I tried another new-to-me author this weekend. Well, not exactly new-to-me. I know Nancy Mehl online through Suspense Sisters. I’m so grateful to her for bringing me in as the senior reviewer there.
But I had never read any of her books. Blew me away to learn she had published twenty-one! If they are all like her latest, Deadly Echoes, I can certainly understand why she has been so successful!
Here’s the short version of the story:
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.
“Feelings buried alive never die.” This statement, made by a supporting character, sets a theme for the entire story. Sarah has baggage most people can’t imagine. And now her precious niece is poised to gather the same burden. The trouble is, the secrets of the past are determined to remain just that.
I have to tell you that I don’t usually enjoy first person books, but this story was ideal for that point of view! The author was masterful in building this story with only one perspective. And to be honest, I can’t imagine it any other way.
There are many things I enjoyed in this book. I enjoyed the simple setting of the town of Sanctuary. I go for small towns in a big way! And this one has such character.
I also enjoyed the genuine relationship that developed between Sarah and Paul. Sweet and satisfying. Though the mystery and constant tension of the plot are extremely tasty!
But my favorite part of this book comes from deep spiritual lessons threaded throughout it. I love reading faith-driven fiction, and this book certainly fits that bill!
And as one of the characters says, “If you can’t find what you want in Sanctuary, it probably doesn’t exist.”
Your turn: What was the last book you read that surprised you?