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Award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her talent for crafting a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow. A woman off the grid. Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town Award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her talent for crafting a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow. A woman off the grid. Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and strange problems at the ranch begin to escalate, and Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery. A town on fire. More fires erupt around town, and a serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars her work has caused her are also the reason she’s trying to escape her life. A growing darkness. As the shadows continue moving in, pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. To make it out alive, Darby must decide if she can trust the one man who sees her clearly. Praise for Woman in Shadow: “Unique, witty, and hilarious, Carrie's voice shines throughout Woman in Shadow. The perfect mix of intrigue, mystery and danger, this is most definitely a book for my keeper shelf.” —Dani Pettrey, bestselling author of the Coastal Guardians series Full-length, stand-alone suspense novel Award-winning, bestselling author Also by Carrie Stuart Parks: Relative Silence, Fragments of Fear, Formula of Deception, and A Cry from the Dust Includes discussion questions for book clubs


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Award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her talent for crafting a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow. A woman off the grid. Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town Award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks combines her expertise as a forensic artist with her talent for crafting a gripping story in this page-turning web of light and shadow. A woman off the grid. Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and strange problems at the ranch begin to escalate, and Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery. A town on fire. More fires erupt around town, and a serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars her work has caused her are also the reason she’s trying to escape her life. A growing darkness. As the shadows continue moving in, pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. To make it out alive, Darby must decide if she can trust the one man who sees her clearly. Praise for Woman in Shadow: “Unique, witty, and hilarious, Carrie's voice shines throughout Woman in Shadow. The perfect mix of intrigue, mystery and danger, this is most definitely a book for my keeper shelf.” —Dani Pettrey, bestselling author of the Coastal Guardians series Full-length, stand-alone suspense novel Award-winning, bestselling author Also by Carrie Stuart Parks: Relative Silence, Fragments of Fear, Formula of Deception, and A Cry from the Dust Includes discussion questions for book clubs

30 review for Woman in Shadow

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks is one of those stories that begins with a trace of mystery that seems like it could come to nothing. Instead, one offbeat occurrence builds upon another until our protagonist realizes that yes, perhaps she really has been sent to Mule Shoe Ranch for a reason. Darby Graham has been sent to the ranch from Clan Firinn, a program for law enforcement personnel who need help dealing with PTSD. As the book progresses, Darby’s history is revealed. What I found quit Woman in Shadow by Carrie Stuart Parks is one of those stories that begins with a trace of mystery that seems like it could come to nothing. Instead, one offbeat occurrence builds upon another until our protagonist realizes that yes, perhaps she really has been sent to Mule Shoe Ranch for a reason. Darby Graham has been sent to the ranch from Clan Firinn, a program for law enforcement personnel who need help dealing with PTSD. As the book progresses, Darby’s history is revealed. What I found quite interesting was her career as a forensic linguist. The author has drawn on her own background as a forensic artist in creating this character. Since she is no longer in law enforcement, Darby relies on her observation skills, her training, and trying to stay under the radar as a guest at the lodge, attempting to learn just what kind of shady business is happening there. It doesn’t take long. After earthquake tremors shake everyone up, the following events seem relatively minor, but when the first death occurs, Darby and the others realize that something is seriously out of whack at Mule Shoe. Things get hairy and scary really fast. Darby remembers a verse she was cued to think of in times of stress: “strong and courageous.” As a non-believer, she doubts it will help. Among those at the ranch, there are two men who seem most reliable, and they are both interested in Darby. Can she trust them? Can she trust the others? This book has a hint of romance and a smattering of Biblical references. I liked the characters, and I was intrigued by the person known as the Shadow Woman – so was Darby. Two of my favorite characters, however, were the two dogs, Maverick and Holly. They play key roles throughout the book. Initially, Ms. Parks’ writing style struck me as pretty average, but wow, can she ramp up the excitement and suspense! The tension and danger just keeps going and going as she flips the scene between Darby’s viewpoint and Bram or any of the others in the group. Bit by bit, the cause of Darby’s PTSD comes to light; she has flashbacks as she deals with her current stressful situation and faces the dangers head on. I had absolutely no idea who was behind any of the deaths and other crimes at Mule Sole Ranch! The author kept me turning page after page, wondering not only who the murderer was and what the motive was, but also who would be left standing at the end. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. My thanks to NetGalley, Thomas Nelson, and the author for this ARC copy of Woman in Shadow. 4 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Carrie Stuart Parks, and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. I am always eager when I see Carrie Stuart Parks has written another novel, having found myself fully enthralled with her Gwen Marcey series a number of years ago. While Parks has moved into writing standalone thrillers, she can still pack a punch and offers up some great storytelling in this piece. Whe First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Carrie Stuart Parks, and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. I am always eager when I see Carrie Stuart Parks has written another novel, having found myself fully enthralled with her Gwen Marcey series a number of years ago. While Parks has moved into writing standalone thrillers, she can still pack a punch and offers up some great storytelling in this piece. When a woman who is saddled with much PTSD from a horrific work event arrives in rural Idaho, all she wants is some rest and well-deserved relaxation. Darby Graham could not have known that this ranch had so many issues and someone causing massive amount of uproar. As things begin to happen, Darby is thrust into the middle of trying to solve them and determine if there is a killer targeting the ranch or someone on its grounds specially. Gritty and mysterious, Parks does well to lure the reader in with this story. When she arrives in Idaho, all Darby Graham wants is some time to recharge her batteries and enjoy the wilderness. However, things begin with a bang (or more literally, a shake) and develop from there. In an area close to Yellowstone National Park, there are countless mini earthquakes that cause quite a stir. Graham encounters this, as well as two potential canine companions to join her as she makes her way up to Mule Shoe. Graham slowly tries to get herself acclimated, though she carries much baggage of her own. Having arrived at the ranch from Clan Firinn, a program for law enforcement officers who have suffered severe PTSD, Graham hopes to put all her worries behind her. However, that is not always the case, as small things occur that trigger flashbacks and horrible fugue states. When these occurrences begin to pile up, Graham has no choice but to work with the locals to try uncovering what’s been going on. A forensic linguist by training, Graham finds clues in language and how it is presented. She is able to use some notes from the past sent to ward others away and finds herself able to piece together a very loose profile. That may not help her now, as people are dying and destruction is rampant, though it does not deter Graham from trying her best. Riddled with memories of the past that haunt her, Darby Graham will have to put all that behind her if she is to help find a killer before she becomes a victim herself. Much if riding on this, the least of which a chance to slay her own demons once and for all. A well-paced story that adds action and suspense throughout, proving that Parks has not lost her way with words. I struggle after reading a series and the author turns to standalone novels. When I get into the groove of things, I can only see myself wanting to continue on the journey of a protagonist I know well, with dangling threads and new plot ideas formulated in the closing chapters of a book. However, Carrie Stuart Parks turned to writing novels that float on their own, equally as impactful to the attentive reader. These are still filled with the element of mystery and suspense, as well as utilising some unique forensic research, which is usually able to extinguish my longing for a series continuation. Darby Graham does well in her role as protagonist, offering the reader a fair bit with which it work. Having suffered a great deal and still haunted with vast amounts of PTSD, Graham has tried to right herself and find a new path. Graham’s attempted escape to rural Idaho may not be the peace and quiet she needs, but it does showcase some of her wonderful forensic skills and keeps the reader guessing about how she will overcome it all. There is great growth and backstory construction in the piece, even if it is meant to go no further than the end of this novel. Those Parks matches up with her protagonist also play key roles in keeping the story moving. While many flavour a particular aspect of the narrative, some drop clues throughout to help add depth to the story and provide insights into where things are going for the overall reading experience. Parks has a way of developing the rural authority figure effectively, which is not lost in this novel. Some of the characters help propel Darby Graham to a new level, while others are strictly there to impede her personal and professional progress throughout. Things began somewhat slowly for me in this read. I needed some time to find myself interested in what was going on. Parks uses a slow reveal to really captivate the reader’s attention, but when it is found, the narrative picks up and finds its momentum. The various perspectives offered throughout provide the reader with an exciting tale, with decent backstory and mysterious twists. The plot advances in due time and keeps the reader guessing until all is revealed by the end. Short chapters push things along, though the information in them is essential, forcing the reader to play close attention. One of Parks’ great assets in her writing is presenting a typical criminal case through the lens of a less-known forensic profession. As with her Gwen Marcey series, the reader learns much through the eyes of Darby Graham, whose life as a forensic linguist offers some insights that may have been missed otherwise. While not my favourite piece by Carries Stuart Parks, I enjoyed it and would encourage readers to look into her other work, particularly that of the aforementioned Gwen Marcey. Kudos, Madam Parks, on another solid piece of writing. You never cease to impress me with the new forensic angles presented in your writing. Be sure to check for my review, first posted on Mystery and Suspense, as well as a number of other insightful comments by other reviewers. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/wo... Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laur

