I received a complimentary copy of SAVING GRACE by Debbie Babitt from the publisher Scarlet Suspense as part of a Let’s Talk Books promotional tour!
Rating: 3.5 / 5
SAVING GRACE is set in the small town of Repentance in rural Alabama. As the name implies, it is a place heavily indoctrinated in Biblical teaching and the reality of good vs. evil, God vs. Devil. Main character Mary Grace firmly believes that she has evil within, though the reader doesn’t initially know why. She was orphaned at 11 years old and sent to live with relatives who took her in, but didn’t provide the most loving of homes. At school she was bullied and she didn’t seem to fit in anywhere. When a new girl comes to town, Mary Grace finally has a friend until that friend disappears without a trace and another schoolmate goes missing as well.
In the present day Mary Grace is grown up and the sheriff of Repentance. The town is thrown into turmoil when a Black drifter returns to town (a man many believe to have killed the missing girls, though there was no evidence to support it). Assumptions run wild when another young girl disappears.
This is a book that took me a while to settle into. The first half I would say is a very slow burn. There are hints about what happened to Mary Grace and her friend all those years ago that kept me intrigued, but we’re meeting a lot of characters and have a lot of questions between the two timelines of the book. The author really does a fantastic job of throwing in mini cliffhangers at the end of the sections that keep you wanting more!
The action really gets moving in the second half of the book and the author managed some twists that I definitely did not see coming. I feel like I read the second half of the book in half the time it took me to read the first half! The story did tie in a lot of the details the author developed in the first half such that it became much more clear why a lot of the beginning build up was needed.
This was a fun read and it made for some fun buddy read discussions as well! Thank you to the publisher and to Let’s Talk Books for the opportunity to read and review!