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A Cry from the Dust (Gwen Marcey #1)
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A Cry from the Dust

(Gwen Marcey #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  938 ratings  ·  162 reviews
A secret from a grim page of American history threatens to destroy thousands of lives.

Gwen Marcey was tops in her forensic field. Then cancer struck, her husband left, and her teenage daughter engaged in active rebellion. Gwen's best chance to start a new life was a temporary job in Utah reconstructing faces from an 1857 massacre site.

The Mountain Meadows Interpretative Ce
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Thomas Nelson (first published August 1st 2014)
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Carrie Parks Yes. Book two and three continue the story, but stand alone.

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  938 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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Carrie Parks
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Thank you, dear readers, for taking a look at my debut novel. This particular book tumbled around in the back of my head for some time. It was actually the second book in the series, but I liked it better than the first, so put that one on the back burner.

I'm not sure exactly where the idea for this novel originated. I have a number of LDS friends and had studied their faith at length. As a forensic artist myself, I was fascinated with the facial reconstructions done by my instructor at the Lit
Heather Gilbert
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
Wow! I will definitely be reading this entire series.

What I loved:
-a heroine who's unique--a plucky breast cancer survivor divorcee
-lots of research and obvious knowledge of the subject matter
-as I mentioned above, twists I can't see coming (and I can see most twists, being an Agatha Christie devotee since teen years). I did guess whodunit, but how we GOT there was a whole different matter!
-a non-preachy yet solid Christian worldview--I love that the MC is a character in progress. She's not per
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
In her debut novel, Parks presents a powerful story whose action does not stop until the final page. Desperate for work after a recent battle with cancer and divorce, Gwen Marcey finds herself at the Mountain Meadows Information Center in Utah, home of the infamous massacre which, in 1857, marked a dark day in the Mormon Church. Using her background as a forensic artist, Marcey is working on reconstructing skulls found in the area. After a group of protesters cause trouble at the Center, two peo ...more
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-tbr, sherlock, mt
Suspense/Thriller; first book in the Gwen Marcey series. This is the first book I have read by this author and it resided on my TBR list for an unfortunate amount of time. I am reading it now because of my interest in Montana authors and settings. Ms. Parks truly is an artist and her other books include instructional material on drawing. Her mentor is the one and only, Frank E. Peretti. I felt this novel was a great debut. It was very character driven and I did enjoy the cast of characters she c ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was not for me. Maybe I reached a reading slump, or perhaps it was because I just finished 3 great books from Irene Hannon, but I found the book a bit boring and the subject matter did not interest me at all. I didn't connect with any of the characters and was glad the book was done so that I could put it aside. ...more
Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Gwen Marcey is such a great character! She's "real" and authentic, and her inner dialogue is delightful. Her relationship with her best friend Beth is both hilarious and sweet, and Gwen's struggles with her ex-husband and her teenage daughter are ones to which many women can relate. On top of all of that, her job as a forensic artist is fascinating as are her skills at deception detection. In short, she's a fictional character I would want as a friend should that ever be possible.

In Carrie Stuar
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
A Cry From the Dust starts off very strong. First, there is the endorsement from Frank Peretti in his note sharing how he served as a mentor for the author. Second, there is an event that occurred on September 8-11 in the late 1800s to set the stage for the novel. The first quarter of the book was very good and I was enjoying the history element in addition to the mystery. The shell of the story was strong and I liked the author's dry humor. After the first quarter of the book, the writing was n ...more
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous mystery! Love the protagonist and the entire premise of a forensic artist.
Angie Fehl
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from in return for an honest review.

This was one of my first reads for the new year and it's now my first entry on my favorites for 2015! I think I barreled through this book in about 2 1/2 days! I found that the story was made even more interesting by the fact that the author herself actually is a forensic artist (like the main character), and that this storyline was inspired by real historical events.

The story opens in Moun
Marji Laine
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just spent an enjoyable three days stealing every excess moment to absorb Carrie Stuart Parks's debut novel. This story would make an EXCELLENT movie!

Gwen Marcey has had it all:, success, failure, disease, dismal humiliation, and now murder and destruction following her. Her best friend, Beth, always says, "Everything happens for a reason," but how can there be any benefit in Gwen's sanity being questioned, her co-worker murdered, her work decimated? Not to mention the other dysfunctional elem
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The saying "don't judge a book by its cover" does hold true. The cover of this book didn't appeal to me at all, and I almost passed on it as a book to review, but the book and author both sounded interesting, so I requested it. And then I started to read it and discovered it was written from the first person point of view, not a favorite of mine. But I kept reading. And got sucked into a great story. I really intended to read some of it and finish it another day, but it was too good to put down ...more
Carol Crigger
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Carrie Stuart Parks
Trade Paperback
Thomas Nelson
You can read a story blurb about A Cry From the Dust anywhere, so I’m going to talk about other aspects of the book.
* The writing is clear and sharp, with good flow.
* The subject matter is extraordinary. Domestic terrorism; the Mormon Church; plural marriage.
* Gwen Marcy, the point of view character, has a history too many of us can relate to; cancer (Gwen is bald), a messy divorce, single motherhood. All this, plus she's kidnappe
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great debut novel. Being mentored by Frank Peretti has left its mark. I really like the main character, a gutsy woman recovering from a divorce and recent breast cancer. The author is herself a forensic artist and she expertly weaves her own experience and skill into this novel. It is a good combination of fact and fiction as she clarifies in her Author Note. The plot is well done, taking us to the fringes of LDS offshoot groups. I enjoyed this novel a great deal and hope to see much m ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Because I’ve always had an interest in The Mountain Meadows Massacre, I was eager to read this novel. Ms. Parks has obviously done extensive research into the Massacre and the Mormon church and it’s various splinter groups. But that’s not to say this is dry, historical reading. The characters (I especially loved Gwen), the plot, the skillful interweaving of the past and present, and the descriptions of how forensic artists work all created a suspenseful, absorbing, and fascinating read with the ...more
Patricia Bradley
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Cry From the Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks blew me away. Parks knows how to put her characters in danger and then up the threat. I didn't put the book down until I 1 in the morning. I enjoyed learning about what a forensic artist does. Will be reading the next book in the series as soon as I can get it downloaded! ...more
Trish Reynolds
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CSI lovers, this is for you!!