    ‘Unique, witty and hilarious! Carrie’s voice shines throughout Woman in Shadow. The perfect mix of intrigue, mystery, danger, and suspense. This is most definitely a book to keep on my favorites shelf” - front cover review And I agree 100%! I loved this story!! It was unique, fast paced, real, and fun. The main POV deals with coming to terms with her PSTD and her missing leg from an accident in the past - her assignment now after graduating from a rehab program is working on a murder/arson case i ‘Unique, witty and hilarious! Carrie’s voice shines throughout Woman in Shadow. The perfect mix of intrigue, mystery, danger, and suspense. This is most definitely a book to keep on my favorites shelf” - front cover review And I agree 100%! I loved this story!! It was unique, fast paced, real, and fun. The main POV deals with coming to terms with her PSTD and her missing leg from an accident in the past - her assignment now after graduating from a rehab program is working on a murder/arson case in a beautiful and rustic resort. Darby is a forensic linguistics artist that is a master at detecting lies and deception. I can’t remember the last time I was in suspense, reading a who-dun-it mystery, loving both the plot and the characters (with 2 beautiful dogs), with an ongoing smart, but snarky dialogue that seems totally in place given the characters and circumstances.l just adore the character of Darby, and it’s a pleasure to see her growth by the story’s end. My 1st time reading this author, definitely won’t be my last! I’ve added a whole bunch her books on my TBR now. Earns 5 Real Big Beautiful Stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and my favorites shelf. Audio Narrator was outstanding- delivering perfect timings to those the story lines!

