by Kathryn Schleich
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.
Okay, I have to be honest here and say that I put off reading this for a couple of weeks because I didn’t feel in the mood to read a book that could possibly include creepy dolls. But oh my, how wrong I was!
If you’re also not in the mood for creepy dolls, please don’t let the cover put you off. This story is not about creepy dolls in any way and I’m really sorry to the author for (erroneously) judging a book by it’s cover, I know it’s the wrong thing to do!
This book is actually an intriguing police procedural thriller intertwined with the story of televangelist Reverend Ray Williams.
In the opening pages, the bodies of a pastor and his two young children are uncovered by a dog. Somewhat suspiciously, the mother is no where to be seen. On the other end of the story, Reverend Ray is facing his own troubles as he can’t seem to raise the funds needed to keep his church running.
I’m pleased to say that I really enjoyed this story and it was definitely a page turner. The story seemed to have a little bit of everything, from crime and murder mystery right back through to a little comedy and romance and elements of religion too. I particularly liked how this story managed to include several layers of complexity without it being overwhelming.
The story is told through multiple points of view and in general the use of short snappy chapters meant that this was a fast paced, compelling read that only took me a couple of days to finish.
One criticism that I do have is that once you understand what’s happening, the rest of the story is quite predictable. It would have been great to have had a twist to throw me off course somewhere. But that’s all, I really liked this one so if this sounds like your kind of thing I’d definitely recommend giving it a go!
Overall rating: I really enjoyed this who-dunnit murder mystery. The two story lines are both compelling and are intertwined well with each other. “Salvation Station” is a really great debut novel and I’d definitely recommend it for crime thriller fans. A strong 4 stars!
Thank you to Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
See my other reviews of books by Kathryn Schleich here: