspense, mystery, spiritual thread, with a hint of romance and a surprising ending.  Looking forward to where this author takes me next. You will be too.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

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