Gathering Shadows

Gathering Shadows

by Nancy Mehl


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764211577
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Series: Finding Sanctuary Series , #1
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 279,737
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Nancy Mehl is the author of 15 books and received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Wichita, Kansas, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. Learn more at

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Gathering Shadows 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, fantastic plot, enjoyed immensely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I appreciated all the suspense. If you want a refreshing book to read, its right here. Love. Love. Love.
SJT22 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story. I always find anything about the Amish or people like them very interesting in this day in age, and my heart went out to the child in the story that disappeared and the family that lost him.
Anonymous 8 months ago
You feel like you are right in the middle of small town living life along side the characters.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
GATHERING SHADOWS is the first book in the Finding Sanctuary series which I unintentionally read out of order. The other two books are: Deadly Echoes and Rising Darkness. The books do stand alone, but fans will likely want to read them in order as there are some continuing characters. I enjoyed getting to know Wynter and Reuben. Zac and the older lady, Esther, they were staying with made for great secondary characters. I really fell in love with Zac. Even though I knew the formula for romantic suspense and knew the obvious suspect wasn't it, I was surprised when the real villain was revealed--although I did have some inklings close to the end. I hoped Wynter would find her brother, and that her family would work out all their problems. Fans of romantic suspense, and those who love plain fiction (though this book is not Amish, it is Mennonite) will devour this series. Ms. Mehl is a very talented romantic suspense author and I've read almost all her books (though obviously I have to go back and get some I missed earlier. A great read. Don't miss GATHERING SHADOWS. (no disclaimer is needed for this book)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book very much. Didn't guess the villian until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Wynter Evans wasn’t her birth name. It was the name she chose and she used it on the air much as an author might have a pen name. Wynter was a local television news reporter, sent to do a story on unique Missouri towns with photographer Zac, who clearly didn’t want to be there. She had decided to include the small, primarily Mennonite community called Sanctuary because of a young Mennonite man that was in a photo that her co-worker Megan’s mother had taken. It wasn’t just any young man; he looked like an older version of her brother Ryan who had disappeared when he was 7, more than ten years prior. Even though the killer had never confessed to Ryan’s murder, the police had chosen to believe that Ryan was one of the young children who had been kidnapped and murdered about the time he was taken. After all these years, Wynter still hopes to be reunited with Ryan. After Ryan’s disappearance, her family had fallen apart – her parents divorcing, her father remarried and her mother becoming a shadow of her former self. At the last minute, the boss called and told her to bypass Sanctuary because some of the people there didn’t want to be filmed. Choosing to ignore Ed’s voicemessage, Wynter proceeded to the little town. The librarian who was previously enthusiastic about the visit now said that not only did the Mennonites prefer to not be filmed, but there were others who had moved there for privacy. Reuben, a man acting as “honorary” mayor (as much as was acceptable to the Old Order Mennonites) asked her to not take photos or films of anyone without their permission, which Wynter agreed to. He then assisted them in finding a place to stay with Esther, an older widow whose children had moved out. So begins the story – one in which two of the primary characters, Wynter and Zac, are not believers in Christ. One of Esther’s “conditions” for those who stayed in her home was that they attend services with her on Sunday. She told Wynter that she would pray for her situation with her brother. Threats begin to come to Wynter to get out of town. Photos put out by her station that she didn’t have take – but had been taken by her phone when she was out to dinner. Then a man was found murdered, and she was considered a person of interest. I very much enjoyed this novel! Nancy Mehl is an accomplished author who can write a great novel of suspense as well as a woman whose Christian maturity shines through her characters. She writes of those who don’t yet believe with understanding, and her characters who do believe in Jesus are wise and discerning. Gathering Shadows is a terrific first novel in her Finding Sanctuary series, and already it is clear that this new series is even better than the previous books of Nancy Mehl’s that I’ve read. I highly recommend this novel to older teens and women of any age who appreciate a good novel of romantic suspense with plot twists and challenges to the reader. Those who like reading about the small Mennonite communities as found throughout the US will definitely enjoy this series. This book was purchased by me and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All opinions are solely mine.