Friday, April 1, 2016

"Cleansed by Death" by Catherine Finger

Book Info  Christian Mystery / Thriller / Suspense. 


For four years, Josie Oliver has been Chief of Police of the quiet village of Haversport, Illinois. She’s kept her husband’s abuse a secret, until today. Adding to the chaos of her personal life, her old flame drags her into the FBI’s investigation of the Mentor Sister Serial Killer. 

As the Christmas holiday approaches, the serial killer escalates. And so does her husband, leaving Jo fighting for her marriage, faith, and fate. 

Cleansed by Death seamlessly weaves gritty, imperfect characters, faith, and white-knuckle suspense that will leave readers breathless and guessing until the end. 

Author Info: Dr. Catherine Finger is in her eleventh year of grateful service as superintendent of Grayslake Community High School District 127, a public suburban high school district serving over 3,000 students in northern Lake County, Illinois. Catherine sits on a number of leadership boards at the local, state, and national level, and is a frequent speaker in education and leadership circles. In addition to her ‘day job,’ she serves as an adjunct professor at Concordia University, working primarily with aspiring school superintendents. She has earned numerous awards for her service and leadership, including recently being named an Illinois Superintendent of Distinction in 2015, as well as Lake County Superintendent of the Year in 2014.

Catherine delights in her church family of New Hope Christian Community, where she hosts a Saturday morning women’s bible study, in addition to volunteering for a number of community service groups and projects. One of her passions outside of the superintendent’s office is writing Christian thrillers. The award-winning Shattered by Death is from her Jo Oliver Thriller series, and she is working on the third book of the series, Sacrificed by Death. Catherine’s first book in the series, Cleansed by Death, was releases in April, 2016, and Shattered by Death will be released in June 2016. In addition to her fiction work, Dr. Catherine Finger is also writing The Women Before Me, a leadership book featuring prominent educational and political leaders at the local, county, state, and national levels.

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"Cleansed by Death" by Catherine Finger is a mystery but I found it to be more of a story about a marriage in trouble. Josie Oliver has been Chief of Police in Haversport, Illinois and is called  in to help hunt for a serial killer. The serial killer part is mention at the beginning but It doesn't really get into the story till the middle of it, when it gets personal to Josie. This story is told by Josie speaking.

This book is Christian fiction so I had a little trouble  accepting the old boyfriend flirting with her all through the book even though she was married. The first time God is really mention is in Chapter 16 except for the sentence "as if You are there" and then a little girl named Samantha believing in Him.

Ok I must mention that in one scene the main character Josie almost shoots herself in the mouth to kill herself.  Yes, I know that depression is real and even police suffer from it but I am just warning readers to be aware it is the book. Along with this, there is spousal abuse as well.

Ok. There are positive and beautiful things in this story as well. I love this scene in Chapter 18 "The dark pictures faded away, replaced by a sweet-smelling field of prairie flowers in a sunny valley, housed between lush mountains, on a beautiful day. A magnificent being stepped out from behind one of the mountains and revealed Himself to me. Somehow I knew it was God. He was glorious and beautiful beyond description. In His arms, He tenderly carried a little girl. He held her as if she were His child. It was me in His arms-a little girl girl version of me. He wrapped His strong arms around my little-girl self, overwhelming me with feeling of warmth and safety, peace and power. I closed my eyes for a moment, leaning into His pure warmth."  

I appreciate that the author has made these characters human with all the traits and faults that humans has but I would have liked a little more of the serial killer story and less of the marriage, especially  since the book is classified as a thriller but before I give the impression that I didn't like this book, that isn't the case I am giving it 4 stars. 

I will be watching for more books by Catherine Finger.

I was given a copy by the publisher  Hope Springs Books for my honest review and these opinions are mine own.


  1. Thanks for such an honest review, Debbie. Joyce * Heart"wings"