Saving grace A novel of suspense

Debbie Babitt

Book - 2021

Orphaned at eleven, Mary Grace Dobbs was forced to live with her Bible salesman uncle, wheelchair-bound aunt, and a cousin who tortured and killed small animals. At school, a bully made her life a nightmare. Everything changed when a newcomer to town became her only best friend, and changed a second time when that friend and another classmate vanished two months later, never to be seen again. Now she's the first female sheriff of her Arkansas town, and keeping order and her demons at bay be...comes an impossible task when the Black drifter suspected in the earlier disappearances returns to Repentance... and another sixth grader vanishes. A cult of white supremacists brings its gospel of hate to Repentance and violence explodes, claiming more lives. -- adapted from jacket

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Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Published
New York : Scarlet [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
330 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781613162064
1613162065
Main Author
Debbie Babitt (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In Babitt's uneven debut, single mother Mary Grace Dobbs, the new sheriff of Repentance, Ark., fears history might be repeating itself 24 years after two of her sixth-grade classmates—her best friend and her worst enemy—vanished separately. First, Black mechanic Darryl Stokes, who many in the conservative, largely white community suspected in the disappearances, suddenly returns after an absence of more than two decades. Then, weeks later, a sixth-grade girl goes missing—alarming Mary Grace in both her professional capacity and as a concerned mother whose daughter is the missing girl's classmate. As Mary Grace leads the search while struggling to keep in check the white supremacists who are spoiling for a fight, shifts between the chaotic present and the guilt-wracked past help build tension. The author skillfully teases the long-buried secrets that still haunt the sheriff, but frequently loses narrative drive in long-winded passages dedicated to chronicling local color. The pace accelerates during the twisty final pages, leading to an explosive, if credulity stretching climax. Babbit shows enough potential to leave fans of psychological suspense wanting more. (Mar.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A first woman sheriff in a superstitious mountain community investigates a sixth grader’s disappearance against a backdrop of a suspect’s reemergence, the acts of a white supremacy group and two previously unsolved child disappearances.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The first female sheriff of a small, remote mountain town investigates the disappearance of a girl, a crime that echoes events that shattered her town decades before, during her childhood.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Suspense Magazine“I’m the only one who knows what happened to those girls…”In this gripping suspense debut, the first female sheriff of a small mountain village investigates a disappearance that echoes the crimes that shattered her town decades before.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

For twenty-four years, Mary Grace Dobbs has been searching for salvation. Orphaned at eleven, she was forced to go live with her Bible salesman uncle, wheelchair-bound aunt, and a cousin who tortured and killed small animals. At school, a bully made her life a nightmare. Everything changed when a newcomer to town became her only best friend, and changed a second time when that friend and another classmate vanished two months later, never to be seen again.Today, Mary Grace is the first female sheriff of her rural town, a position that doesn’t sit well with some of the locals. Keeping order and her demons at bay becomes an impossible task when the Black drifter suspected in the earlier disappearances returns to Repentance . . . and another sixth grader vanishes. With old prejudices and new secrets spilling out into the open, the modern world soon illuminates the village’s darkest corners. The case becomes even more fraught as a cult of white supremacists brings its gospel of hate to Repentance and violence explodes, claiming more lives. Racing to find the missing girl while fearing for the safety of her own sixth-grade daughter, Mary Grace must confront an unspeakable truth—and face a decision no parent should ever have to make. Saving Grace