When Death Draws Near


When I was introduced to Carrie Stuart Parks’ novels with “A Cry From the Dust” I became an instant fan. Since then each book has reinforced my first impressions. “When Death Draws Near” is my favorite one yet and I sincerely hope that Gwen Marcey’s adventures do not disappear after the usual trilogy.

If I ever had to choose a heroine from a novel that I admired, it would be Gwen Marcey. She is smart, observant, and seemingly fearless. Actually Gwen is one who simply faces her fears because often she has no other choice. Whatever life throws at her, she refuses to sit down and take it but fights back with all she is worth just as long as she can keep moving. And like a mama bear, if her daughter is in danger, Gwen will not stop until she is certain of her safety.

When Gwen takes on a temporary job in Kentucky, it becomes much more complicated than first expected. She finds herself up to her neck in something that might just connect two seemingly different cases. There are snakes involved – lots of snakes! One of the cases involves a snake-handling church but when Gwen gets to know its members, nothing seems to add up. The case gets more convoluted as Gwen learns more and the list of suspects (and bodies) keeps growing until she finds her own life in jeopardy.

Unexpected twists and surprises abound in this can’t-put-down page turner as Gwen’s faith and determination are put to the test. “When Death Draws Near” is a must read for any suspense lover.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.


Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

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Carrie Stuart Parks 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.

Find out more about Carrie Stuart at http://www.carriestuartparks.com.

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey’s world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks’ new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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