I was captivated from the first sentence. Ms. Parks intricately weaves her story around an historical event and colors it artfully. Her characters are so well defined, I can't wait to read their next adventure. Bravo!
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!!! What took me so long to become acquainted with Carrie Stuart Parks? I have no excuse. None -- and I'm four books behind! What gripping, edge-of-your-seat, rabid-page-turning, thrilling suspense! I couldn't put this one down from the get go.

Love Gwen -- messy life, personal conflicts, sardonic humour -- what a heroine! And what an intriguing profession -- the forensic art details are fascinating and bring a fresh kind of charge to the story.

What an adrenaline rush of a read! Sinister mys
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was recommended this book by a lovely employee of The Well-Read Moose in Coeur d’Alene. And what an exceptional recommendation it was.

The plot and heroine made the mystery such a refreshing read. Gwen was relatable in her struggle to balance her life while dealing with a teenager, breast cancer, and an obnoxious ex-husband. The pacing of the book had a roller-coaster feel, giving the reader a little breather in-between the action. There were numerous times where I was holding my breath and the
Library Queen
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2020, re-reads
I've been reading this author's standalones and not really enjoying them, so I decided to reread this to see if it actually was as good as I remember it being.

It was. I don't know if it's because the character is a bit autobiographical, or what it is, but unlike the heroines in the other books, Gwen's quirks feel real, and not just shoved in to make her seem interesting.

Also weird history conspiracy coverups! Whee!
Christy Woolum
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had heard of the Gwen Marcey series for awhile, and was pleased we picked the first in the series for our book group selection this month. I have known the author since childhood, but this book helped me understand her talents as a forensic artist. I really loved the book and had to stay up last night until I finished it. Marcey is working on reconstructing faces of victims of the Mountain Meadows Massacre when a series of murders happen. The plot moves from Utah to Montana, back to Utah, and ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Suspense fans, Crime fiction fans
Wow! What an explosive start to an amazing series! I may have read the last 2 books in the series before reading this one but it didn't spoil the story for me one little bit. I love the author's gritty and straightforward writing style. I also love how the inner (forensic) artist comes out as she uses such lovely color terminology, cadmium yellow, indanthrene blue..... ...more
Sarah Monzon
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a fast-paced thriller but more of an intellectual mystery. The religious conspiracy angle as a bit creepy but very interesting.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A Cry from the Dust is full of action, and mysteries that unfold along the way. Gwen Marcy is a likeable heroine who is a forensic artist. She recreates death masks of some victims from the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and that begins the series of ups and downs that this book details.

The writing is good as Parks weaves in Mormonism, lots and lots of twists, supposed-good-guys-gone-bad, and a cliffhanger ending almost every chapter. I found all the law enforcement people hard to keep straight, but
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gwen Marcey, new divorced forensic artist and cancer survivor takes a job at the Mountain Meadows Massacre Interpretive Center to put a face to three of the Massacre's victims who she refers to as Larry, Moe and Curly. A preview opening for the center is held where a group of protesters damage things while a college student faints. The student who is murdered in a ritualized fashion is found to be using a fake identity. What starts with one murder becomes a series of them, a cover-up involving J ...more
Christine Barth
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A historical conspiracy, a present day terrorism threat, a spunky heroine, a sprinkling of grace. What more can a girl ask for in a book?
Jun 01, 2021 rated it liked it
This was a little more disturbing than many books I read. Maybe it was the forensic angle?

I learned about some history I’d never heard of (the Mountain Meadow Massacre). Cults and things of that sort make me so sad for the people in them. If I were Gwen, I’d have HUGE trust issues with authority after this experience.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This new author to me is a real life forensic artist who has turned to fiction writing. She gained some writing skills through working with Frank Peretti. The book blends an actual historic event, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, in Utah in 1857 with a modern day series of crimes, including murder. It is filled with unique characters and a mystery that is difficult to unravel.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LOVE Gwen Marcey!!
I read book 2 for the ACFW's group and loved it so when I was able to pick up book 1 for cheap (or maybe free) I grabbed.

This book was very interesting as it looked at the early history of the Mormons and the lives of John Smith and Brigham Young as well as some of the splinter groups of mormonism. The ending totally ambushed me which I really liked.

I also appreciate the growth in the author between book 1 and 2. Both are excellent, but I saw measured improvement in her story
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars
Carrie Stuart Parks delivered a highly unique and suspenseful first book in a new series. Gwen Marcey is suffering from hot flashes, the aftermath of breast cancer treatments, a teenage daughter struggling with the aftermath of her parents divorce and an ex-husband who wrote a best-selling book about her.

Gwen is innovative, smart, sassy and able able to take care of herself. She is hired to do some forensic reconstructive faces for a new exhibit regarding Mormon history. The vandalizing
Nov 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
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Carrie Stuart Parks is Christy, Carol, and Inspy award-winning author, an award-winning fine artist, and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a v ...more

Other books in the series

Gwen Marcey (4 books)
  • The Bones Will Speak (Gwen Marcey #2)
  • When Death Draws Near (Gwen Marcey #3)
  • Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4)

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