04 August 2019

Fragments of Fear | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway


From award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.

Evelyn Yvonne McTavishTavish to her friendshad her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancĂ©. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the caninewith her name and addressmakes it hers.

Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body.

After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancĂ©’s death, a late-night radio show, and the dog. And the clock is ticking.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: July 23, 2019


The death of her fiance and a startling revelation at his funeral turn Evelyn “Tavish” McTavish’s life upside down. A few weeks later, while attempting to reright her life and successfully pursue her art, she becomes enmeshed in something she doesn’t understand. Somehow, it involves a dog, a murder, her mother’s stolen art, an archaeological dig, and a whole lot of unanswered questions. Her life, her sanity, and her reputation are on the line as she determines how these pieces fit together.

And it is a fast-paced, thrilling ride. I love stories like Fragments of Fear, where the main character sees something, but when someone else goes to investigate, all the evidence is gone. Questions like “What’s really going on?” and “How will she prove she’s not crazy?” keep me reading like mad to get to the end. Let me tell you, as the pieces quickly come together, it’s a satisfying one.

Though I do wish the romance had been a tad more developed (for most of the novel, Tavish and Sawyer do not even interact), Fragments of Fear is an overall exciting, delightful suspense read. I definitely recommend it to any reader in need of some thrills and chills.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.


Using Art to Solve Crime: Techniques Used by Forensic Artists

Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.

1. The pencil. Any forensic artist worth her weight in graphite knows the power of the lowly pencil and a sketchpad. Law enforcement would love a photographic image of the suspect, but all we have to work with is memory…and memory is faulty. The more the image looks perfect, the more imperfect it is for helping to identify a suspect. We want the drawing to just suggest a likeness and eliminate those not similar.

2. Now that we brought up the subject of memory, a forensic artist needs to understand how memory works. The average witness will remember between four and five facial features. When they describe the person they saw, they will do so from their strongest memory to their weakest memory, from most important to least important. We listen carefully to the order of facial features.

3. Whole vs Parts. We don’t look at faces as individual parts, although a particularly outstanding nose or Marty Feldman eyes might catch our attention. We will remember the face as a whole, with the proportions of the face an unacknowledged part of that. Forensic artist prefer to use reference photographs where the whole face is viewed.

Want more? Check out the rest of my article at The Strand Magazine.


To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of her book. Enter below, and be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway.


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review, Hallie! Thank you for being part of the tour.