A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.
About the Author
Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award–winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.
Read an Excerpt
The Bones Will Speak
A Gwen Marcey Novel
By Carrie Stuart Parks
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Carrie Stuart Parks
All rights reserved.
APRIL 15, FIVE YEARS LATER
I CHARGED FROM THE HOUSE AND RACED across the lawn, frantically waving my arms. "Stop digging! Winston, no!"
Winston, my Great Pyrenees, paused in his vigorous burial of some form of road kill and raised a muddy nose in my direction.
"I mean it!" Why hadn't I bought one of those nice, retriever-type dogs who mindlessly played fetch all day? Winston spent his time wading in the creek, digging pool-sized holes in the lawn, and — judging from the green stain — applying eau de cow pie around his ear. I crept toward him.
He playfully raised his tail over his back and dodged left. "I'm warning you." I pointed a finger at him. Phthalo-blue watercolor rimmed my nail, making my gesture less threatening and more like I was growing a rare fungus.
Unfazed, he darted toward the line of flowering lilac bushes lining the driveway, temporarily passing from sight. How could a hundred-and-sixty-pound canine move so fast?I circled in the other direction, slipping closer, then carefully parted the branches. No dog.
This was ridiculous. I could chase my dog until I retrieved the road kill from his mouth, or scrub it off the carpet for the next week. And it was getting dark, with Prussian-blue shadows stretching between Montana's pine-covered Bitterroot Mountains.
I glanced to my left. Winston crouched, wagging his tail. I moved toward him. He snatched his prize and shook it.
Two black hollows appeared.
I couldn't move. The air rushed from my lungs and came out in a long hiss. I patted my leg, urging the dog closer.
Winston lifted the object, exposing a hole with radiating cracks.
Crouching, I extended my hand. "Come on, fellow. Good doggie, over here."
He placed his find on the ground. It came to rest on its even row of ivory teeth.
I approached gingerly, knelt on the soggy ground, and inspected the sightless eye sockets. "Oh, dear Lord."
Winston nudged the skull forward.
I yelped and sprawled on my rear. An overfed beetle plopped out of the nasal aperture and landed on my shoelace.
Heart racing like a runaway horse, I violently kicked the offending bug, skidded backward, and stood. Fumbling my cell phone from my jeans pocket, I punched in Dave's number. "Leave it to you, Winston, to find a skull full of bugs —"
"Ravalli County Sheriff 's Department, Sheriff Dave Moore."
"She's dead. You've got to come now, Dave!" Winston pawed at the skull like a volleyball.
"Stop that, Winston. You're just going to make more bugs fall out." I bumped the dog away with my leg.
"What is it now, Gwen? You're calling me because Winston has bugs?"
I rubbed my face. "Of course not. Don't be silly. I already told you she's dead —"
"Question one: Are you okay?"
"Yes! Well —"
"Good, good. Now, question two: Where are you?"
"I'm home. Near home. The edge of the woods —" "Choose one."
"Doggone it, Dave, don't patronize me." I wanted to sling the phone across the yard, then race over to the sheriff 's office and kick Dave in the shin. "Stop being irritating and get over here."
"Ah, yes. That brings me to question three. Who's 'she'?" "She's a skull. Or technically a cranium. Didn't I say that?
She was murdered."
"Murdered? Are you sure she isn't a lost hiker or hunter?"
"Oh, for Pete's sake, Dave. She's got a neat bullet hole in her forehead, and a not-so-neat exit wound shattering the back." The dog reached a paw around my leg and attempted to snag his plaything. I tapped it out of reach with my shoe. I sincerely hoped no one was watching me play a macabre version of skull soccer with my dog. I already had a reputation for being eccentric.
"Are you positive it's female?"
"Just look at it!" I realized I was holding the phone over the skull and quickly put the cell back to my ear. "I'm not a forensic anthropologist, but if I had to guess, I'd say female. There's a lack of development in the supraorbital ridges, the zygomatic process is less pronounced, there's an absence of the external occipital protuberance —"
"Don't interrupt. She has signs of animal activity — chewing — and is missing the lower jaw. Hence she's a cranium, not a skull, but her teeth are in good shape in the maxilla. That's the upper jaw."
"I know what that is. You're a forensic artist. Since when has a skull spooked you?"
"It's not the skull; it's the bugs."
"Yeah, yeah, you and your insect phobia. I think you're just out of practice with the real thing. You've been doing too much work on plaster castings."