  4. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christian mystery/suspense with a hint of romance set in rural Idaho with a female protagonist who is memorable for her intelligence, courage and grit as she works to find the cause of disturbing incidents on a resort ranch she is sent to, while working to overcome PTSD from a previous horrific case gone wrong. Darby Graham has spent two years at Clan Firinn, a program for law enforcement Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christian mystery/suspense with a hint of romance set in rural Idaho with a female protagonist who is memorable for her intelligence, courage and grit as she works to find the cause of disturbing incidents on a resort ranch she is sent to, while working to overcome PTSD from a previous horrific case gone wrong. Darby Graham has spent two years at Clan Firinn, a program for law enforcement personnel to work on dealing with their severe PTSD. Clan Firinn has sent her undercover to Mule Shoe Ranch to use her skills as a forensic linguist to gather information regarding accidents that are sabotaging the future of the ranch. Deputy Bram White is aware of the problems at Mule Shoe Ranch, but he is also investigating a serial arsonist. As the accidents at the ranch turn to murder, Bram turns to Darby for assistance. Are they looking for an arsonist who is also a killer, or do the two cases have separate perpetrators? Will Darby be able to unravel all the suspects and motives before she becomes one of the killer’s victims? I enjoyed this story from start to finish. Darby is a strong protagonist who goes through so much emotionally and physically during this story. Her backstory and the cause of her PTSD is revealed in increments throughout the story as she works to overcome all the personal obstacles thrown in her way from the killer. I also loved Ms. Parks’ addition of the dogs, Holly and Maverick, to aid Darby in so many ways during the story. Bram is a romantic interest who has his own backstory to overcome so as much as he helps Darby, he also makes her doubt herself. This has a thread of romance with no sex scenes, but a growth of understanding and acceptance. The Christian references during the story are few. The red herrings and plot twists left me guessing until the resolution which I always like. I recommend this standalone Christian mystery/suspense!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    Carrie Stuart Parks always delivers an intense story that is uniquely hers...one of suspense, action, danger, and a mystery. Darby Graham is recovering from a tragic event in her life and has lived in a recovery group home to help her. She has graduated and now sent to a remote high price ranch/retreat in the wilds of Idaho near Yellowstone to work undercover to find out what is going on at the ranch. Thinking she would be able to get in and out of this remote site, she gets drawn into a situati Carrie Stuart Parks always delivers an intense story that is uniquely hers...one of suspense, action, danger, and a mystery. Darby Graham is recovering from a tragic event in her life and has lived in a recovery group home to help her. She has graduated and now sent to a remote high price ranch/retreat in the wilds of Idaho near Yellowstone to work undercover to find out what is going on at the ranch. Thinking she would be able to get in and out of this remote site, she gets drawn into a situation where someone is sabotaging the ranch with unexplained accidents, near death experiences and tragic events. Armed with a Bible verse to remember to be courageous, she finds she needs to use it as events ramp up. She adopts a couple of stray dogs that play a big part in the story and help Darby out at times. She really doesn't know who to trust but Deputy Bram White is there investigating as events happen and she finds she trusts him. I was pulled into the story and found it hard to put down as the mystery unfolds and intensifies. I liked Darby and wanted to help her out at times. Bram was also likable and trustworthy. I found this an interesting story and setting with a unique plot with twists that kept me guessing until the ending, which was a satisfying ending with a great new beginning. Highly recommended. I received a complimentary ARC from Thomas Nelson Publishing and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    The first chapter of this book did not hook me; by chapter five I was all in. However, it then turned a bit too preposterous for me. I knew nothing about this author prior to reading Woman in Shadow, so I looked at her website which describes her writing as “ hyper-realistic”. If you define that term as distorting or exaggerating reality, then it is an apt term. The main character, Darby, is a forensic linguist and I did enjoy that unique perspective, as well as some of her humor. This was a fast The first chapter of this book did not hook me; by chapter five I was all in. However, it then turned a bit too preposterous for me. I knew nothing about this author prior to reading Woman in Shadow, so I looked at her website which describes her writing as “ hyper-realistic”. If you define that term as distorting or exaggerating reality, then it is an apt term. The main character, Darby, is a forensic linguist and I did enjoy that unique perspective, as well as some of her humor. This was a fast, but not particularly satisfying read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    This book is full of action, and the characters are great. Darby, a forensic linguist, is sent to a remote ranch for research. Here she is saving Shadow woman"s dogs, but who is she, and how come she left her dogs to die? Investigating an arson, a murder and some attempting murders she is closer to the truth. "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for this book. This book is full of action, and the characters are great. Darby, a forensic linguist, is sent to a remote ranch for research. Here she is saving Shadow woman"s dogs, but who is she, and how come she left her dogs to die? Investigating an arson, a murder and some attempting murders she is closer to the truth. "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Wow! Great story! I do not know why I have waited so long to read this unique author! I really loved reading this fascinating book. Earthquakes, landslides, stampedes, a killer on the loose in a remote area. So much going on but this is a very well plotted story. Mule Shoe Resort is isolated for a reason. To get away from electronic devices and find peace albeit at a steep price tag. This story is packed with interesting characters and the author keeps you guessing as to who the killer is and why Wow! Great story! I do not know why I have waited so long to read this unique author! I really loved reading this fascinating book. Earthquakes, landslides, stampedes, a killer on the loose in a remote area. So much going on but this is a very well plotted story. Mule Shoe Resort is isolated for a reason. To get away from electronic devices and find peace albeit at a steep price tag. This story is packed with interesting characters and the author keeps you guessing as to who the killer is and why the resort has been having *accidents*. Darby Graham is sent to Mule Shoe to de-stress and heal after a horrific incident. Deputy Sheriff Bram White shows up to put down two abandoned dogs belonging to the Shadow Woman. Darby rescues the dogs and forms quite the attachment to them. She is curious about this Shadow Woman but Darby has shadows of her own. When suspicious things keep happening, Darby and Bram join forces to try to put the puzzle pieces together. When she has doubts, she relies on a verse she has memorized.”Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” And God gives her the strength. The story is not without humor as Darby shows acerbic wit through it all. “Who would have figured my two dogs were cruise directors for a guilt trip? “ I will definitely be seeking out this authors backlist soon. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Partners In Crime Tours. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Hall

