Saving Grace

by Debbie Babitt

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For twenty-four years, Mary Grace Dobbs has been searching for salvation. Orphaned at eleven, she was forced to go live with her Bible salesman uncle, wheelchair-bound aunt, and a cousin who tortured and killed small animals. At school, a bully made her life a nightmare. Everything changed when a newcomer to town became her only best friend. Two months later, search parties were sent out to find her two missing classmates, who were never seen again.

Today, Mary Grace is the first female sheriff of her Arkansas town, a position that doesn’t sit well with some of the locals. Keeping order and her demons at bay becomes an impossible task when the man suspected in the earlier disappearances returns to Repentance . . . and another sixth grader vanishes.

With old prejudices and new secrets spilling out into the open, the modern world soon illuminates the village’s darkest corners. The case becomes even more fraught as a cult of white supremacists brings its gospel of hate to Repentance and violence explodes, claiming more lives. Racing to find the missing girl while fearing for the safety of her own sixth-grade daughter, Mary Grace must confront an unspeakable truth—and face a decision no parent should ever have to make.

Set in an isolated corner of northwest Arkansas, in a town ruled by faith and tradition, Saving Grace is at once a haunting tale of innocence lost and a twisty psychological thriller. This startling debut novel introduces a captivating protagonist whose concept of good and evil can shape a young girl—then and now.

Read an excerpt from Saving Grace here!

Read an interview with Debbie Babitt about Saving Grace here!

This psychological thriller is a meticulously crafted gem that will keep the reader wondering throughout until the final secret is revealed.

The Florida Times-Union

Saving Grace is a tense and promising debut, and I eagerly await what Debbie Babitt has in store for us next.


A Southern gothic that will cling like cobwebs, and encourage you to read on long past your bedtime.

Criminal Element

Saving Grace is a big, southern gothic thriller packed with secrets. The characters jumped off the page, drawing me in until it was impossible to put down. Original, dark, and staggering.

—Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It

Saving Grace introduces us to a town of harrowing secrets ― and to its sheriff, Mary Grace Dobbs, who doesn’t even know that the worst of these secrets are hers. An ingenious, multi-generational plot reaches a terrifying crescendo you won’t easily forget.

—Joseph Finder, New York Times-bestselling author

This is a riveting thriller that captures you on the first page and never lets you go. Debbie Babitt masterfully uses voice and spare, evocative prose to create a spellbinding story. Warning: Once you start this book, you won’t want to stop.

—William Bernhardt, bestselling author of The Last Chance Lawyer

Fasten your seat belts! SAVING GRACE is the scariest literary ride of the year. Debbie Babitt’s debut novel is nothing short of breathtaking and the ending will blow your socks off.

—John Lescroart, New York Times-bestselling author

Debbie Babitt was Copy Director for two major Manhattan publishing companies. Previous creative incarnations include: actress, playwright, and drama critic. Debbie is the daughter of a former federal judge and is married to a criminal defense attorney. She and her husband divide their time between New York and Florida. Debbie is currently writing her next work of psychological suspense. Saving Grace is her debut novel.