Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl

Rising Darkness by Nancy MehlSophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can’t ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life.

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church–the very man she’d loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal–or the very person she’s seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?


Rising Darkness is about love, forgiveness and learning to love yourself. Sophie grew up in a strictly Mennonite town. Her parents were abusive and made her feel unworthy. Unworthy of love, friendship, and God. Growing up Sophie had to clean, cool, and do ALL the work around the house for her parents weren’t very clean people. At the age of 16 she was pulled out of school, when all she wanted to do was learn.

Sophie ended up getting mixed up with an outsider. I’m not sure exactly what all went down but she ended up doing something she really, really regretted. At 18 Sophie left Kingdom to follow her own dreams. She worked three jobs to put herself through GED school, and made it into collage. This is where she was given an intern at the paper.

After receiving a letter, and meeting with an inmate she once knew, Sophie decided to play detective. Her dream is to become an investigative reporter and this was her ticket.

This investigation led her to Sanctuary, another Mennonite town. Upon arriving, under false pretenses, all her memories from home came running back into her mind. Especially after she runs into the man she has always loved, Jonathon. After being hit over the head while researching in the church basement, Sophie came clean. Jonathon surprisingly helps her try to uncover the truth. They also start to have feelings for one another. Come to find out, she was way off the mark with her suspects. One of the victims brothers also followed Sophie to Sanctuary, and held their suspect captive. The man she believed to be the long lost criminal was just a man looking for peace.

Although the wrong man, it did bring out the real criminal.

Sophie an Jonathon were again face to face with a gun. Luckily the crazy cat was close by. His tail was stepped on, and in return distracted the criminal long enough for Sophie and Jonathon to knock the gun out of his hand. They tie him up and wait for the sheriff to show up.

Sophie gets her story, a closer relationship with Jonathon and lots of new friends, maybe even a new life. The most important this Sophie found in Sanctuary was God. She learned that she is worthy, can be forgiven and He has been with her all along. Now we just have to finish this series to find out what happens next…

Nancy Mehl is a very talented writer. The emotions in this book are felt on every page. The characters are so real, and have a way of making their way into your hearts. Don’t pass up this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts and opinions are all mine.

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