New Release Review: DIVINE SANCTUARY by Cheryl Kaye Tardif (Divine Trilogy finale)

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Title: Divine Sanctuary
Author: Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Publisher: Imagin Books
Pages: 210
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Crime/Thriller/Romance
Format: Kindle

There’s no place like home…

In the Divine trilogy finale, the heat is tripled when CFBI Agent Jasi McLellan must rescue Emily, the ghost girl that haunts her dreams; expose her own mother’s killer; and uncover a murderer that preys on the weak at Sanctuary, a controversial cult nestled in the woods near Mission, BC.

Something insidious lurks behind the safe haven of Sanctuary’s wrought iron gates. Led by the charismatic Father Jeremiah, the cult’s idyllic lifestyle seems perfect on the outside. But a lethal hunter is on the prowl, and in a carefully executed game of cat and mouse, the body count rises.

Along with Victim Empath Natassia Prushenko, Psychometric Empath Ben Roberts and Special Consultant Brandon Walsh, Jasi follows three trails of clues that lead to one terrifying conclusion: home is not always the safest place on earth.

Review:

Divine Sanctuary is the third and final book in the Divine trilogy, but if you’re unfamiliar with the series and author (like I was), it will work as a standalone. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has created a very interesting setting here, one where PSIs–Psychic Skills Investigators–are used covertly to solve crimes, and we learn enough about it here to jump right into the drama and excitement of their world.

Jasmine McLellan, a Pyro-Psychic (she uses the scent of a fire set by an arsonist to get into his or her mind at the time of the crime) is the main investigator in the book. She has one central crime to solve, centering on the disappearance of a reporter while looking into missing persons at a creepy cult compound. At the same time, visions of a girl who has haunted Jasi since her childhood are given new urgency–is the girl actually real? Is it possible she might still be alive? If so, can Jasi save her within the three day deadline the latest incantation of the vision tells her about? Finally, the decades-old murder of Jasi’s mother, which Jasi witnessed but has suppressed most of her memories of, might have a breakthrough. Each is important to Jasi, and each deserves her attention. Can she somehow manage to find answers to them all?

Ms. Tardif did a nice job of weaving all the various suspense plots together. There’s a lot of twists and turns–many that I absolutely did not see coming–that keep the reader engaged. (Apparently I made lots of noises of the “Aha!” and “Oh…” variety that annoyed my teenaged daughter, who was also in the room while I was reading much of it. Whatever. She has her own room if my reading bothers her that much.) I am happy to say that I did refrain from yelling at the characters toward the end when I figured out what they were supposed to be looking for before they did–just barely refrained, it’s true, but still I should be given credit for it. 😉 They finally figured it out, and just in time. Thank goodness! 

The romances of the book have all already been established (definitely an argument for going back and reading the first two series books, just in case you needed one!) so romance definitely takes a backseat to the solving of crimes and the twists in those plot threads. They do add a nice flavor, though, and there’s definitely something to be said for books based on established couples. For readers of the series, there is a very satisfying relationship development at the end for two of the characters. 🙂

Altogether this was a highly satisfying, suspenseful read. Things felt a teeny bit rushed at the end, but it did not at all detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author in the future–I really enjoyed her style of writing.

(However, can I just say how unfair it is that Brandon managed to get out of a night at The Phantom of the Opera? I certainly hope Jasi finally gets her night out sometime after the book’s end–she deserves it! I mean, it’s Phantom!)

Rating: 4 stars/ B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Excerpt:

Emily emerged from the shadows of Jasi’s closet. She drifted forward, her feet barely touching the floor. Her head, with its long blonde hair, lolled at an awkward―strangled―angle.

In this dream, an adult Jasi gasped in surprise.

The pink skipping rope noose was gone.

“You’re ready, Jasmine.”

“Ready for what?”

“To start looking for me.”

Jasi stood still, mesmerized by the bruises around the girl’s neck. They were fading before her eyes.

“The skipping rope is gone,” she said finally. “And your bruises are disappearing.”

“Yours will too,” Emily said.

“I don’t have any bruises.”

Emily led Jasi to the mirror. When she peered into it, her image shifted from a young Jasmine back to her adult reflection. One arm was bent in front of her, throbbing as though someone was squeezing it hard then letting it go. Yellowed bruises dotted her arm.

Emily tried to smile. “In time all your bruises will fade. But first, ya have to set things right.”

“And how do I do that? Oh, right, I have to find you.”

“Yes. Find me.” The dead girl floated backward.

“Wait!” Jasi cried out. “Why did your bruises fade?”

“Because you’re one step closer to finding me.”

“How? I don’t know anything more than I did before.”

Emily blended into the shadows. Before they swallowed her, she said, “You may think you aren’t any closer to finding me, but trust me, you are.” Darkness closed in around her.

Jasi took an anxious step forward. “Emily?”

Silence greeted her.

And a mystery.

She took a deep breath. “I’ll find you, Emily.”

Divine Sanctuary 2

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About the Author

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. Her novels include Divine Sanctuary, Submerged, Divine Justice, Children of the Fog, The River, Divine Intervention, and Whale Song, which New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice calls “a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart…a beautiful, haunting novel.”

She is now working on her next thriller.

Cheryl also enjoys writing short stories inspired mainly by her author idol Stephen King, and this has resulted in Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories (collection of shorts) and Remote Control (novelette eBook). In 2010 Cheryl detoured into the romance genre with her contemporary romantic suspense debut, Lancelot’s Lady, written under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”

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