An unsolved case. A tempest of memories. The future’s at stake—and time is running out…
Gwen Marcey has done a good job of keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?
No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, her ex-husband back home is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.
As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.
I’m a blogger with the Fiction Guild’s Elite Reader Program, and I am very fortunate to be able to receive a lot of books that my mother and I love to read. Today’s book, Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks was a first for me. I had never heard of Ms. Parks, and unfortunately, I didn’t realize this was book 4 in a series. Nonetheless, to this reader, it wasn’t an issue. I’m guessing that there was a plot carried throughout the other books that I may have missed, but I was able to read this book as a stand alone without feeling like I missed anything. In all likelihood, had I read books 1, 2 and 3, I would have had a more panoramic view of the story line.
Gwen Marcey is a single mother of a teenage daughter and a cancer survivor, whose ex-husband is threatening to take their daughter away from her. While on a probationary period with her new job as a forensic artist with the Interagency Major Crime Unit (IMCU), Gwen learns about a case of a missing four-year old girl after the murder of her parents in Lapwai, Idaho.
The Nez Perce Tribal Police in Lapwai, Idaho are looking for the killer. Because the case took place where she lived when she was little and sounded similar to her own background, Gwen requests being assigned to the case.
This assignment causes Gwen to step right into a trap to bring her “home” and to a man who was hurt by her so many years ago. Gwen is in a situation that only God can get her out of. We readers watch as Gwen pieces together her past and present so that she can determine exactly who she really is.
The journey to the truth proves to be a very hefty struggle as Gwen finds that many of the witnesses she relies on for information also have strong prejudices against Caucasian people. It takes little time for Gwen to see that she will need to tread very lightly while she’s working with the descendants of people involved in these painful moments within Native history.
As Gwen works this case, she begins having flashback memories from her own childhood. She begins to think that maybe what happened in her own past could be linked to what is going on in the case she is investigating. Gwen enlists the help of her best friend, Beth, and what they uncover leads them to believe the killer is someone Gwen knows and the killer seems to want Gwen to find out his or her true identity. As Gwen gets closer to the truth, more attempts on her life are made but she refuses to give up. Will her refusal end up costing Gwen her life?
In a very spectacular fashion, author Carrie Stuart Parks has written the perfect example of a crime novel with complicated characters mixed with intrigue and suspense. Bravo Ms. Parks! I can’t wait to go back and read books 1, 2 and 3 to fill in any blanks I don’t even know I have!
Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning, internationally known forensic artist. Over the past thirty-six years, she has worked on major criminal cases for such agencies as the FBI and ATF as well as numerous police and sheriff’s departments throughout the US. She is the author of over twenty books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Along with her artist-husband, Rick, a former visual information specialist for the FBI in Washington DC, they travel across the US and Canada teaching forensic art courses. They are the foremost instructor of forensic art in the world.
She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity. Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents, Ned and Evelyn Stuart, started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs as both an AKC judge and former president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. She lives on the same ranch she grew up on in Northern Idaho.
I received a paperback copy of this book without cost from the publisher through The Fiction Guild, a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan Elite Reader book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.