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Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary Series #3)

Nancy Mehl
Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary Series #3)

In Rising Darkness, the third book in the Finding Sanctuary Series from Nancy Mehl, newspaper reporter Sophie follows a lead on a decades-old crime to Sanctuary, Missouri. Once she is there, she encounters an old crush and new dangers. Product Details: Page Count: 320 Rel... Read More

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Item # 1575594


Item # 1575594

In Rising Darkness, the third book in the Finding Sanctuary Series from Nancy Mehl, newspaper reporter Sophie follows a lead on a decades-old crime to Sanctuary, Missouri. Once she is there, she encounters an old crush and new dangers.

Product Details:
Page Count: 320
Released: 11/2015
  • Store Only: Yes
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Oct 6, 2015
  • UPC: 9780764211591
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Publish Date: Nov 3, 2015
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042040"
  • ISBN: 0764211595

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A Must-Read Christian Suspense Novel! by Jeanie on 3/15/2016

This exciting novel is a Must Read for anyone who appreciates Christian suspense. It is third in the Finding Sanctuary series by Nancy Mehl. The mystery and suspense, compounded with what happens when one comes face-to-face with their past. This can be read as a standalone, and when you discover what a great story it is, you will want to read the first two.

Sophie Wittenbauer was raised in Kingdom, a strict Mennonite home and hometown. She probably would never consider returning to the Mennonite church, and would not have gone ever returned had she not had to go to nearby Sanctuary while trying to locate a murderer on the lam. If she could find him, based on information given to her by someone she used to know who is in prison, she would be able to write an article that would seal her future as an investigative reporter instead of an obituary writer.

Facts led her to Sanctuary with an alias, several days off from her newspaper and a shaky cover story. Sanctuary had been the kind of place where many people went because they needed a fresh start, and their backgrounds were not required to be known if they needed the privacy. On one hand it was the perfect place for a murderer to hide if he needed time to make a new plan. On the other hand, if one were trying to determine if one of the residents was a criminal, especially after living there for a few years, they townspeople typically didn’t ask questions. That’s the way they were. Yet the very privacy afforded to the residents is what could bring harm to Sophie and the Mennonite pastor who has been helping her.

I really enjoyed the people, especially Sophie, her landlady Esther, and Jonathon, the preacher. Among everyone, these are the characters who are fully three-dimensional, people that one might want to count as friends. Others are as well-developed as their roles required. This author has a wonderful way of showing the folks in her books with lively personalities. At least one of the protagonists is typically someone with a ‘past’, with hurts that have changed them and resulted in them turning far away from the Lord. Watching them begin to take risks is part of what I enjoy, as well as sometimes re-learning the same lessons. Seeing Sophie find so much more than she planned reminds me that the Lord can do so much more than we can ask or imagine!

The plot is intriguing and captivating from the first page. Sophie is a protagonist who is very likable, who has dared to have hopes and dreams and work towards them. Finding the bad guy proves to be risky and harder than anticipated. Sophie has received several anonymous warnings, and she in danger if she doesn’t pack up and return to St. Louis. Someone knows who she is or at least what she is there for. The deceptions in small towns and prisons runs high. There are plot twists that increase the intrigue, bringing a completely unexpected resolution. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has enjoyed the author’s previous novels, appreciate ‘clean’ suspense novels, or learning a little about Mennonites from one of Christian fiction’s popular authors who is most knowledgeable in its faith.

With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

Rising Darkness Rose Slowly for Me! by Robin on 12/27/2015

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.

Third book in Finding Sanctuary trilogy! by The Avid Reader on 12/27/2015

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.

Another wonderful book by Nancy Mehl by Ramona on 12/18/2015

Another fantastic book by Ms. Nancy Mehl. She is such a tremendous author and to realize I found her by accident is such a blessing. I am already looking forward to her next book.

Rising Darkness is about Sophie Wittenbaur, a young lady who grew up in a strict, yet very dysfunctional, Mennonite family. As an adult, Sophie has continually tried to get away from her past. But can we ever really get away from our past? No, and Nancy Mehl has a beautiful way of writing a fictional account of Sophie’s life but it also pointed out to me that God made us who we are and we cannot change where we came from. We cannot change our past, but we can move forward.

Sophie takes a trip to Sanctuary, Missouri another Mennonite town in an effort to find a killer who has never been brought to justice. Will this spark memories of her childhood memories of some abuse and neglect? What will this mean for Sophie when she runs into a man she knew in her home town? This man does not totally recognize Sophie as she has changed her name. But as the story moves forward, Sophie is forced to give up her disguises and face the reality of her situation. How will she handle this? And moreover, will she be able to find a killer that must be brought to justice?

This is a wonderful read by Ms. Mehl. She is a very talented author. Other great books by Ms. Mehl are Inescapable, Unbreakable, Unforeseeable, Gathering Shadows, Deadly Echoes and Rising Darkness. You will not be disappointed with any of these books.

I received a copy of this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.

Rising Darkness was such a thrilling read with an unpredictable ending. by Tara Joy on 11/20/2015

Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl followers a former Mennonite turned reporter, Sophie, as she takes a big risk by going to Sanctuary, Missouri to hunt down a presumed dead bank robber. Hoping for an exposé on the front page of the St. Louis Times to expedite her career from obituaries to crime reporting.

Undercover in a town much like the strict mennonite town she fled from, Sophie finds her self facing her past head on when she runs into a former friend from the exact time in her life she is fighting to forget. Not only is her life at risk, but life as she knows it is being called into question as well.

Rising Darkness was such a thrilling read with an unpredictable ending, which came as a shock to me. I have read so many amish/mennonite fiction books that normally I can predict the way the book will go after just the 1st chapter. Nancy Mehl did a fantastic job keeping me on my tows the entire way through. Not only was the thrill and danger felt as she hunted down her story, but Sophies collision with her own past is something that I think we can all relate to. We all experience God placing you right where you need to be in order to deal with your heart, your past and your future.

I personally connected with Sophie’s character because I have been faced with my past just these past 6 months and was given the same choice: to heal and move forward, or to hold on and stay stuck in bad habits and self pity. The balance of anticipation go catching the criminal with the possible love interest also activated multiple emotions through the book, concluding with a sense of closure and wonder.

Rising Darkness was a nice change of pace to what I normally read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy and fantastic read.

**I have received a copy of Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl from Bethany House Publishers. However, all thoughts and opinions of this book are my own**

I would read this book again along with others by this author by Pamla on 11/19/2015

Well paced mystery with great twists and turns. I especially needed the encouragement in my life that this book so well says. Often we judge God and turn from HIM because of bad experiences. We are so overwhelmed with the negative that we do not see all the good. God sees the good things and only desires our company. I appreciate a good mystery/romance that is clean. Great book! I was given this book by Bethany House for review.

Returning to Sanctuary by Maureen on 11/19/2015

Nancy Mehl has gifted us with another visit to Sanctuary Missouri, and a stay with Esther our beloved Mennonite friend.
This one will keep you page turning and on the edge of your seat, you won’t know where the danger is coming from, or who is the guilty party. There are a lot of surprises here, and things that appear one way, are soon looking like something else.
We reunite with several friends from previous visits to Sanctuary, and because we feel rather safe here, sometimes we become too complacent and don’t see some of the danger lurking.
Some people have changed their looks, including the main character, Emily, or Sophie, she is not that abused child that grew up Mennonite, and now feels God should have protected her.
Will she get the answers she seeks here, or will evil win and get away with the crimes they have committed? Come along for a good heart stopping read, which will keep you reading, until you have answers.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.

Good clean suspense by Vera on 11/18/2015

Nancy Mehl is a prolific writer. I have read and reviewed her last two three-book series – the Kingdom series and the Sanctuary series. While each novel is a stand alone book, it is more enjoyable to read them in the order in which they were written.

Kingdom and Sanctuary are two Mennonite communities that are a mixture of those of the Mennonite faith and those of other Christian denominations.

The author fleshes out the characters with descriptions, settings, and conversations that help the reader know just what a character’s role in the story really is.

In Rising Darkness we have the conclusion of the Sanctuary three-book series. Having read the Kingdom series, I soon realized that the female protagonist, Sophia, is an abused child/teen from a Mennonite home in Kingdom; and the male protagonist, Jonathan, is a former Kingdom Mennonite who has become a pastor in a church of a different denomination in the town of Sanctuary.

Sanctuary is a close knit community but one in which folks work well together even though they don’t share the same beliefs.

Sophia has come to Sanctuary in search of a story about a criminal and the stolen cash. This should be the making of her reporting career. She goes in as “Emily” to keep it “under cover.” During her search for the missing criminal who she believes may be in Sanctuary, she lies to the dear people in Sanctuary who befriend and aid her. Troubled by this deception, she still persists in her search. Then real trouble and threats begin.

Mehl writes a good suspense story that is clean, entertaining, and with characters you’d love to have as neighbors and perhaps some you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Another good conclusion to a good series.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.

Rising Darkness by kp on 11/12/2015

Rising Darkness, by Nancy Mehl, is the third book in her Finding Sanctuary series. You are introduced to Sophie Wittenbauer as she is on her way to the small Mennonite town of Sanctuary. Sophie is currently working as a writer for a St. Louis newspaper and she is following up on a tip she overheard about a decades-old crime that has never been completely solved. Sophie feels like this is her chance to finally make a name for herself!

Sophie had been trying to leave her former Mennonite life behind, but driving into Sanctuary is bringing old memories and fears to life again. As Sophie settles into this new life, she is posing as Emily McClure to the residents of town. Sophie is using the story that she is searching for information about her family who were former residents of Sanctuary. Sophie is making good progress on tracking down the names of the residents who have recently moved into the area when she suddenly runs into a man from her past, Jonathon Wiese. A man she used to love!

Jonathon soon discovers who Emily really is and begins helping Sophie discover the answer to this story she has been trying to crack. This suspense will take you down numerous roads until you finally are able to put all the pieces together. Will Sophie find her true place with God as well as find the answer this mystery?

The first two books in this series were exciting from beginning to end; however, the end to Rising Darkness was a bit disappointing to me. However, I have to say that all three books in this series are definitely worth the read!

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my unbiased review.


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