Sunday, 23 February 2020

Book Review: Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Salvation Station
Kathryn Schleich

Publisher: She Writes Press 
Publication date: 14th April 2020
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Pages: 256
RRP: $16.95 USD
Format read: Paperback ARC
Source: Courtesy of Book Publicity Services 

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.

Kathryn Schleich’s debut novel Salvation Station introduces Captain Linda Turner, 10 years on the force her job is her life. Her latest case involves the murder of a pastor and his two children. Their bodies buried in the parsonage garden.

We are given an intriguing police procedural as Captain Turner pieces together the family’s last movements and investigates the whereabouts of the Pastor’s wife and mother of the children, Nicole Hansen.

Through a second plot line we follow Susannah Baker as she manipulates Rev Ray Williams, the founder of Road to Calvary and TV evangelist, and ensconces herself into his life. Susannah has many ideas to build the ministry and ask followers for more and more donations. With themes of religious hysteria and an almost cult like following, Susannah preys on the sick and lonely getting Rev Ray to perform fake miracles.

Schleich depicts how police work away at a case sometimes taking years investigating small snippets of information waiting for the perpetrator to slip up.

There is a tiny bit of romance for Linda towards the end and I thought the story was perfect without it but maybe the author has more in store for Linda and Malachi in the next installment.

Salvation Station is a riveting page turner featuring a charismatic psychopath who has greed as a motivator.


My rating  4.5/5

photo credit: She Writes Press

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. 
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. Salvation Station is her first novel. 


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