Author: Mary Alford
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: June 7, 2022
When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah has left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after an Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.
As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning.
What will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
“John had waited 10 years to finish the game he’d started with her, and nothing would stand in his way no matter how much Dalton and the rest of law enforcement tried to protect her.”
Wow! This book held me captive from the prologue to the epilogue with its suspense, non-stop action, and surprises. I loved Leah and Dalton as individuals and as a couple. Through superb characterization and excellent storytelling skills, I could feel the pain and frustration they felt in their pursuit of the elusive perpetrator.
The violent, evil deeds of a depraved, diabolical mind abound but are never graphically portrayed. A subtle, encouraging faith thread and a dash of romance add inspiration and interest to the story and lighten the darkness of the evil.
Although I guessed the identity of the culprit around mid-point in the story, it did not take away from the intensity and excitement of the reveal. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Alford. I like her clear, concise style and will definitely be reading more of her works. Hopefully, there is a sequel in the offing. This is a story I will not soon forget, and I have added it to my Best Reads of the Year list. I highly recommend this book.
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
Among the Innocent is a twisty Amish thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Police officer Leah Miller is called to the scene of a murder that stirs up old wounds. Ten years ago, her family was murdered in the same place, in the same manner, and she was left for dead. A young man was accused, and the case closed, but now it seems the killer is back.
Dalton accepted the police chief’s job to get closer to the case involving Leah’s family. His Amish brother was accused of the murder, and he’s been trying to find out more about the case. When he meets Leah, he feels an instant kinship with her.
Somehow this killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police. He’s stealthily stalking Leah, anticipating the tenth anniversary of her family’s murders. If he has an urge to kill before then, so be it. Nothing and no one will stop him from his ultimate goal.
I loved that even though the story is hard, a strong thread of faith flows through the story. This is a great book I happily recommend.
I received a copy of this book through Interviews & Reviews via NetGalley, courtesy of Revell.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Thank you to Revell for providing a complimentary review copy through the author’s launch team. A positive review was not required nor requested, and all words are my own.
I got introduced to this author’s writing with her Harlequin/Love Inspired Suspense book Amish Country Murder in early 2020. I also read Covert Amish Christmas. I have 2-3 of her books on my TBR stack. As a result of those two books, Alford has become a “must-read” author (among others) for me.
This is, I believe, Alford’s first Revell release. The cover was vivid, striking, and dramatic. It is one of those that I end up getting distracted by. I was deeply drawn to the cover, and with just the blurb, I couldn’t wait for this book.
Alford expertly balances the Amish and Englisch “worlds” with vividly real and well-written characters. Her support characters (both Amish and Englisch) are well written, balanced, and realistic despite how long or short their appearance is.
This has multiple POVs – the main characters and victims – Leah, Beth, Eva, Justine; Dalton; and even the bad guy “John” in a mystery voice.
Unlike most books, the prologue doesn’t start with a main character’s background. The readers don’t even get flashbacks which is interesting as most authors do it. Alford uses the character’s own statement and verbal telling of it instead.
This begins with an innocent, 16-year-old Amish girl – Beth Zook, watching an unnamed Englischer drive by in his car. It is clear that he and Beth have a “relationship.” Unfortunately – that will come to an end. But, Beth also has a connection to Leah. Beth’s older sister was Leah’s friend up until about 10 years earlier.
Leah is reeling from returning to Amish country after what happened and the loss of her “adopted” father – former Chief Ellis Petri, and new police chief Dalton Cooper. Dalton took the job for his own reasons.
As Leah digs deeper, she and the killer come face to face a few times in a deadly cat and mouse showdown in a “must-read-to-the-very-end” conclusion that didn’t disappoint.
This was one of those “can’t put it down” reads, and I finished it in three hours, from beginning to end. In fact, I read it so fast it shows no signs of wear and still looks brand-new. The short-ish chapters were one culprit, but the story itself was another. Not only was this dramatic – it was an edge of the seat, riveting, and intense read that kept my interest from the first page to the last.
Some Amish books – romance or suspense – have a typical ending. I would tell what that ending usually is, but that would spoil this read. This was anything but typical or expected. It literally floored me. If the author does write a sequel or a series from this – keep this ending! This really worked out quite well and has SO much potential.
This, to me, was more suspense than romance. I was deeply surprised that the author didn’t just throw Leah and Dalton together, nor was it a “slow burn.” It truly progressed throughout the story and went to a natural conclusion. It definitely made sense due to the connections the two had concerning Leah’s case. It was fascinating and convoluted all at the same time.
I have to admit that after a while, I figured out who the “bad guy” was and his motives. It was still shocking, though, and I loved that Alford kept it up to the very end.
While a standalone read, Alford does keep the door open for a sequel, or perhaps a series. Which I hope she puts me down for because I’m definitely all-in on that one.
Despite being distributed by a primarily Christian/faith-themed publisher, this had very few elements of faith in it.
This is definitely tailored to fans of suspense and romance. The author’s fans won’t want to miss this.
This review has been edited due to spoilers and word limits.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"You'll always belong to me," he had whispered.
"The scar on her neck was a constant reminder of how close to death she'd come" . . . and on the cusp of that horrible night's ten-year anniversary, the nightmare had re-surfaced. He was back, the voice forever embedded in her memories, taking advantage of the innocents living throughout their peaceful Amish community.
Police officer Leah Miller is desperate to find answers after a lovely young woman is found brutally murdered inside the Miller family's abandoned barn. Teaming with the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, the two immediately begin to search the area for clues as to the identity and whereabouts of the killer but to no avail. He strikes again.
Reading about serial killers is never easy, although interesting in a convoluted kind of way. As Leah and Dalton dig through the evidence and confront disturbing incidents from the past, they also begin to believe that God has a plan for their future, if and when . . .
"What had begun ten years ago was quickly coming to a head" . . . . "and she wasn't sure that she was ready" . . . . be prepared . . . the end of this story is not at all what you might expect in the beginning.
I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.
We are listed in The Book Reviewers Directory!