Review of Gathering Shadows By Nancy Mehl

Leah Courtney
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Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl is a suspense/mystery story set in a small and very private Mennonite town. Wynter Evans is a reporter who sees a picture of a young Mennonite boy. The picture spurs her into action because the boy looks just like her younger brother who was kidnapped ten years previously. As Wynter begins her search for her brother she makes discoveries about herself and God and builds new friendships and a more serious relationship with the mayor who is also a farmer.

I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the story line was very interesting. It was suspenseful and not predictable. It kept me reading and excited to find out what was happening. On the other hand the conversations between characters were very stilted and didn't seem to flow very well at all. They could go from disliking each other to a close bond in one conversation. The bits that were supposed to be dramatic and emotional sounded very choppy and didn't seem to flow at all.

The problem seemed to be that there was just action and dialogue and no revealing of the characters' inner thoughts and feelings. Even Wynter who told the story in first person narrative remained little known because we only see her action and hear her conversation. We know very little of her inner thoughts. I don't like books that don't have much of the characters' thoughts and feelings. I think they almost read like a documentary- this happened and then this happened and then this happened... instead of a story.

This is the first book in a series- Finding Sanctuary. I'd probably be interested in reading other just because of the suspense. I give this one a 3 and ½ stars and a PG rating.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gathering Shadows
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
Nancy Mehl


Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.


Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary. Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life. If you'd like to read the first chapter of Gathering Shadows, go HERE.

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Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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