    4.5 stars! Characters: I enjoyed both Darby’s and Bram’s perspectives. Darby had an engaging, fun-to-read personality. I always like the kind of snarky characters :) The cast of characters at the lodge almost reminded me of the board game Clue … So many people to suspect. And I totally missed the villain. I’m still surprised by that revelation. Language: Clean. Moral: This book’s morals focused on God’s plan and taking courage because of God’s presence. Plot: Wow, that was suspenseful. It’s not ofte 4.5 stars! Characters: I enjoyed both Darby’s and Bram’s perspectives. Darby had an engaging, fun-to-read personality. I always like the kind of snarky characters :) The cast of characters at the lodge almost reminded me of the board game Clue … So many people to suspect. And I totally missed the villain. I’m still surprised by that revelation. Language: Clean. Moral: This book’s morals focused on God’s plan and taking courage because of God’s presence. Plot: Wow, that was suspenseful. It’s not often I think suspense books are really suspenseful (I’m a weird reader), but this one was actually exciting. I’m not going to give spoilers :) Random comments: Both Darby and Bram were divorced and planning to remarry. Romance: Clean. The romantic thread in this book was understated. Except for that time Bram kissed Darby after her PTSD moment. Weird … Writing: Carrie Stuart Parks has a smooth, unobtrusive writing style that worked really well for this story. Overall: I really enjoyed Woman in Shadow and recommend it to readers of Christian fiction and suspense novels.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    I don't pre-order many audible books -- I prefer to browse my wish list, looking for a book that matches my current mood -- but when I saw that Carrie Stuart Parks had a new book coming out I couldn't click on the pre-order button fast enough. Was even tempted to set my alarm for midnight on release day so I could get started right away. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and I managed to restrain myself until six a.m. but then it was compulsive listening all the way! Parks has a knack for creati I don't pre-order many audible books -- I prefer to browse my wish list, looking for a book that matches my current mood -- but when I saw that Carrie Stuart Parks had a new book coming out I couldn't click on the pre-order button fast enough. Was even tempted to set my alarm for midnight on release day so I could get started right away. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and I managed to restrain myself until six a.m. but then it was compulsive listening all the way! Parks has a knack for creating prickly heroines who are uniquely intriguing. Darby is just such a one -- battered and scarred by life's injustices and battling to make sense of where she's ended up. She's an alluring combination of snark and grit. And her sarcastic inner dialogue makes even the most serious discussions grin worthy. Thankfully she has enough self-control not to let the sass out...most of the time. :-) I'd never heard of a forensic linguist before so that aspect of the suspense was really fascinating. And woohhheeee -- the suspense! Talk about gripping! There's so much I want to say but can't for fear of posting spoilers. But the way it plays out, all the the secondary characters involved who may or may not be suspects. The multiple twists, turns and dead ends! The gasp-out-loud moments. The times I guessed right. Even more times I guessed wrong! I was mesmerized from start to finish. And in the midst of all that, there's even a solid faith thread as Darby struggles to find God in the midst of her pain. Add in a hint of romance, two crazy cool dogs and a title that fits the story to perfection (I have a thing about clever titles) and I was in storyland heaven. My only complaint -- it was over way too soon!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'So we're effectively cut off from the world with a badly injured woman and a homicidal maniac on the loose.' Carrie Stuart Parks always pulls in the reader with her well written stories. As an internationally known forensic artist herself, she is able to always grab my attention every single time, all the while adding multiple layers to each story, crafting believable characters with real problems. I was on the edge of my seat with this one. Well done! I received a complimentary copy of this book 'So we're effectively cut off from the world with a badly injured woman and a homicidal maniac on the loose.' Carrie Stuart Parks always pulls in the reader with her well written stories. As an internationally known forensic artist herself, she is able to always grab my attention every single time, all the while adding multiple layers to each story, crafting believable characters with real problems. I was on the edge of my seat with this one. Well done! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cara Putman

