Friday, November 13, 2015

Nancy Mehl's "Rising Darkness"

Rising DarknessIn the third Finding Sanctuary suspense, Sophie Wittenbauer, following lead that might break open her investigative reporting career, finds herself confronting her Mennonite past--in more ways than one. Not only is she searching for a long-missing murderer in a town founded by Mennonites, but Jonathon Wiese, a young man from her hometown who knows her disgraceful past, now resides in the Sanctuary. Will she have a chance to ferret out the murderer before her cover is completely blown? Or will her ambition be her doom?

I was a bit slow on the uptake, given that it's been a couple years, but I eventually realized that this book has close ties to Mehl's Road to Kingdom series, especially the novel Unbreakable. I like that Sophie and Jonathon are given a second chance at healing and happiness. It isn't necessary to read the earlier books or Road to Kingdom series, but if you want the complete backstory, that would be the way to go.

Within two chapters I was squirming from all the lies piling up. I read books; I know how it goes: truth will out, every time, and it will not go well when it does. However, Mehl's revealing of the truth proved less painful than I expected--quite a relief. I didn't really like Sophie at first--mostly because of her love of ambition over people--but she grows a lot as she is forced to confront that ambition, her fears, and her past. And once one uncovers more of her backstory, it makes it clear just how much she has to overcome.

I thought this quote to be insightful: "Every human being on the face of the planet makes a daily choice to trust. Life doesn't really encourage it, you know." (location 132/153) No, life does not make it easy to trust, but that's where faith steps in.

I'm anti-voluntary villain confessions, but otherwise I liked the ending--I think it finishes on just the right note. A good mystery/suspense.

Thank you Bethany House and NetGalley for an e-copy to review; I was not required to make the review positive, and all opinions are my own.

Finding Sanctuary
1. Gathering Shadows
2. Deadly Echoes
3. Rising Darkness 

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