"I don't even want to think about plaster castings." It was only eight months since my work in Utah and I still had nightmares.
"Speaking of that case, didn't you find some body parts on your property in that case too? Are you turning into Montana's version of the body farm?"
"Very funny." Leave it to Dave to know how to simultaneously calm me down and irritate me beyond belief. He treated me like a kid sister, which, in a sense, I was. His family took me in when I was fourteen.
"I will concede that I haven't reconstructed a skull from a homicide case for a while." I smoothed my paint-stained denim shirt. "But in the past, they've always arrived cleaned. In a neatly labeled evidence pouch. All the slithery things inside them boiled away."
"You're getting mighty prissy about receiving evidence."
"Ha. Do you have any missing-persons reports?" I took a deep breath, then scratched my dog behind the ear. I stopped and looked at my hand. Fresh, cow-pie green. Great. I wiped the poo on the grass.
"One came in less than an hour ago from the Missoula Police Department. Possible abduction this morning of a fourteen-year-old girl, name of Mattie Banks."
"If she was abducted this morning, she'd hardly be down to bone by evening ... unless someone boiled her head ..."
"You have a sick mind."
"So you like to point out."
"I'll check missing persons, also give a call to the state guys, see how fast they can get here. We're really shorthanded. I got two officers on sick leave, but I'll be over within the hour."
I gazed at the vast Bitterroot wilderness stretching past my yard. Churning indigo clouds now blotted out the setting sun. April weather could change in a second in the mountains.
"On second thought, don't come over tonight. A storm's about to break." I thought for a moment. "Unless you want to call in half the law enforcement in Montana, the National Guard, and every Explorer Scout in the West, I need to see if I can narrow down the possible perimeter for this homicide. Pyrs can retrieve road kill or tasty dead critters from about a five-mile radius. That gives us a lot of back country to search."
"Then we'll get Winston to take us to her body."
"Ha! Forget the 'we.' If you show up, Winston will just want you to pet him. Let me see what I can do with the dog first."
Winston wagged his tail.
"You've undoubtedly compromised everything to boot, Winston."
A splash of rain struck my arm, and I glanced up. The wind brushed through the pines, creating a sibilant murmur. "I'll get my noble hound to track tomorrow. I'll call you."
I dropped the phone into my pocket. "Come on, Winston. I'm not leaving you alone with your prize. Heel." We crossed the yard to the house. "Sit. Now, stay. I'm not handling that thing with my bare hands, even dung-covered." I stepped into the kitchen, scrubbed up, grabbed a pair of latex gloves and a large paper grocery bag, then went outside. After placing the skull in the bag, I folded the top closed and carried it to my studio. Winston trailed behind.
I set the package on my drafting table. A host of nightmarish insects were in there. What if they got out? I rubbed my arms to make the little hairs lie down, then fastened a continuous line of staples across the top and applied two-inch tape over the staples.
I jumped and dropped the tape.
Aynslee, my fourteen-year-old daughter, stood at the door. "You got a phone call. Some attorney or something from Spokane. He said you're getting a subpoena on an old case."
"Did he say what case?"
"Something about a priest. When's dinner?"
"Dinner? Is it that late?" I glanced at my watch. "Turn on the oven. We'll have pizza tonight. Special treat."
"It's not special if we have it every night," Aynslee muttered as she left the room.
"We didn't have it last night," I called after her.
"Yes, we did. Pepperoni. And two nights ago we had sausage and extra cheese."
You'd think the child would be grateful I wasn't cooking. Tuna noodle casserole with potato-chip topping was the extent of my culinary skills. A blast of rain struck the windows, pelting it like tiny marbles, and a deep rumbling shook the glass. Winston raised his head from his bed in the corner.
"Don't worry, ole boy. It's just thunder." I cupped my hands against the window to block out the room's light and watched the storm gather momentum, then turned and stared at the paper sack. "How long have you waited," I whispered, "for someone to find you?"CHAPTER 2
THE FIRST DROP STRUCK HER FACE.
Mattie Banks stirred and moaned. Another cold drip fell on her cheek, crept to her chin, hovered for a moment, then slithered down her neck. She shivered, opened her eyes, and blinked.
Nothing changed the absolute blackness.
Her head thumped. That rodent, Ace, must have sold her some bad coke. Again.
The thumping increased. Not just her brain. The drumming of liquid ... or was it rain hitting metal overhead?
She tried to move. Something held her arms — her hands — together behind her. She tugged. What? The answer smacked her like a judge's gavel.