    An intriguing gothic story set on a ranch near Yellowstone. Broken heroine who comes into her own through the story. Many twists and intricately tied to the area. Great read for those who love suspense with a thread of romance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Forensic Linguistics Darby Graham suffers from PTSD after a difficult case while serving in law enforcement. She's at a remote Idaho resort to continue her recovery. Rather quickly Darby sees that a number of things are amiss at the resort. This novel delivers what I love best about Carrie Stuart Parks novels: - Quirky main female character - Dogs as key characters - Engaging story line I didn't guess what was going on until the reveal. I especially loved Darby's actions at the beginning of the novel Forensic Linguistics Darby Graham suffers from PTSD after a difficult case while serving in law enforcement. She's at a remote Idaho resort to continue her recovery. Rather quickly Darby sees that a number of things are amiss at the resort. This novel delivers what I love best about Carrie Stuart Parks novels: - Quirky main female character - Dogs as key characters - Engaging story line I didn't guess what was going on until the reveal. I especially loved Darby's actions at the beginning of the novel to help canines Maverick and Holly. In addition, it was great that Darby had memorized scripture to pull from as she navigated the happenings at the resort. My gratitude to publisher Thomas Nelson for a complimentary NetGalley copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    I can always count on Carrie Stuart Parks for a high intensity mystery/suspense novel. Fraught with lots of mystery, this novel follows Darby Graham as she is sent by her employer to a ranch near Yellowstone to check out some unusual occurrences. It's supposed to be low-key and offer her some time for R&R as well as some art classes. From before her arrival, though, she finds that this is not all it seems and a series of events that cannot possibly be random has her trying to solve the mystery b I can always count on Carrie Stuart Parks for a high intensity mystery/suspense novel. Fraught with lots of mystery, this novel follows Darby Graham as she is sent by her employer to a ranch near Yellowstone to check out some unusual occurrences. It's supposed to be low-key and offer her some time for R&R as well as some art classes. From before her arrival, though, she finds that this is not all it seems and a series of events that cannot possibly be random has her trying to solve the mystery before anyone gets killed. There was a great deal of tension and suspense in this one as well as a lot of unfolding mystery, which made it extra intense! I really liked Darby's character and unraveling her past and the secrets to her PTSD was intriguing. There was a subtle spiritual thread as Darby's Christian employer provided her with a couple of Bible verses to help her through the week and she kept coming back to those. There was a hint of romance, but it was a minor element to the book (which is how I like it if it has to be there). And there were lots of twists and turns - I didn't know who the villain was until it was revealed towards the end of the book. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of mystery and suspense novels. Special thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” “The best liars...and the most devastating lies, come from the people you’d never believe would lie to you.” “The shadow of guilt, fear, and shame.” Gwen Marcey, Evelyn McTavish, Piper Boone...and now Darby Graham. Carrie Stuart Parks can expertly craft a heroine protagonist that is equal parts broken, quirky, interesting, complex, and someone you root for. In other wor “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” “The best liars...and the most devastating lies, come from the people you’d never believe would lie to you.” “The shadow of guilt, fear, and shame.” Gwen Marcey, Evelyn McTavish, Piper Boone...and now Darby Graham. Carrie Stuart Parks can expertly craft a heroine protagonist that is equal parts broken, quirky, interesting, complex, and someone you root for. In other words, a multi dimensional and well developed character that is relatable. I love how this book, like all Carrie Stuart Parks books, really showcases her familiar writing style and covers a different aspect of law enforcement - this time with a forensic linguist. She still utilizes art again in this book and everything is extremely well researched. So what about the mystery angle? I really liked this one because there were red herrings all over the place. I had suspicions about several people and could never lock down whodunnit. I loved the final reveal and was definitely satisfied in all the twists and complexities. I loved the Christian and faith elements as always in her books. There is a small amount of romance but nothing eye rolling or cringeworthy, which is always appreciated. All in all, another hit from Carrie Stuart Parks! She is a definitely a must-read whenever a new book comes out. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    Terrific story that had my pulse pounding and kept me up reading late into the night! Suspenseful with an action-packed ending and surprising conclusion, plus interesting, complex characters, made this a stellar read. The use of art and linguistics was an unusual approach to solving crimes. The main plotline was enhanced with well researched details that made the story pop with authenticity. I felt like I was there! Darby had me pulling for her from the start, with her quirky self talk and her r Terrific story that had my pulse pounding and kept me up reading late into the night! Suspenseful with an action-packed ending and surprising conclusion, plus interesting, complex characters, made this a stellar read. The use of art and linguistics was an unusual approach to solving crimes. The main plotline was enhanced with well researched details that made the story pop with authenticity. I felt like I was there! Darby had me pulling for her from the start, with her quirky self talk and her rescue of the abandoned dogs. The unique experience of a woman trying to overcome PTSD and move on in life, while in the middle of an intense investigation, added another level to her emotional and spiritual struggle. Love how she puts the pieces of the mystery together, and also comes to grips with her past, eventually seeing that there is a God who cares for her and has not abandoned her. A few hints of romance, but certainly not the focus here. "...be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Highly recommend to fans of mystery with suspense and faith. 5 stars! (I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine Indorf

    I DNF this book but felt bad about it. I try not to DNF books any longer so I thought I would try to finish it. I'm glad I did. The ending is solid and I did enjoy it. You find out more about the characters and the book makes more sense. Now I have to say I have read another book by Carrie Stuart Park and Its seems she makes her characters similar in her writing. They have the same problems in the another book by her and the circumstances are the same. So when I decided to finish the book I trie I DNF this book but felt bad about it. I try not to DNF books any longer so I thought I would try to finish it. I'm glad I did. The ending is solid and I did enjoy it. You find out more about the characters and the book makes more sense. Now I have to say I have read another book by Carrie Stuart Park and Its seems she makes her characters similar in her writing. They have the same problems in the another book by her and the circumstances are the same. So when I decided to finish the book I tried to see the differences, and there definitely is as well. I did enjoy the read after deciding to finish the book and if you are looking for a fast read and to be thrilled I do recommend this book. Enjoy and have fun!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Yelton

    I was intrigued from the first couple pages of this book Woman in Shadows written by Carrie Stuart Parks. I had never had the pleasure of reading one of this author's amazing books before but I definitely will be reading more of them. As Darby arrives on the scene first thing she does is take responsibility for two stray dogs that are mostly starving to death. These dogs play such a integral part in the book as they always seem to be able to warn when an earthquake is going to happen. One is ver I was intrigued from the first couple pages of this book Woman in Shadows written by Carrie Stuart Parks. I had never had the pleasure of reading one of this author's amazing books before but I definitely will be reading more of them. As Darby arrives on the scene first thing she does is take responsibility for two stray dogs that are mostly starving to death. These dogs play such a integral part in the book as they always seem to be able to warn when an earthquake is going to happen. One is very loving, the other stand offish but they both make this book so much more interesting. In the beginning we wonder why Darcy has come to this remote get away, but that soon becomes apparent. Darby is recovering from a very traumatic incident in her past that leaves her with PTSD, we are able to watch as she grows and learns to live with and conquer those fears during this amazing book. Bram a cop in the book, seems drawn to Darby from the first time he lays eyes on her. What follows is a life and death adventure, this is a Christian mystery/suspense book with just as touch of romance tossed into the mixture. I received a print copy of the book from the author Carrie Stuart Parks and #partnersincrimevbt. I would certainly recommend this book to others, all opinions expressed here are my own, and I was not required to give a favorable review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Woman in Shadows is action-packed from the very beginning, there were absolutely no lulls in this fast-paced novel. I find that with each story that I read by Carrie Stuart Parks that the quality in her writing, characterization, plotting, etc... is always ramped up. I really enjoyed reading this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joy Moore

