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Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book One Paperback – March 20, 2012
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“Gray presents the Amish culture with a realistic perspective on their customs that is both refreshing and captivating. The first Secrets of Crittenden book is a story about forgiveness, truth and love with a good element of mystery.” (Romantic Times BOOKclub)
From the Back Cover
Can two young people survive the suspicions of their friends and neighbors when tragedy strikes a close-knit Amish community?
Perry Borntrager had been missing for months from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, when his body is discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. The first death from mysterious circumstances in more than two decades brings the scrutiny of the outside world: A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englischer Walker Anderson.
Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship: one that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.
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Now, for the upside of this book for me ... I really did find I cared and liked Lydia and Walker. I felt sorry for Lydia through part of the book ... she had a load to carry that she didn't understand and the people she trusted most were all of a sudden shaky in her own mind .. that had to be hard. I could understand how she felt in that situation. Walker, I felt was basically a nice college young man that hits situations that get confusing for one that age from time-to-time but manages to stay strong to who he is. I admired that in this book as well. The Detective Luke, was interesting in the fact that although he wasn't sure he wanted to be there ... as a friend to Luke, who felt he is too close to the Amish community to do the investigation ... he continues to plug along ... and I think basically he is a typical overworked, cynical cop in today's world ... unfortunately. The time away from our "Englishers" rat race will probably do him some good.
I know will be purchasing "The Search" obviously I have to find out how this darn thing continues ... and as I have previously read everything else she has ever written I am not going to stop now... and as I said I really did "like it" just wish there had been a bit more happiness tossed into the mix. But again this is only one person's opinion and in this case it would not stop me from reading the book. It also would not probably have bothered me at all if the last book I hadn't read was not so terribly depressing from start to finish!
There is no waiting for the mystery to appear. With only an idyllic lead in, the body of Perry Borntrager is found by a group of teenage girls in the first few pages of the book. BOOM! Everyone is shocked, although somehow not surprised, that Perry met an early end to his life. Finding his body down an abandon well leads to many questions that the good people of Crittenden, KY, - Amish, Mennonite, and English, are reluctant to answer.
Local ex-Amish Mose Kramer is now the town’s sheriff. Investigating murder is not an every day event in Crittenden and Mose calls in his good friend, Detective Luke Reynolds to give him a hand. Luke, not familiar with the Amish ways, is frustrated at the little bit of information he is able to gather. Does everyone in this town hold secrets surrounding Perry? You won’t be disappointed in this well told story by bestselling author, Shelley Shephard Gray!