Thank you to Kelsey at Book Publicity Services, She Writes Press, and the author for the gifted copy of Salvation Station, in exchange for an honest review. #partner
A murder mystery with a female detective and organized religion that involves murder? The plot of Salvation Station had me intrigued and I was excited to dive in and see what Katheryn Schleich had to offer with her debut novel. I also love supporting a local author and Schleich lives down the road from me in my neighboring state of Minnesota. Always happy to read books by local authors!
Salvation Station is a murder mystery set in the rural Nebraska and Missouri. Detective Linda Turner is called to a crime scene involving the buried remains of a local pastor and his two young children who appear to have been murdered and buried in the back yard. The pastor's wife is no where to be found and quickly becomes the main suspect. Meanwhile, in a neighboring state, a local pastor (Ray) is learning his televised missionary services are going to be coming to an end because of lack of funding. Coincidently enough, a charismatic woman comes into the pastor's life who has grand ideas to turn the church around. These two stories begin to play into each other until Detective Turner is able to solve the murders.
The synopsis of Salvation Station had me excited to dive into this one, but sadly, it fell flat for me. The characters felt two dimensional, the dialogue was basic, and the story lacked depth and character development. The book tells both Detective Turner and Pastor's Ray's stories, but it needed more balance between the two stories. It was heavy on Ray's side, and there would be spans of several chapters before it switched back to Detective Turner. There were also off shoots of the story that felt underdeveloped and lacked foundation. For a murder mystery, there was not much mystery. Overall, it just fell flat for me and felt like a made for TV movie, rather than a knock out blockbuster.
I liked the religion aspect and that is something that always draws me to a book. Pastor Ray becomes somewhat of a televangelist and I really enjoyed that piece of the story. Organized religion always makes for an interesting premise when combined with crime. I think this book has a market and for someone who does not read a lot of mystery, suspense, and thrillers, you might enjoy Salvation Station. This book gave me Criminal Minds vibes and is perfect if you are looking for some suspense, but one that will not keep you up at night.