    "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Parks is my type of book. This story has many plot levels, weaved throughout. The character of Darby is complex, flawed, funny and easy to fall in love with. I kept learning details about her former life, far along into the story. It is like a slow reveal. That is what makes a story rich in my opinion. The romance is low key, barely there. I loved this and was sad fo "I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own." WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Parks is my type of book. This story has many plot levels, weaved throughout. The character of Darby is complex, flawed, funny and easy to fall in love with. I kept learning details about her former life, far along into the story. It is like a slow reveal. That is what makes a story rich in my opinion. The romance is low key, barely there. I loved this and was sad for it to end.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4.5 stars "So . . . . It's really you who's been living in the shadows." Sent to a remote area of Idaho to complete her personal restoration process, forensic linguist Darby Graham begins her covert investigation of suspicious incidents at the prestigious Mule Shoe Ranch by picking up two companions, of the canine variety. All the locals can tell her is that the dogs were abandoned by a resident hermit whom they had aptly dubbed the "Shadow Woman". Creatively saving the two pets from extermination 4.5 stars "So . . . . It's really you who's been living in the shadows." Sent to a remote area of Idaho to complete her personal restoration process, forensic linguist Darby Graham begins her covert investigation of suspicious incidents at the prestigious Mule Shoe Ranch by picking up two companions, of the canine variety. All the locals can tell her is that the dogs were abandoned by a resident hermit whom they had aptly dubbed the "Shadow Woman". Creatively saving the two pets from extermination by the local sheriff's deputy, Darby is immediately thankful for their companionable instincts, for her intel was correct; something is definitely "off" in Idaho. Sheriff's Deputy Bram White is instantly intrigued; " . . . for the first time in a very long time, he wanted to get to know a woman. This woman." Could Darby think that he has anything to do with Roy Zaring's issues at the ranch , but then again, who does? The staff? The guests? The locals? There are way too many possibilities, leading Darby for one, to question whether or not she is mentally or physically capable of figuring it all out; after all, no one there knows her full story, nor does she want them to. Maybe teaming with Bram is not a bad idea. After all, he suggested it. But there is Someone else more than capable of helping her, and He has made a promise that He fully intends to keep; "Be strong and courageous, Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". Unfortunately, Darby is definitely going to need a hefty dose of divine intervention. This story has a dizzying array of moving parts and multiple suspects, but don't despair. When your head swims and your heart is on the brink of breaking, remember that the truth will come out of the shadows and into the light, where it should have been all along. What a great story!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sara Wise

    ** “This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. The verse was helping.” ** Carrie Stuart Parks delivers another incredible suspense thriller with her new standalone novel “Woman in Shadow.” Herself recovering from PTSD and an horrific accident five years earlier, when forensic linguist Darby Graham is secretly sent to Mule Shoe Ranch to determine the reason behind a number of catastrophic events occurring at the ** “This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. The verse was helping.” ** Carrie Stuart Parks delivers another incredible suspense thriller with her new standalone novel “Woman in Shadow.” Herself recovering from PTSD and an horrific accident five years earlier, when forensic linguist Darby Graham is secretly sent to Mule Shoe Ranch to determine the reason behind a number of catastrophic events occurring at the resort, she quickly finds herself amidst several new tragic circumstances. While she and the local deputy Bram White work to figure out just what’s happening at the ranch, they must determine whom they can trust and the reasonings behind the accidents all while never knowing from where danger may come. Parks does a great job creating relatable characters with very real issues and flaws, as both Darby and Bram must overcome past travesties to find the strength and courage to rout out the evildoer. She also throws in two adorable, abandoned dogs, Holly and Maverick, who show real heroism and devotion in the face of danger. Besides being a great thriller, “Woman in Shadow” is filled with several great themes, like be strong and courageous because God is always with us; ground yourself in the present, and don’t hold on to the past; and what happens when we live in the shadow of fear and guilt. Jeremiah 29:11 is a huge component running throughout this story, and is a great reminder that God has a plan for us all. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” fans of author like Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason and Terri Blackstock will love “Woman in Shadow.” Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily P

