Readers who loved Blood of the Prodigal , the acclaimed debut in Gaus' Amish mystery series, may be a bit disappointed with this successor. One of the charms of the earlier book was the way Gaus incorporated characteristics of Amish life into his plot. The Amish setting still provides wonderful ambience, but the plot this time is more violent and less reflective of the setting. When amoral convict Jesse Sands is released from prison, he meanders his murderous way to Millersburg, Ohio, where he kills a Millersburg woman before he is caught. David Hawkins, the victim's father, an "Englisher" who has adopted Amish ways, attacks Sands in jail and then disappears. Sheriff Bruce Robertson believes Hawkins plans to assassinate Sands, Pastor Caleb Troyer staunchly defends Hawkins, and Professor Michael Brandon is caught in the middle, leaving the three childhood friends (all series regulars) in conflict. Though a less-satisfying novel than its predecessor, this is definitely a series worth reading. Jenny McLarin
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Gaus weaves his extensive knowledge of Amish ways into this fascinating, suspenseful tale. There is a show-in-plain-sight’ clue that will escape all but the most astute readers. The characters are differentiated and believable, from Sands, who feels no imposing moral dilemma’ to Hawkins’ Amish fiancée, who insists on Hawkins’ innocence. This is a deeply felt, insightful book.”
"A mystery man, rumored to have been trained by the U.S. military to kill, has settled in the Amish community and attempts to find peace there. When his only daughter is killed and the suspect is arrested, a wave of violence descends on the peaceful community and threatens to test the limits of friendship between the sheriff, Pastor Troyer, and Professor Branden. Another excellent addition to this series."
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Betty Barnes, River Reader, Lexington, MO