Friday, June 27, 2014

Divine Sanctuary by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Published by Imajin Books
Cover design by Ryan Doan

I loved the first two books in the Divine trilogy, I am thrilled to be reading this, the third and final book. It is also with sorrow at leaving behind the characters that Cheryl Kaye Tardif has given us. This book can be read as a standalone but reading the first two will enhance the experience.

The Prologue takes us into the past of Jasmine or Jasi as she prefers, the main character, as a recurring dream, vision or could it be a ghost, always featuring the same girl but this girl ages with time. First seen in Jasi's closet as an abused child, now she appears anywhere, anytime.

Jasi is a member of the PSI branch of the CFBI. This special branch is comprised almost entirely of agents who have psychic abilities of various types. In Jasi's case, she is a Pyro-Psychic, able to feel what a pyromaniac feels as he kills by fire, her skills brought to the fore when she smells smoke. Thus, she has to approach a suspect fire after breathing pure oxygen to keep from contaminating what she is smelling. Her team works as a tightly-knit group, each with their own abilities...except Brandon who is an arson expert and brings his own set of skills to the table.

A heart-wrenching call from a friend sends the team out in search of a missing woman, a well-known reporter who has been out of touch for five days. She had been investigating a story about missing women, and had gone incognito into the 'Sanctuary.' The premise of the Sanctuary is to rescue the homeless and downtrodden, but does it? It seems very much like a cult. The leader appears to sincerely believe what he is doing is helping people. But does he? Is he really the sincere person he seems to be?

Jasi's group has free reign to search the grounds, in fact she and Brandon are even given the use of a cottage in the compound. Granted, many of the women act afraid to talk to them or else flatly refuse to, but the team has no trouble talking to most of them and they can't really find anything. The story revolves around trying to find a foothold to learn about so many missing women who may or may not have been at Sanctuary.

But secrets may be buried deeper than anyone imagines, even the members of Sanctuary. A horrific murder has taken place within the compound, supposedly the result of accident, but Jasi has seen something different, another in the group, Natassia who is a Victim Empath and 'sees' what the victim's last sight was agrees with Jasi. The body in the walk-in furnace, was it really an accident? The shattered bones discovered, are they really from bears hunting other animals?

I love the author's way with expression, description, and energy in her books and this is no exception. These people come alive. Through the PSI group's interaction with their special gifts the search moves outside, their psi-impressions have shown horrible and terrifying deeds very quickly a mind-blowing chase is on. The pace picks up to excruciating time-crunching as the horror of what is really happening begins to be realized.

With all the horror and life-threatening sport going on, with all the sorrow around, there is some good to come out of it all, almost missed but fortunately there is an overwhelmingly stubborn ghost in connection with the also stubborn Jasi, and the end of the trilogy is surprising and satisfying. I cried.

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