    Since finding her, I haven't been able to leave anything but 5 star reviews for Parks' work! Over time, she just seems to get better, so.....sorryNOTsorry about that. Anyway, "Woman In Shadow" was a unique book, laced with mystery, intrigue, unusual characters and as always, a satisfying ending to a tumultuous series of events. Darby is a forensic linguist who is trying to keep her mind off the tragedy in her past. As a member of Clan Firinn, she has taken on the task of flying below the radar to Since finding her, I haven't been able to leave anything but 5 star reviews for Parks' work! Over time, she just seems to get better, so.....sorryNOTsorry about that. Anyway, "Woman In Shadow" was a unique book, laced with mystery, intrigue, unusual characters and as always, a satisfying ending to a tumultuous series of events. Darby is a forensic linguist who is trying to keep her mind off the tragedy in her past. As a member of Clan Firinn, she has taken on the task of flying below the radar to help a fellow member find out who is sabotaging his events complex on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park. What should be an idyllic place, Mule Shoe Dude Ranch, has become one of mysterious accidents, small fires and even the occasional death or two. Darby is to quietly observe and report her findings to her Clan Firinn counselor. ( I was excited to hear the stories of other characters who had gone through the rehabilitation program for ex-law enforcement going through PTSD, first mentioned in a prior Parks' book.) Darby comes across some dogs, abandoned by a missing lady the town calls Shadow Woman, due to her solitary lifestyle. Darby connects with the two wayward pets and they become an integral part of the story, typical for many of Parks' books. Who doesn't enjoy a charming pup or two? Bram is a cop who is investigating a series of arsons surrounding the area near Mule Shoe. He finds himself beginning to suspect those around him in the community, which makes him even more committed to find the arsonist, whose crimes have also included a murder. Do the incidents at the Mule Shoe have anything to do with the arson? Who is the lovely lady who keeps to herself? As the story moves forward, Bram finds he can't get Darby off his mind, which complicates things. There are many characters in this book who you root for, but as any regular reader of Parks' work knows--don't get too close to them, as they might not be around by the end credits. Suspense, lush scenery, watercolor and art references, gemology, seismic earthquakes...there are many interesting sidebars that vy for the reader's attention. "Woman in Shadow " is a book that will keep you captivated and guessing until the last few chapters. My only issue would be that I wish we'd have seen or heard a bit more about Darby's backstory and history prior to nearing the end. I think that would have fleshed out the character just a bit more. Darby is a tough cookie and has gone through a LOT, which caused me to root for her happiness even more. I love strong female protagonists and can't wait for others to be swept up into this Western yarn filled with mystery and thrills. This book is one you will devour, because waiting to find out what happens is just torture! Settle in with some snacks and a comfy seat, ready to escape and lose track of time. If you like fast paced, realistic reads with lots of action, this one is for you! I was an early reader, thanks to the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: Woman in Shadow Author: Carrie Stuart Parks Pages: 336 Year: 2021 Publisher: Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Bram White is a deputy in the local sheriff’s department. He is investigating several fires that have been set by an arsonist, who leaves notes at his crime scenes. His route takes him by the nearby town of Targhee Falls, Idaho, which is close to Yellowstone National Park. He meets the next group of people ready to set out for an isolated ranch where team-building weekends o Title: Woman in Shadow Author: Carrie Stuart Parks Pages: 336 Year: 2021 Publisher: Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Bram White is a deputy in the local sheriff’s department. He is investigating several fires that have been set by an arsonist, who leaves notes at his crime scenes. His route takes him by the nearby town of Targhee Falls, Idaho, which is close to Yellowstone National Park. He meets the next group of people ready to set out for an isolated ranch where team-building weekends or special events take place. This week’s event is art lessons. One attractive woman in the group catches his attention. Once he learns of her unique job, he asks her to help him solve his arson case by looking over the criminal’s notes. He ends up with her at the ranch where a series of strange and evermore frightening things happen. Then, there are two dead bodies discovered at the ranch. There is no way he can leave now. Darcy Graham is completing her final task for Clan Firinn, a rehabilitation center for first responders. She has PTSD with some accompanying triggers. Her counselor wants her to look around and see if she can find the source of some odd events happening at the ranch, then report back. She has been trained as a forensic linguistic, one who can read between the lines the written or spoken words to what is really being said or not said. She saves a couple of dogs, who were abandoned and due to be killed, before leaving Targhee for Mule Shoe Ranch. She notices the handsome detective but knows there is no way he would be interested in her, plus she has a job to do and no time for romance. Upon arrival at the ranch, she is almost immediately a victim of a bear attack and things quickly escalate. Who is behind these attacks and why have they suddenly risen to the level of murder? Fantastic! I read this book from start to finish in one sitting; it was that riveting. I loved Darby’s character and her unique job as a forensic linguist. I didn’t know that kind of job existed. Her struggles with PTSD and guilt from the past were made real with descriptive language. The dogs were a great addition, giving comfort and aid to a hurting woman. I thought the plot was unique, the suspense heart-pounding, and the two main characters’ struggles with their pasts and the resolutions interesting. Carrie Stuart Parks is one of my “must read” authors. She always delivers a story with characters of depth that draw readers into their world. I can’t wait for what she writes next! Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Judybelle

    WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christian mystery/suspense set in rural Idaho. Parks has written a winner in this one. It will keep you reading on into the night. I don't know when I have enjoyed a suspense any more than this one. The plot is so different, you just must read this one. A lot of times novels will cross somewhat in plots and ideas, but this one is unique. It deals with PTSD in that the main heroine is battling it. But that is not the main focus. It all takes place at Mu WOMAN IN SHADOW by Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christian mystery/suspense set in rural Idaho. Parks has written a winner in this one. It will keep you reading on into the night. I don't know when I have enjoyed a suspense any more than this one. The plot is so different, you just must read this one. A lot of times novels will cross somewhat in plots and ideas, but this one is unique. It deals with PTSD in that the main heroine is battling it. But that is not the main focus. It all takes place at Mule Shoe Ranch an isolated resort for the rich. All is not well with the ranch in fact a murderer is loose on the ranch or maybe there is more than one. Is all a way to bring the owner to ruin and maybe sell for less than the worth of the resort or is he somehow involve with the murders? Is it connected to the arsons that have been scattered around the small town? A great read that I highly recommend. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for this riveting Read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen Garrison