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Gathering Shadows is built on such an interesting premise. The possibility that an abducted child could have been hidden away in an Old Order Mennonite family for ten years caught my attention and I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. The story started out at a slow and steady pace as Wynter began making contacts and gathering information. I liked how we learned a little bit here and there from Wynter, and eventually from her father, about the details of Ryan’s abduction and of other interesting information from their family life. Every piece of knowledge the author allowed the reader to discover helped me to slowly place the pieces of this puzzle together. There is light romance in the novel between Wynter and the honorary mayor of Sanctuary, Reuben King. However, their romance, although sweet, blossomed rather quickly and was not the driving force in the story for me. As I passed the halfway point in the book, the action and suspense in the story began to pick up and the romance began to feel like a good fit to me. I believe that the times of danger and trial could help two people, such as Wynter and Reuben, realize their feelings for each other very quickly. I really enjoyed this story from start to finish and have to admit that for the last quarter of the book, I could not set it down! The author did a great job of creating a suspenseful story that kept me guessing over portions of the mystery until the very end. I was able to piece together part of what might have happened to Wynter’s brother, but only in the last couple of chapters were all of my questions answered, and they were answered in a very fulfilling way. I definitely look forward to reading more books in the Finding Sanctuary series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first, it took me a while to get going with this novel because it's in first person, my least favorite. And I was not aware that the setting was in a Mennonite town, my least favorite setting, as well. I don't know why I was surprised. Nancy's other books are in Amish/Mennonite settings. Maybe it was because the cover and the back cover copy didn't reveal it. Nevertheless, Nancy has a nice writing style so it was easy to enjoy this book. Once I got my footing, I delved in. Wynter, the heroine, is searching for her missing brother, who has been missing for ten years. She's a reporter and is using her current story angle as a way to get into this Mennonite town to find him. It was easy to cheer Wynter on in her quest and to feel her angst.  The people there all seem to have some sort of secret and are possibly running from something they've done illegally, and I found it a bit weird that this religious town, Sanctuary, would be so full of people like this. I didn't know who to trust. But that actually increased the tension for me. Since this was a mystery, that's a good thing.  I liked the spiritual transformation that Wynter and her photographer, Zac, went through. They had already had a knowledge and belief in Jesus but had both strayed away from the faith because of the trials they'd encountered in life. So this was a different type of spiritual transformation than you'd see in a non-believer.  I had hoped that the romantic element would have included Zac instead of Reuben. The friendship that budded between them seemed to make way for romance because they developed a nice and healthy dependency upon each other. I didn't feel like there was enough reason for her to fall for Reuben. Maybe it was because the book spanned only a week's worth of time and I personally feel like it takes longer than that to say I love you.  In the end, I felt Wynter's choices (won't spoil the ending) were made because of her brother and because she wanted a change of pace, not because of her interest in Reuben. This book was more about the spiritual lives of the people and the mystery/suspense than the romance, and that's okay. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
Nancy Mehl's writing kept me enthralled from page one to the very last. I loved the unexpected twist in the end. I also smiled at the names of Esther's kitties - Clyde, Maizie, Frances, and Sam - because I know a fellow writer who has four cats with these exact names. :) ***I received the above novel from the publisher/author in return for an honest review.***
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Nancy Mehl has done it again. Another great book set in a small town. I love how she takes these small towns, and makes them such a vital part of the story. This book was great, lots of mystery and I didn't know who was behind all of it, until the end. What a surprise, I love suspense because I love trying to figure out whodunnit, but this was a blindside for me. Great writing, great details. Awesome story 5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review. 
bookgirl_2134 More than 1 year ago
I received a digital copy for review from Netgalley, but my thoughts are mine alone. ThIs was my first book by Ms. Mehl, but I will read book 2 when it releases. This story was very fast-paced. The secretive small town that residents protect fiercely is not a new plot device, but it was used by the author very effectively. 
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Gathering Shadows, Book 1 Finding Sanctuary by Nancy Mehl Wow Nancy Mehl has written her best book yet. Gathering Shadows is out of this world, I loved it. It is Christian fiction with a little romance and suspense, set in the small Mennonite community. This is a fact paced, keep you at the edge of your seat novel that will keep you reading until the very last page. You are sure to fall a little in love with the characters especially Zac. This is a well thought out book with a realistic storyline. The author Nancy Mehl brings her faith to each story she writes. Having read many of her books I find this to be my all time favorite. If you have not read The Road to Kingdom Series you are missing out. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars. I want to give a high-five to the author Nancy Mehl and publisher Bethany House for bringing compelling Christian books that are entertaining and give hope to the reader with stories of faith. I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I am so grateful for the authors and publishers generosity.