Jerking harder, stabbing agony shot up her arms, the juvenile arthritis that twisted her fingers protested her movements. Her stupid copper bracelet didn't help the pain at all. I'm fourteen and already have old-lady hands.
She lay still. Her heart beat in time to the patter of water. Her head seemed full of dust, her thoughts whirling around and hard to form. She needed to hook one, pin it down. Gotta think. That man. Think about that man. Where was he? He knocked her out, but for how long? He must've hit her and thrown her ... where?
Her stomach heaved and throat burned. Did that dirtbag poison her? Give her bad stuff? She struggled like a bird caught in a net until her bound ankles rapped sharply against something metal.
The pain all over her body made her gasp and squeeze her eyes shut, pinching out rare tears. Wheezing short puffs of air, she waited until she could catch her breath. Another drop tapped her eye, and she jerked. Lay still! Think. She forced her muddled brain to sort things out. Metal. Plastic. A smell she couldn't place. She was folded into a tiny area. Like a car trunk, but small. If she was in the trunk of a car, it wasn't moving.
Opening her mouth to scream for help, she froze, then clamped it shut and listened. Beyond the tapping above her head, there was a hissing sound like ... yeah, rain on leaves. She couldn't hear any street noise. So she had to be somewhere outside of Missoula.
She took a deep breath. His trunk was dirty. Gritty sand and gravel bit into her bare arm. He'd partially covered her with a stinking tarp. Edging her feet forward, she nudged the metal again with the sole of her sandal, then used her big toe to explore the shape. Slightly curved, a point at one side ... a shovel.
No! Her brain screeched the word as she lurched away. Another drip struck her ear, then slid in like a cold tongue.
Stupid! She'd been so stupid. Everyone said she could always spot a crazy. How'd she get sucked in by this one?
She lifted her face and the tarp slid to her shoulders, allowing a gentle, cedar-scented breeze to flutter her hair. Blinking rapidly, she tried to see around her.
This wasn't the trunk of a car, more like some kind of compartment inside a car or truck, and the top was open. Did he make a mistake? She bent her legs and tried to roll over. The tarp slipped more, letting the rain splash down her back, soaking her flimsy top. She rocked back and forth again, pushing, straining, almost, almost — please, I gotta get up!
"Yes," she whispered, then froze again to listen. Rain sliced through the leaves, water rushed to her left, making her want to pee, and frogs croaked in the distance.
Twisting to her knees, she scrabbled at the rope binding her ankle. It was so tight! She concentrated, exploring the knot, tugging at a different angle. It moved — a tiny bit — but it moved.
Furrowing her brow, she clawed at the knot like a starving alley cat in a Dumpster. Sharp jabs from fingernails broken to the quick added to the burn of her arthritis. The blood and rain made the rope slippery.
The drizzle fused with hot tears. Come on, come —
"I shouldn't have left you alone."
She jumped and banged her head. Sparklers flashed in her brain. A brilliant light blinded her, and she closed her eyes against the onslaught. "Ah, ah, ah ..." She tried to form words.
"I'm sorry." His voice was deep and rich. "I should have told you."
She cringed from the voice. Told her? He was a crazy. He'd played her like a pro.
He cleared his throat. "Look."
Keeping her eyes shut, she shifted back farther.
"Look," the voice insisted.
She cracked open an eye. He aimed the flashlight at his hand, holding a roll of cash. A hundred-dollar bill showed on top. The hand gently swayed from side to side.
Licking her lips, she watched, mesmerized.
"I should have told you I enjoy a little fantasy." He turned the cash upward. More hundred-dollar bills.
Her tongue snaked over her uneven teeth, her gaze riveted on the money.
"I'm going to untie you now. I'll pay you very well for your, uh, discomfort."
"Yeah, you should've told me," she said, then flipped her hair off her face and gave him a let's-party smile. That was better. She'd make a bundle tonight.
Effortlessly he lifted her out and untied her hands and ankles. She swayed as the blood rushed to her feet. He gripped her upper arm and steadied her against him. Warmth seeped from his body, and it felt good. She shivered.
"You're cold." He slipped off his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. She pulled it close. It smelled of wood chips with a hint of cologne. Very male.
"Business first." She held out her hand, and he placed the thick roll in her palm, folding her bent fingers around the money and squeezing slightly. It hurt, and her grin slipped. She struggled to replace it.
He let go, and she quickly slid the money into the pocket of her skirt. "So, whatcha want?"
