Release Date: March 16, 2021
Genre: Adult Fiction / Thriller
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.
Set in a remote mountain town, where the secrets run as deep as the hollows, Saving Grace is at once a spell-binding tale of innocence lost and a twisty, edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. This startling debut novel introduces a captivating protagonist whose concept of good and evil can shape a young girl—then and now.
Wow Debbie Babitt, look at this amazing debut novel you wrote!! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Saving Grace. This book is heavy on religion which I didn’t have any issues with, and I thought it was very interesting how it tied into every thread of the story. The first half of the book is more of a slow burn, but once you get to the second half things really start to ramp up and this one ends with a BANG. It made me think, made me mad, made me laugh at times, and overall, just really made me wonder why the people were making the choices they did.
I don’t know if I really loved Mary Grace, but I felt awful for her and was happy to see a woman in a position of power in a novel. Being as she’s a sheriff, there is a bit of a procedural feel as well as mystery elements while being a thriller at its core. I loved the way Babitt wrote Saving Grace which is broken into parts as well as two time periods. There are a lot of characters which will probably confuse some readers, but somehow, I managed to keep them all straight and didn’t have any issues. The biggest thing for me was how almost every chapter would end on a cliffhanger and that kept me saying ‘one more chapter’ pretty dang near the entire book. It was a very quick read and I am excited to see what this author is going to write next!
Thank you to the publisher and Let’s Talk Books Promo for my free copy. Thoughts and opinions are my own.