TMS-Avid_Reader_Am_I_0828 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book for Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion. So here it goes. This is the first of Nancy Mehl’s books that I have read. I found my self riveted to this suspenseful small town thriller. With the new trend of Amish/Mennonite fiction that ties in good, clean, contemporary romantic suspense together is a nice break from a TV world that is filled with sex, violence, 80’s remakes and hard core “reality” shows that are the new “norm” in our sociality. I find that I turn towards more “softer or cleaner” stories at times. And this one fits the bill very well. There was enough of a twist to keep it interesting all the way through the end and it had me guessing right up to the end. The storyline wasn't rushed and was the prefect pace that matched the pace of the Mennonite Community of relife. The writer’s style allows you to visualize the scenes in your own mind as she draws out the story with out losing the “whodunit” factor that could be solved in the first three chapters, only to leave you “wanting” for the rest of the book. I gave this book 4.5 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
Gathering Shadows Nancy Mehl Book Summary: Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life. Review: The beginning cinched it for me. I was immediately drawn in with the kidnapping of Ryan! I really liked the mystery of Wynter’s brother and who sent her the newspaper clippings. I hope to see Zac in another story. He was a great addition. There were so many memorable events and situations spread throughout the story it made the story more engrossing. It all ended up with a fantastic finally that was worth the wait. I enjoyed the relationship between Reuben and Wynter. The secondary characters like Wynter’s dad and Esther were a tremendous addition that made each part of the book they were in more treasured. The suspense throughout the story was perfectly timed enough to make me jumpy. I am waiting for the next book in this series.  I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
This is a story that slowly builds in intensity as the chapters move forward. The mystery is on the page almost from page one, but doesn’t acquire suspense pacing until the last quarter of the book. And there are many layers to the story and mystery. They all weave together artfully in the end. Gathering Shadows also has the small town charm of Nancy Mehl’s prior romantic mystery series and the wide cast of appealing characters which will bring readers back for the next installments in the series. There is romance in the story, but it didn’t quite fit for me. Given more time in the story’s timeline, I think I would have enjoyed that part. Still this book will be a pleasant read for those who love a romantic mystery set in simpler settings like the Mennonite Sanctuary.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
"Some people are willing to protect their secrets at all costs." For investigative reporter Wynter Evans, she has never given up hope of finding her brother Ryan who was kidnapped when he was only seven from their neighborhood. That one even destroyed more than her faith in God, it quite literally destroyed the family as she knew it. Her father soon divorced her mother and moved on to start his life with another woman. For Wynter's mother, she feel into a dark depression believing that her husband was the reason for Ryan's kidnapping and can't find forgiveness in her heart. For Wynter, she is plagued by nightmares where Ryan is begging her to not give up the search to find him. So she won't. Now if she can only convince the station manager to go out on a limb for a community interest story involving a small Mennonite town known as Sanctuary. She hopes his interest in finding remote locations that he can highlight on their news station to garner public interest will give her just the break she is looking for. She has more than one motive for gaining time away to head to Sanctuary. Besides the human interest story for her station, she has been sent a photo of a young Mennonite teen who bears the remarkable similarities of her missing brother. But before she can involve the police, she must find a way to meet with this young man to know for sure. She only hopes it is him and perhaps finding him will help restore the family she has lost. What she didn't plan on was the town treating her arrival with less than heart warming intentions. It seems that the residents of Sanctuary would rather their town be kept remote and quite like the name suggests. It seems that people who live in Sanctuary have a reason for wanting to settle in a town that pretty much keeps to itself and protects their own at all costs. Still Wynter has to try and with the help of the town's unofficial mayor, Rueben King, she hopes he can connect the dots and find a way to meet the young man who now goes by the name of Elijah Fisher. Only it's not just the town of Sanctuary who holds secrets as Wynter's investigation into the disappearance of her brother, now leads to a threat on her life. Will she be able to uncover what she is looking for before she loses her own life? I received Gathering Shadows from Nancy Mehl compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own opinion. This is the first novel in the Finding Sanctuary series from Nancy and for me, it was a hit. I can't imagine what it must be like for someone like Wynter who wonders if every person she sees is really her missing brother. As the search draws closer, soon she and Rueben are the targets of someone who wants their investigation to come to a halt and if they don't, they will stop at nothing to ensure secrets remain in the shadows. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait for more in this series. If you love a great mystery coupled with romance, than you will love this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book from Bethany House to write a blog review. I have to be honest and say that I was a little reluctant to keep reading after the prologue. I really don't like to read stories about child abduction. The first few chapters started a little slow also. Once I got deeper into the book I would say that it really caught my attention and the plot twists and turns kept me turning the pages. The end didn't really satisfy me, but it makes sense because this is obviously the first in a series. I was curious about how the author was going to bring everything together at the end and I think she did a good job at weaving all the threads together. I would recommend this book if someone likes mystery/suspense with a little bit of romance thrown in the mix. Happy reading!
