by Sandra Ardoin
Wynter Evans is a television reporter with more than a human interest story on her mind. After seeing the face of a teenaged boy in a photograph, she sets out for Sanctuary, a town aptly named for the privacy its residents seek, to find the brother who disappeared years ago.
Gathering Shadows is the first book in Nancy Mehl’s new Finding Sanctuary series. As with her last series, The Road to Kingdom, it gives the reader a taste of the lives of Old Order Mennonites. Unlike Kingdom, Sanctuary is not a town with only Mennonite residents.
In this book, we’re briefly reintroduced to Jonathon Wiese, who is now a pastor in the town. I’m hoping we’ll get his story soon. In the meantime …
Wynter’s family fell apart after her brother Ryan was kidnapped. Her mother had a breakdown and her father deserted them. She doesn’t trust easily and only confesses her real purpose to others when forced to do so. In Sanctuary, she meets the young mayor, Reuben King, and begins to question what lies ahead for her. Does she go back to St. Louis or stay in Sanctuary? But before she can decide, a killer threatens to take that decision out of her hands.
The story is written solely from Wynter’s point of view. She’s a reporter with a bright future at her St. Louis television station, but not if her boss discovers the real reason she went to Sanctuary. Wynter is convinced Elijah Fisher, the Mennonite teenager in a photograph she’d been shown, is her brother Ryan. She’ll do all she can to prove it, even if it means cutting her professional throat. But it might not be only her career on the line. She may take her cameraman, Zac Weikal, down with her when he refuses to abandon her.
I really enjoyed this story for the characters (I hope we see more of Zac), the complicated family dynamics, and the depth of the mystery surrounding Ryan Erwin’s disappearance. Or is it his reappearance? This one had me guessing, thinking I knew the truth as I went along, but I was never completely sure.
The plot has several layers and enough twists to keep readers on their toes. So if you’re looking for romantic suspense with a few surprises, I’d suggest reading Gathering Shadows.
Wynter has an ulterior motive for going to Sanctuary and takes steps that bring her nowhere close to being honest. How do you feel about a main character who lies to a boss and others to fulfill their own mission?
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Bethany House, and the author with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.