cover image Portrait of Vengeance

Portrait of Vengeance

Carrie Stuart Parks. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7180-8378-6

Parks (A Cry from the Dust) takes readers on another crime-solving spree with forensic artist Gwen Marcey, newly hired at the Interagency Major Crimes Unit, a privately run, government-funded investigative unit. Gwen picks up an investigation into a double homicide and missing child because it reminds her of elements of her past. Gwen cancels a weekend getaway with her boyfriend and heads to Lapwai, Idaho, where she is met with hostility, sabotage, and attempts on her life. Creating forensic sketches proves difficult in the Native American town, as the citizens distrust government officials, especially nontribal officers, partly due to the Nez Perce War, which left 80 tribe members dead. With the help of her best friend Beth, who happens to be a skilled researcher, Gwen attempts to solve the case by following the clues the killer has left. In addition to getting closer to the killer, she also finds herself seeking resolution to a childhood tragedy she has tried to put behind her that happened not far from the crimes. Parks has created an intriguing female sleuth with depth, courage, and grit. The well-developed characters are complemented by a unique setting. (Aug.)