Title: Echoes of Mercy
Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer
2014, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.
When a suspicious accident occurs at the Dinsmore’s Wold-Famous Chocolates Factory in
, Caroline Lang goes
undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the
event and how the factory treats its youngest employees – the child workers.
Caroline’s fervent faith, difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove
her to become an investigator for the Labor Commission, and she feels compelled
to see children freed from heavy adult responsibilities and allowed to pursue
an education. Sinclair,
Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?
This story is told from the POV of Caroline, Oliver, factory manager Gordon Hightower and Letta Holcomb. There are a lot of characters in this story, but it was well told and I did not feel like I had a hard time keeping them all straight.
Caroline had a traumatic childhood and was rescued by Noble and AnnMarie Dempsey. Noble works for the Labor Commission and now Caroline works for them. She is asked to go to the Dinsmore Chocolate Factory to investigate under-age workers at the factory AND the suspicious death of the last agent who was investigating the factory.
Oliver is also working undercover, but for a totally different reason. He’s trying to learn the family business and figure out ways to make the factory better by working as a laborer in the factory himself and he doesn’t want his true identity revealed.
Gordon Hightower is the factory manager. Mr. Dinsmore plucked him out of orphanage when he was a boy and gave him a “better” life working in the factory. Hightower has risen to a place of trust and power within the company… but is that enough for this man?
Letta, Lesley and Lank Holcomb’s father dies and leaves them alone. Letta is determined to provide for her family – whatever it takes. Caroline befriends the girl and becomes attached to the trio of children. But they have a hard time trusting anyone.
As I said, there is a lot going on here, but the story is woven together very well. Each has their own story to tell and somehow they all blend together. I felt that the characters were intelligent and interesting. They were realistic and not stupid – which is something that always gets me in these types of novels. I appreciated the romance between Caroline and Oliver wasn’t rushed although I was always pretty sure of its eventual outcome.
Not everything was predictable though. I wasn’t sure up until the end what was going to happen with the Holcomb children and if they were going to end up with a family, on their own or in an orphanage.
This was a very enjoyable story and I would recommend it.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Press through the Blogging for Books program for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.