    From the beginning, this book intrigued me. Figuring out why Darby showed up and what she was hiding from captured my interest. Throughout the book, the questions were answered in a way that kept me engaged and wanting to know more. Before I read this title, I had never heard of a forensic linguist before. This is a person who solves crimes using words. As a mom of teens, I think having the ability to detect the truth is an important one. Solving crimes by detecting variations in speech patterns From the beginning, this book intrigued me. Figuring out why Darby showed up and what she was hiding from captured my interest. Throughout the book, the questions were answered in a way that kept me engaged and wanting to know more. Before I read this title, I had never heard of a forensic linguist before. This is a person who solves crimes using words. As a mom of teens, I think having the ability to detect the truth is an important one. Solving crimes by detecting variations in speech patterns was interesting. This quote explains the process. "The truth will be full of detail - where they were, how they were feeling, what was going on around them. When they get to the deception, the story will be lean , little detail, and full of certain phrases like 'the next thing I knew,' or 'later on.' You want to listen to exactly what people say. You don't add or subtract from it." This book takes place in the desolate portions of Idaho. The rugged setting adds a lot to the storyline. I liked how the author used the natural elements to make an impact on the plot. I would call this one a suspense book with a bit of romance. Although there were definitely clues, I did not pick up on the different connections. Not only was there resolution for the current situation, Darby was able to determine the truth about a previous incident. I loved how the the title played into the plot. There were a lot of layers to this story, and I enjoyed experiencing the unfolding of the details. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for letting me read this book early through NetGalley. I wanted to write a review. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    I’m always blown away by the detailed suspense written by Carrie Stuart Parks. What an adventure! I loved the setting. Yellowstone Park and the surrounding area is just beautiful. I had the privilege of visiting there last summer, and so I especially enjoyed reading this story that happened right there in that locale. Darby is an all-around great heroine. I love Carrie Stuart Parks' voice, and it takes me just a bit to figure out the heroine when I start a new book or series. But this one was just I’m always blown away by the detailed suspense written by Carrie Stuart Parks. What an adventure! I loved the setting. Yellowstone Park and the surrounding area is just beautiful. I had the privilege of visiting there last summer, and so I especially enjoyed reading this story that happened right there in that locale. Darby is an all-around great heroine. I love Carrie Stuart Parks' voice, and it takes me just a bit to figure out the heroine when I start a new book or series. But this one was just topnotch. Darby is dealing with PTSD due to scars from the past. So she agrees to go to this ranch out in the wilderness of Idaho, just to have eyes there for a friend, try to figure out what is going on. There is lots of mystery, murder, mayhem and a whole lot of action going on in this novel. I was kept guessing from the first page until the very end. But as always, very well written, tight suspense, and so much more! This is a novel that any lover of suspense will want to read! Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ebos Aifuobhokhan

    This book gave me a giddy feeling with all the mystery, intrigue, action to last one a lifetime. The mystery surrounding the characters was intriguing and captivating. They just kept the book going. The plot had a slow build but was worth following. Lovers of a good suspense story would love this. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and this is my honest opinion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Janine

    Overall, this was enjoyable. I enjoyed the slow build to the drama. I also enjoyed that Darby was a forensic linguist. It was a different take on the experienced investigator angle from the usual former detective or former FBI agent, etc. I wished there had been a bit more on her abilities throughout the book. I wasn't surprised by who the criminals turned out to be in this story. However, I was surprised by their connection to each other and also their motivation for the crime. I do wish there ha Overall, this was enjoyable. I enjoyed the slow build to the drama. I also enjoyed that Darby was a forensic linguist. It was a different take on the experienced investigator angle from the usual former detective or former FBI agent, etc. I wished there had been a bit more on her abilities throughout the book. I wasn't surprised by who the criminals turned out to be in this story. However, I was surprised by their connection to each other and also their motivation for the crime. I do wish there hadn't been a love story component in this book. This is one of those books where the romance angle is completely out of place and actually takes away from the story. It is completely unbelievable that people would see someone die in front of them and then be thinking about how lovely someone's embrace is. It's completely ridiculous to be searching for missing people after finding a dead body and be pissed off that someone didn't say anything about your prosthetic leg. It's completely unbelievable that you're going to be shot at and then start kissing someone.  Stop it. The book would've been much better without the weird romance, which felt incredibly forced. Also the formatting on the ebook was terrible. I hope that it is fixed prior to the book's official release. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Rankin

    I was so excited to receive an e-ARC for the newest book by Carrie Stuart Parks! Her books are always interesting and they make you sit on the edge of your seat while reading. Darby is a forensic linguist with a traumatic incident in her past, and it was so interesting to see how she did her job! Her character growth was also great to see, and I liked how bits of her past were woven into the story. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next and to get the next piece of info about D I was so excited to receive an e-ARC for the newest book by Carrie Stuart Parks! Her books are always interesting and they make you sit on the edge of your seat while reading. Darby is a forensic linguist with a traumatic incident in her past, and it was so interesting to see how she did her job! Her character growth was also great to see, and I liked how bits of her past were woven into the story. I had to keep reading to find out what would happen next and to get the next piece of info about Darby’s past! Bram was a solid hero, though I didn’t find him as compelling to read about as Darby was. The first part of the book took a little while for me to get into, but I also was dealing with a lot of stress this week, so it’s entirely possible it was just the week, not the book that made it harder for me to concentrate on reading. The last half of the book reminded me of a thriller and I couldn’t put it down! I guessed part of the ending, but was shocked by another part of it; I always try to guess who the villain is in suspense novels, but I had no idea who it was leading up to the end of this one. It was a great ending! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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