by Donna Fletcher Crow
Monarch Books (December 2011)
Source: From Kregel to review for blog tour
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Felicity has decided to become a nun. She departs to visit convents in spite of her mother's imminent arrival and Fr. Anselm's request that she and Fr. Antony recover a missing priceless Russian icon before the Patriarch of Moscow arrives at the community for Holy Week.
Felicity's discernment journey takes her to Rempstone, Norwich, London, and Walsingham, but her discovery of a friend's murdered body in a shallow grave, the disappearance of more icons, the shooting of a London art expert just after she visits him, the disappearance of Antony, and finally the abduction of Felicity and her mother teach her far more about motherhood, life, and love than she could learn in any convent retreat. Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights of St. John of Malta keep the pages turning. And will Felicity choose the veil--or Antony?
The story begins with Felicity deciding to take a discernment retreat and visit several convents. She's struggling with whether or not becoming a nun is her calling. But before she can even leave, she discovers someone has stolen a sacred icon. That discovery is the beginning of an adventure she and Fr. Antony didn't expect to go on. Soon it isn't just a thief they're trying to find, but a murderer too.
A Darkly Hidden Truth was jam packed with Catholic history. I almost set the book down for good a few times because there was so much historical detail and information about the Catholic church, sacred icons, monasteries, etc. It was just too much for me at times and it made the story drag, so I ended up skimming most of those parts.
I felt no connection with any of the characters either. I became a little irritated with the way Felicity pushed her mother away every time she would try and spend time with her. I understand she was still hurting and angry that she wasn't there for her practically her whole life, but I wished she moved on sooner than she did.
I thought the mystery was done very well. I was glad to see that the ending had some suspense and even a bit of action that kept me at the edge of my seat. Because of that, I was interested again in the story and what happened with these characters. I wouldn't say this is a favorite of mine, but it was still okay.