Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich

Captain Linda Turner arrives at Reverend Martin's house after his dog digs out a human leg in the flower garden. There are three bodies, including two children are found buried in the parsonage garden. Rev. Martin moved into the parsonage about eight weeks ago, replacing the former pastor named Gregory Hansen. Rev. Hansen was married and had two children. The Hansen family was supposed to pursue his missionary work in Africa, but the national missionary office for the Disciples of Christ contacts the church when the Hansens had never arrived.

The investigation leads to the embezzlement of the church fund, which involves Rev. Hansen's wife, Nicole Allen. The police find out that Nicole has withdrawn the church's money into another account a few weeks before the murder. Several aliases involved with Nicole's crime, including another woman who is a pastor's wife, have mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

In St. Louis, the televangelist Ray Williams is going to end his show after five years. During his conversation with his two church members regarding the termination of the show, one of his regular attendees, Susannah Baker, appears to them. She claims that God has appeared in her dream and suggests an idea to save the show. Ray is hesitant with the idea due to ethical concern but willing to give it a try. Meanwhile, Ruth Perkins, who no longer attends church after her husband dies, is intensely captivated with the show 'The Road to Calvary'. Without her family's knowledge, she is continuously donating large amounts of her money to the church.

(SPOILER AHEAD) This is a very refreshing storyline about a woman who targets widow pastors for church fund. Due to her unfortunate childhood experience, she becomes a cold-blooded person who kills anyone for self-interest. The narrative style can be confusing for some readers, with multiple storylines unfolded parallelly on different places and dates. However, I felt the story made me involved with the investigation of the case when such narrative style includes the timeline from the beginning of the murder until the closure of the case.

I liked the author only focuses on the main plot and offers fewer unnecessary details such as physical appearances and the characters' personal life unless relevant to the story. The ending also has given the readers what is in Susannah's mind after the unfolded truth. The idea is remarkable, something that I never read before, and I don't think I will forget this story.

ISBN: 9781631528934 (ebook)
Number of Pages: 302
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich.

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