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
 Murder, kidnapping, Old Order Mennonite, oh my, which of these does not fit????  They are all a part of Nancy Mehl's newly released Gathering Shadows.  I absolutely love this book!  5 Stars + !!!   Meet Zac, the cocky young photographer, for instance, you kind of love to hate him at first and then, all of a sudden the young ponytail swinging fella develops a heart!!!   He actually becomes one of my favorite characters.  And who could not love Wynter Evans, the young reporter who just wants to get a good story and oh, yes, find her long-ago kidnapped brother......the one her family thought was dead.  But now she sees him wearing Old Order Mennonite clothing and living in the sweet, quiet, quaint little town of Sanctuary.   You must read this to discover what happens?  Will they find the boy? Is he Wynter's brother?  Or is she just chasing a dream?  
SunFlowerEyez More than 1 year ago
This yet unpublished manuscript was sent to me for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. Book #1 in the Finding Sanctuary series by Nancy Mehl, Gathering Shadows is the story of ambitious young reporter, Wynter Evans, who is determined to find the truth about her younger brother’s disappearance. Here is the synopsis of the book from Bethany House Publishers: Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn’t take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can’t pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station’s photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town’s handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family’s past hides in the shadows, it’s clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she’s searching for hidden forever–even if the cost is Wynter’s very life. I enjoyed this book. The characters were likeable, relatable, and the plot was intriguing. The opening scene detailing Ryan’s abduction as a small child was well-written and pulled the reader in from the start, reading like something you’d hear on the news. The reader is able to follow Wynter’s footsteps as she journeys to Sanctuary under the cover of research for a story, and begins following the clues to finding her brother. At times the clues seemed a little too easy, the dangers Wynter faced from her unknown assailants a bit too simple, but I must admit I still had no idea who the villain was before it was revealed. Gathering Shadows is full of mystery, murder and plenty of emotion, tying in nicely with a little bit of religious theme and light romance. The romance was just a bit too light for my liking–I could have used more and perhaps for it to have taken a little longer to unfold–but it allowed for the real plot to shine through: the mystery surrounding Wynter’s brother. Sanctuary and its residents are interesting. A partial Mennonite town that keeps to itself, hiding from the prying eyes of the world, Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of characters. Most of the residents almost seem a bit shady–although not in a sinister way–seeming to want to be left alone, as if many of them are running from their pasts. I can see where this will open doors for other books in the series, perhaps each about a different resident of Sanctuary. The added twist on Wynter’s own past as she learns the truth behind her brother’s abduction was a nice addition. I appreciated that the religious theme wasn’t overbearing, that the mystery was solved, and of course that the book wrapped up with a happy ending, because every now and then, you’ve just got to have one of those. If you enjoy Christian fiction and/or are looking for a light mystery/romance, give Gathering Shadows a shot. It would make easy summer reading.
chickey More than 1 year ago
Surprises galore! Sanctuary, MO is a quiet time where people go to live when they have secrets. When Wynter Evans sees a picture of a young man who looks exactly like an older version of her younger brother who was abducted at the age of seven, she concocts a scheme to let her news station boss let her and a photographer head to small towns in Missouri. Wynter finds much more than her brother as she encounters people with secrets, a mayor of a Mennonite town who isn't a Mennonite and who raises emotions she'd thought long dead, and people with smiling faces that hide evil. A well-written suspense that leaves the reader clamoring for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of GATHERING SHADOWS by Nancy Mehl from Bethany House. It is the first installation of the Finding Sanctuary series. Bethany House sends out an email asking the reviewer to choose which book to receive in the mail. I read through the options with my mother, as I share most of the books I read with her afterwards. We both agreed that GATHERING SHADOWS sounded the best. Wynter Evans lost her brother nine years ago when he disappeared, and now she finds a photograph of him. Um…can you say intriguing? I hadn’t expected to read this book as quickly as I did, but I really flew through it. It is one of those hard-to-put-down reads. Once you start it, you’ll see what I mean. There is great suspense, and I might just be bad at picking the bad guy, but I never guessed who it was! The whole idea of the town of Sanctuary was captivating. Basically, you go there if you want to disappear. There is so much creativity in this novel. Nancy Mehl is truly a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense. I’m quite ready to dive into the second book in this series.