"Oh, I've paid for quite a lot, don't you think? So let's not rush." She could hear the smile in his voice. "How old are you ... Sherry, is it?"
"Mat — uh, Cherry. My name's Cherry. I'm twenty." Just adding six years. She felt thirty.
"Twenty? Okay. If you say so." He touched her hair. "Perfect." Letting go, he nudged her toward a peeling shack, and she stumbled toward it on still-numb feet. At least they'd be out of the storm.
They passed through the doorway, the darkness ebbing from the probing flashlight revealing a blanket spread on the dirty floor. Crude for a guy with his kind of money. She stepped on the blanket and turned to him, then slowly opened the jacket. She knew he'd like the way the wet top clung to her.
She jumped and snatched the jacket closed.
"I usually enjoy more ... uh ... outdoor sport. But it's raining, you see. That changes everything." He illuminated his hand, now holding a syringe loaded with a clear liquid. "We'll just have to have fun indoors."
"I don't do H. Not anymore." She stepped away.
"This is special. You'll love it." His gentle voice soothed and caressed. "It makes you feel like you're floating. Nothing hurts; it's all good." He offered the syringe again.
She slowly sank down, and he crouched next to her. He smelled good. She focused on his jaw. "Do I know you?"
He paused, then shook his head. "I don't think so."
"You look familiar."
He shrugged. "I look like a lot of people." Placing the flashlight next to him on the floor, he touched her hair, then pulled out rubber tubing.
Excerpted from The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks. Copyright © 2015 Carrie Stuart Parks. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Deb’s Dozen: Serial killer stalking forensic expert—can she out-psych him and live? Carrie Stuart Parks is a forensic artist and teaches law enforcement professionals. All her background and experience come into play in The Bones Will Speak, the second Gwen Marcey novel. Gwen, working from home after life interfered with her career, has a nice life near the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana with her daughter, Aynslee, and her Great Pyrenees dog, Winston. Winston has a penchant for digging up and bringing home the most unusual things, but the object that tops all is a skull filled with bugs. If there’s something Gwen hates more than Winston’s trophies—right, bugs. Gwen calls the sheriff, who is not sure Gwen has not lost her mind. Typical Gwen, she is off to investigate on her own. From the female skull to another female victim who looks much like Aynslee to a series of untoward accidents, Gwen comes to the realization that the killer is targeting her and her daughter. And off they go in a race to discover who the killer is before he can claim any more victims. Throw in a divorced husband, a savvy friend, and a prospective romance and you’ve got all the ingredients necessary for a neck chilling, spine-tingling murder mystery. Four stars. As mentioned, Carrie is a forensic artist who has written/illustrated many books on drawing. She is a breast cancer survivor and began to write fiction as she was battling the disease. Her mentor was best-selling author Frank Peretti—she obviously learned much of her craft from that master of the macabre. Carrie is in remission from her cancer and continues to encourage other women following that path. She can be found on Facebook at CarrieStuartParksAuthor. Thomas Nelson gave me an Advance Reader’s Copy of The Bones Will Speak, but I was in no way obligated to write anything other than an unbiased review.
I'm always a little nervous with any series where I really enjoy the first book. Will the second live up to my expectations? I'm pleased to say that in this case, it did that very well. First, while this is a series, each book could easily be read as a standalone. In this regard, it reminds me of the various crime shows that are so popular on TV like Bones where there is a continuing story but each episode is enjoyable even if you don't know all of the history. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters even more in this book. In the first book, I hade a few issues with the teenage daughter as a character but I appreciated her much more in this sequel. Rather than comparing her to other teenage characters in books I've read, I compared her to actual teens. Granted, I have limited experience with this age group beyond my own experience as one but was happy to note that she seems ultra realistic. She's got an attitude and she isn't afraid to use it, but behind that harsh front is someone that really cares about others. I also enjoyed seeing Gwen and Beth working together again to solve the case. As for twists, this book shocked me just as much as the last. I was speculating right up until the end and then felt my jaw drop. I felt all of the feelings Gwen went through right along with her. In retrospect, I saw all the clues I hadn't pieced together. I absolutely loved this and the heart racing moments that ensued quickly after. What I love most about these books is that it's combining this classic mystery thriller genre with faith that's portrayed in a balanced way. Both storylines boldly point out the extremist groups that exist within the Christian world as well as display loving Christ-centered faith in an unobtrusive living it kind of way. It's not filled with lengthy scripture but here are there you'll see characters pray before eating or contemplate a single bible verse that fits in with the ongoing story. I'm already planning on picking up the third book in this series from the library and am eagerly anticipating news of the fourth book which is scheduled to be released later in 2017. Thank you to the publisher as well as BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a free galley of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Carrie Stuart Parks in her new book, “The Bones Will Speak” Book Two in the Gwen Marcey series published by Thomas Nelson gives us another adventure with Gwen Marcey. From the back cover: A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter. When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic. Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter. The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor. When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left. A forensics expert, a serial killer and torture, these are just some of the ingredients to be found in this book. I think that this book is even more exciting than the first one and the first one was a real page turner. Gwen Marcey happens to find out about a murder and while she is trying to reconstruct the face she discovers that the victim looks like her daughter. Now Gwen realizes that a serial killer has targeted her and her daughter and this killer might be someone known in her community. Now the race is on as to who will complete their assignment first: Gwen or the killer. This is hot stuff. Gwen Marcey is warm and likable and we get engaged in her life. “The Bones Will Speak” is a thriller, which simply means that Gwen is in grave danger from, practically, the beginning. Ms. Parks gives us a really complex mystery and “The Bones Will Speak” is full of twists and turns, with a few red herrings thrown in just to cause confusion. This is an exciting book, extremely well paced and suspenseful. I am so looking forward to more Gwen Marcey stories. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Bones Will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks is the second Gwen Marcey Novel. Gwen Marcey lives with her daughter, Aynslee in Copper Creek, Montana. Gwen is a forensic artist. She also does paintings as well. Due to budget cuts (within city and county governments), Gwen is only getting jobs on an as-needed basis. Gwen is walking her dog, Winston. Winston brings her a skull full of bugs (and Gwen cannot stand bugs). Gwen immediately calls Sheriff Dave Moore. He asks Gwen to recreate the face from the skull. Gwen is hoping that Winston will lead her to the rest of the body. Instead he leads her to an injured woman in a nearby abandoned farmhouse. Gwen is shocked when she sees the poor girl because she could be a twin for her daughter, Aynslee. Mattie Banks is the young victim who could be Anyslee’s twin. She is still alive, but she is unable to provide much information (still scared of killer). Then another victim is found and she also looks like Aynslee. Who is killing these young girls and why? Gwen sets out to find the killer and protect her daughter. I found The Bones Will Speak an intriguing mystery novel (I have only given you a brief synopsis). It is the first book I have read by Carrie Stuart Parks (and I will definitely read more of her novels). The mystery was medium level (despite the author’s attempt at making it more complicated). I was able to solve the mystery early in the book (it just seemed obvious to me). I found Gwen to be an interesting and strong character (I liked her quirky personality). I wish the book had dived a little more into the forensic artist aspect (maybe in the next novel). Please be aware that there is extreme violence in the book (this is not like a cozy mystery). I give The Bones Will Speak 4 out of 5 stars. The Bones Will Speak can be enjoyed without having read the first book in the series (though I think you will want to read it). I received a complimentary copy of The Bones Will Speak from BookLook Bloggers (HarperCollins Christian) in exchange for an honest review.
The Bones Will Speak is one superb suspense thriller! I'm not a nail biter, but believe me, this book caused me to hold my breath, shake my feet and rock my chair faster and faster as the story progressed! I had the worst time putting this book down in order to get some sleep, and when I picked it up again I was riveted to my chair. Carrie Stuart Parks is a new author to me, but I intend to follow her career as she composes future novels. I've already purchased her previous suspense novel, but have to catch my breath and allow my heartbeat to return to a normal rate before attempting to read it! The descriptive elements in this book are artistic, and characters are well defined. This author has done her homework. The amount of research that went into this book is commendable. Of all the possible suspects that ran through my mind, I was unable to narrow down who the serial killer might be. This book is not for the fainthearted, but a strong theme of inspiration was woven into the story that exhibited faith and forgiveness. I highly recommend this suspense-filled thriller! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Wynn-Wynn Media in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Wow. What a fast-paced adventure this book is. I haven’t had the chance to read anything by Carrie until now and I have to say I think I will be reading more of her work. I don’t know if I have ever read a book that surprised me at the end. The person I thought was doing the murders had me guessing then being wrong, then guessing again and being wrong again. She did a great job making a few people be the possible suspect. I found the whole book fascinating, the characters and the story-line. The motivation behind the murders was something I never think too much about but I am sure still exists in the U.S. If you like suspense that is very visual this is a book for you. I read this book very fast because it couldn’t put it down. A copy of this book was given to my by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book even more than her first novel! It was suspenseful,funny, and addicting to read,
