Review: Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Nadene May 7, 2020 Reviews 19 Comments

This book includes mature content such as violence, abuse, sex and alcohol usage and is not suitable for readers under 17.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Review: Salvation Station by Kathryn SchleichSalvation Station by Kathryn Schleich
Published by She Writes Press on April 14, 2020
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 256
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: Book Publicity Services
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four-half-stars

When committed female police captain Linda Turner, haunted by the murders of two small children and their pastor father, becomes obsessed with solving the harrowing case, she finds herself wrapped up in a mission to expose a fraudulent religious organization and an unrepentant killer. 

Despite her years of experience investigating homicides for the force, Captain Linda Turner is haunted by the murders of the Hansen family. The two small children, clothed in tattered Disney pajamas, were buried with their father, a pastor, in the flower garden behind a church parsonage in Lincoln, Nebraska. But Mrs. Hansen is nowhere to be found—and neither is the killer. 

In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is about to lose his show—until one of his regular attendees approaches him with an idea that will help him save it. Despite his initial misgivings, Ray agrees to give it a try. He can’t deny his attraction to this woman, and besides, she’d assured him the plan is just—God gave her the instructions in a dream. 

Multiple story lines entwine throughout this compelling mystery, delving into the topics of murder, religious faith, and the inherent dangers in blindly accepting faith as truth. While Reverend Williams is swept up in his newfound success and plans for his wedding, Captain Turner can only hope that she and her team will catch the Hansens’ cunning killer—before more bodies surface.

Salvation Station took me on an intense, riveting and suspenseful journey. It explored the concept of cons, corruption, greed and the lengths the perpetrator(s) would go to dupe their victims. What was of most interest was the medium used to defraud innocent victims. It wasn’t a unique method by far, but it was a scary reminder of how devious persons use the church in the furtherance of their greed and corrupt behaviour under the guise of saving souls

The story throws the reader into the middle of a murder investigation involving a pastor and his two small children from the beginning. The Pastor’s wife and children’s mother was nowhere to be found. What happened to her? Was she a victim or a suspect? Captain Linda Turner heads the investigation, and the reader watches as she pieces together the evidence to locate the missing woman and find the person responsible for the murders.

The author introduced a second storyline which featured Rev. Ray Williams who was contemplating ending the broadcast of his religious cable program, when one of his followers, Susannah Barker, approached him offering him ideas that would help save it. Her ideas sounded too good to be true, but somehow, he found himself agreeing with her and implementing her plans.  Shortly afterwards the church started to prosper, but not everyone believed Susannah could be trusted.

At first it appears as if the plotlines were separate, however as the story progressed the connection between the storylines became clear. The investigation opened a can of worms that will chill readers to the core.

The story moved quickly, and it proved difficult to set aside as seeing how the events unfolded became a priority.  Figuring out the identity of the person responsible for the murders was as easy as ABC, but this did not take away from the enjoyment nor the suspense. This was not a case of figuring out the villain’s identity, but rather a situation of wondering who will be the next victim and if the police would be able to end it all.

The story featured two strong leads, Captain Turner and the main suspect. I enjoyed getting to know Captain Turner, and I was fascinated by the workings of the villain’s mind. A charmer. a master at manipulating others and definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Parts of of the story took place in a church setting so there were levels of religious connotations, which I had no issues with it, but I thought I would mention as there may be readers who don’t care for it.

Conclusion/Recommendation

This is the author’s debut novel, and she did an excellent job. I had a marvellous time with this book and would read more of her work. Highly recommended for fans of suspense and police procedurals.

 

Salvation Station delivered a fast paced and suspenseful tale of corruption, greed and murder in the confines of religion. @authorkschleich #suspense Click To Tweet

 

 

 

four-half-stars

About Kathryn Schleich

Kathryn Schleich has been a writer for thirty years. Her most recent publications include the short story “Reckless Acts,” featured in After Effects: A Zimbell House Anthology, and her story “Grand Slam,” published in The Acentos Review in May 2017. She is the author of two editions of the book Hollywood and Catholic Women: Virgins, Whores, Mothers, and Other Images, which evolved from her master’s thesis. Her guest posts have been featured on the Women On Writing blog, The Muffin, and she writes for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s volunteer newsletter. When she’s not writing, Schleich is likely volunteering in the education and arts communities in the Twin Cities, where she lives. Friends, family, good food, wine, and traveling are important aspects of her life.

Nadene
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