cover image Woman in Shadow

Woman in Shadow

Carrie Stuart Parks. Thomas Nelson, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7852-3984-0

This enjoyable thriller from Parks (Relative Silence) finds a sleuth investigating a string of accidents at a luxury resort. Forensic linguist Darby Graham, who is still recovering from a crisis of faith after a traumatic case involving a serial killer, has been sent to Mule Shoe Ranch in Idaho to investigate a series of strange incidents as the final step in her process of rehabilitation. Sheriff’s deputy Bram White, meanwhile, is looking into a series of fires at Mule Shoe. When he’s called to put down two dogs, Darby intervenes and takes in the dogs, in the process learning about the disappearance of their owner, Shadow Woman. Questionable events ensue: an art room is trashed; some sardines are left suspiciously near the resort’s outdoor classroom, which draws the attention of a bear; a resort guest fatally falls onto a pitchfork. To figure out what’s going on both at the ranch and with the arsons, Bram and Darby team up and Darby, using her skills as a forensic linguist, helps Bram with the cryptic notes left by the arsonists. When it becomes clear all the nefarious goings-on are connected, Darby and Bram believe they’ve found a much vaster conspiracy. Darby’s trauma and slow journey back to faith as she learns to trust those around her adds depth to complement the fast-paced action. Parks’s fans will love this tense inspirational. (July)