Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich has an assured and arresting start – the bodies of a pastor and his two young children are uncovered in the flower bed of a Nebraskan parsonage. The case falls to Captain Linda Turner who has far to travel in the ensuing investigation, and much to cover.
Running concurrently to the efforts of the Captain is the story/parable of the televangelist Roy Williams who is persuaded to take his ministry over the margin in a trust issue.
It is with these two threads this story is woven into a deceptively strong fabric. Schleich has a good ear for conversation; and though each character is seldom introduced with no more than a nominal description – it is seemingly enough of a ‘coat hanger’ to hang each personality upon. She is also thrifty with her narrative and the story moves at a good lick.
Each of the two threads weave together pleasingly, and Turner’s investigation has a satisfying progression. As both hunter and quarry are fleshed out nicely the story escalated and becomes most involving. It is focused and flows well.
Salvation Station was originally written as a screenplay – and it maintains a cinematic focus and build of action. I rattled though it, and found it a very good read- with a sour view of televangelism a effective place for it to come from. As if a movie review I have purposefully omitted any spoilers so you can enjoy!
Amanda Aldridge 4/4*
Salvation Station by Kathryn Schleich
978-1-63152-892-7 She Writes Press Hardback April 2020