This story begins in Washington State and a bombing by a Neo-Nazi group in Seattle, the little old cat woman that recognizes them hiding next door, and the pursuit that follows. Fast-forward 15 years; forensic facial reconstruction expert Gwen Marcey is living in Montana, her dog brings her a human skull. Gwen is a facial reconstruction artist. It is not long before more body parts are discovered and a live victim that resembles Gwen’s daughter. Gwen soon realizes there is a serial killer performing his grizzly work and he is fixated on her and her daughter. She must solve this case to survive. The plots include a jealous forensic artist, a twisted Nazi church group, a sociopath serial killer that is not afraid to call and terrorize Gwen and the surviving victim, wolf killings, the framing of the local police official and so much more. Ms. Parks uses her background in the world of forensic science as it really is not as it appears to be on television. I found the particulars of police science and forensic very interesting. I was hooked from the first page. I love a good crime mystery thriller, and this book has it all in spades. I found this story full of action with twists and turns. Ms. Parks developed the story and the characters at a good rate, gave her characters realistic characteristics, and kept the story suspenseful; it did not lag or falter. You will not be bored or disappointed with this book; when Ms. Parks revealed the killer, I was very surprised. This story does have religious elements and themes that are not preachy or pushy. This is the first of Ms. Parks books I have read, but she will have a place in my eReader as I love the way she plots the story, adds twists, then brings all the clues together to an explosive ending. I did not feel I was missing anything by reading the second book first, I feel it is a stand alone read. I see a very bright future for Ms. Parks. I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.
This book is an absolute page turner. Carrie Stuart Parks has quickly developed a style that goes deep into a story with multiple plot lines intersecting throughout the pages. This style makes it incredibly hard to put it down. Where the first book dove into a what if regarding Mormon history, this one dives into the neo-Nazi world with a serial killer who seems to be stalking Gwen Marcey. He's planted evidence close to her home and takes her on a scary ride that is intense and filled with suspense. The prologue launches the book with one case. The first chapter picks up with Gwen's first person account of what is happening years later...and eventually the two begin to overlap. This book is perfect for those who love a good suspense. I highly recommend it!
4.5 stars!!! My heart is still pumping too fast as I just finished reading this book. Wow!!! Carrie Stuart Parks certainly just took me on one helluva journey. A serial killer who is killing girls that resemble Gwen's (the main character) daughter is just part of the action going on here. My first suspect, while he was squirrelly enough, was WRONG! As well as my second. You just don't see this ending coming. And the ending? For those weak of heart, put on your blood pressure monitor and definitely take your medicine before reading this one. Oh, and don't forget to breathe. My only negative was that there was a little too much religion and quoting of scriptures for me. However, I guess when your caught up in what goes on in this book, you'll look for anything to save you as well. It wasn't that it was that much, just more than I like. Of course I do have to remember the publisher after all. I want to thank Thomas Nelson and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this fast paced thriller!!!
I don't want to sound over zealous but The Bones Will Speak was outstanding. I started it in morning and I was done by evening. I had not read her first Gwen Marcy mystery but it was not necessary. The main character, Gwen Marcey, is a renowned forensic artist but has lost a lot of work due to a year off post mastectomies and chemo. She is a strong, intelligent and resourceful woman who has a mysterious past that is alluded to but no details are ever mentioned. Gwen is also very angry about her divorce 1 1/2 yrs ago. Her 14 year old daughter lives with her and is going through the usual teenage rebellion. This all makes Gwen a very like-able, human character. Beth is very smart, loves to help Gwen with research and also helps her with her faith and is trying to get Gwen to learn forgiveness. Dylan, Gwen's daughter, is being rebellious but she is also a chip off the old block. She is smart, tough and resourceful and that resourcefulness helps save her life. Winston, Gwen's daughter, brings her a skull which sets in motion a sequence of events that goes back 5 years to a Neo-Nazi group that was involved in a case that Gwen worked on. The case appears to be a serial killer that is savagely murdering teens and the woods around Gwen's home appears to be the dumping ground. Then pieces start to fall together (I don't want to give anything away) and it becomes very dangerous to be Gwen & her daughter. They and, Mattie the sole survivor of this sociopath, another 14 year old are in a race before time runs out and he gets them. I will definitely be looking forward to more by this author. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers.