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.
SALVATION STATION by Kathryn Schleich is a solid police procedural with a fairly straight forward premise, a con woman is getting close to and, in some cases, marrying recently widowed pastors and while still grieving for their loss, insinuates herself into their lives with one intent, to defraud them, and their congregation of as much money as possible, while she can, before discovery.
But when something goes wrong, and the bodies of a late pastor and his two children are found buried in a shallow grave next to the late pastor’s church, Captain Linda Turner becomes all but obsessed in bringing this woman—whatever her name—to justice.
Following a number of threads stretching back to when Nicole Hansen was a child, Turner and her team slowly begin to piece together a string of events leading up to the death of the paster. At the same time in a dual timeline, we follow the now Susannah Baker as she connives her way into the life of TV Evangelist paster Ray Williams and his failing ministry.
Thus the scene is set for us to see just how Susannah/Nicole manages to wheedle her way into Williams’ life setting him up for a fall.
Focusing in a number of themes, Salvation Station is a solid debut, well plotted and thought out, with just as solid a cast of characters that I’m sure we’re going to see more of, in the future. It was fairly straight forward in figuring out who the murderer was, but that in it self didn’t take away from the suspense as we journey with Turner and her team trying to figure it all out.
I would also like to thank the author for gifting me the paperback with no more expectation than an honest review.
She Writes Press, 2020
Paperback, 313 pages