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Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary) by Nancy…
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Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary)

by Nancy Mehl

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This is the third book in the series. I did not read the first two. It really didn't matter, but I do think you would have understood more if you do. I wish I had. The characters are fully formed and believable, though the story line is a bit of a stretch. But, not so far that it leaves you wondering or laughing. It is a good suspense and love story combined. The story is told in the first person and flows well. I enjoyed reading this story. It isn't so full of suspense that you cannot put it down, but it has enough suspense to make you want to read the story and not give up. The editing was well done. I greatly appreciate a well edited book. I would recommend this book to any looking for a fast read in a mystery/suspense style book. This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  grammy57 | Jan 3, 2016 |
Rising Darkness
Nancy Mehl

Book Summary: Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. Certain she's left her past far behind her, she's now focused on her job at a newspaper and is shocked when she stumbles upon the name of someone she knew in her old life. But when she learns the man--a prisoner--claims a suspect from a decades-old unsolved crime is hiding out in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri, she can't resist following the lead in hopes of furthering her career. Almost immediately upon her arrival, Sophie's confronted with a face from her past and fears her intention of using a false identity to investigate is doomed. But with the help of Sanctuary's charismatic young pastor, Sophie knows she's getting close. Will she be able to conceal the truth of her own past long enough to find the suspect before someone puts a stop--fatal or otherwise--to her investigation?

Review: I usually love Nancy Mehl’s books. I found myself reading this very slow. I struggled to get into the story and the details as I worked my way through it. It did get better after the first half. I usually sail right through these books. I loved the first 2 in the series. It had the added bonus of being a foot in the Sanctuary Series and the Kingdom Series. This should have endeared me to it, I did not mind that Sophie was not a Christian at the start and her life in Kingdom was awful, I just found her telling blatant lies a little hard to take. I do understand the reporter in her wanted to investigate under cover, but to smear the name of a dead woman seemed a little over the top. That was part of my problem. At the story unfolded Sophie grew on me. I think by than it was a little late for me to really love this book, however I did grow to like it.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. ( )
  Robin661 | Dec 27, 2015 |
Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl is the third and final book in the Finding Sanctuary trilogy. Sophie Bauer (formerly Wittenbauer) used to be a conservative Mennonite living in Kingdom, Kansas. An incident forced her to leave and seek a new life. Sophie works at the St. Louis Times doing the obituaries and occasional restaurant review. Sophie wants to be a crime reporter and is working towards getting a college degree. One day Sophie comes across a letter from Tom Ford (Sophie knew him in Kingdom) who is in prison in El Dorado, Kansas. Tom claims a wanted criminal by the name of Terrence Chase is hiding out in Sanctuary, Missouri (of course, Tom wants something in exchange for giving Sophie this information). Sophie sees this as her chance to write a big story (and gain recognition) if she can find Chase. Sophie goes to Sanctuary (a very private town) under an assumed name and with a made up story to explain her presence in town (and so she can gain access to Church records). Sophie will have to face her past in Sanctuary (which was originally an all Mennonite town but is now mixed) especially when she comes face to face with Jonathan Wiese. Jonathan is a pastor at Agape Fellowship Church in Sanctuary and the only man Sophie ever loved (secretly as a teenager). Will Sophie be able to find Terrence Chase (without getting herself killed) and write her story? Can Sophie resolve her past issues? You will have to read Rising Darkness to find out.

I found Rising Darkness to be a predictable novel (the mystery and the romance). I was hoping for a twist to make it more interesting (I would have been happy with anything that would have made the novel more interesting). While Rising Darkness is a part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story. I give Rising Darkness 3 out of 5 stars. The writing is satisfactory, but not remarkable (I was not pulled into the story). I found parts of the novel to be very slow paced (and a little boring). It actually took me three different tries to get through Rising Darkness (I just never got into the story). The Christian theme is not mild in this book. There are many discussions about religion and theology throughout the book. The book ends without everything being resolved (which is frustrating). I did like Sophie’s growth during the book and how she is finally able to overcome her troubled and difficult youth.

I received a complimentary copy Rising Darkness from NetGalley and The Book Club Network Inc. in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Dec 27, 2015 |
I have really enjoyed reading this series of books set in Sanctuary. Each one has been intriguing to read and kept you interested in what is going on. Sophie goes to Sanctuary and pretends to be someone else. She goes under the pretense of being related to someone who has just died in order to get accepted in the community to really look for an escaped prisoner. While there, she runs into someone who knew her in the past and has to work around that . I liked how the people who knew her and of her deception were willing to still help her with her goal. This was a book that kept me reading and wondering where it would lead next.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review. ( )
  polarmath | Dec 24, 2015 |
O, I really really enjoyed this. I'm a little surprised by how much I enjoyed this because from reading the synopsis, the cover and the title, I thought it was going to be a fairly "dark" novel with lots of mystery. Yes, there's a mystery, but in all, it's about change and finding one's self through repentance, redemption and forgiveness.

The mystery aspect of the novel was simple, but good. Trying to find the criminal and to link it to someone in Sanctuary, and then the mystery of Sophie/Emily's past was intriguing and kept me going. Even for the simplicity of the obvious mystery, I was surprised by the ending. I didn't see that one coming, even though I had my guess to the "who".

Rising Darkness is about moving beyond that darkness that dwells in you. For anyone that needs a second chance, forgiveness or just a good book to read. Put Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl in your cart.

For the full review scheduled to be activated on 12/17/2015: http://justcommonly.blogspot.com/2015/12/rising-beyond-darkness.html

NOTE: I received a complimentary digital ARC copy from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review. ( )
  justcommonly | Dec 16, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764211595, Paperback)

Romantic Suspense to Keep Readers Guessing Until the Last Page

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can't ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life.

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church--the very man she'd loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal--or the very person she's seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 03 Aug 2015 06:02:40 -0400)

"Years after leaving her Mennonite background, Sophie's newspaper job gives her access to information she can't ignore, and when she travels to Sanctuary, Missouri, for answers and recognizes a man she used to love, her own past gets tangled in the dangerous investigation"--… (more)

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