The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book One
Shelley Shepard Gray, New York Times bestselling author of the Families of Honor, Seasons of Sugarcreek, and Sisters of the Heart series, returns with another page-turning romance set in Amish country. Gray’s eagerly anticipated fourth series, The Secrets of Crittenden County, begins with Missing, a poignant and compelling tale of an unlikely romance born of tragedy. When the shocking death of a young man rocks a quiet Amish community, the dead man’s former girlfriend and his “Englisher” best friend find themselves murder suspects. But they are strengthened by their faith, and by an unanticipated love that awakens. Readers of Christian romance and inspirational fiction are captivated by stories of love among the Amish, as proven by the phenomenal success of Beverly Lewis, Wanda Brunstetter, Cindy Woodsmall, and the previous novels of Shelly Shepard Gray. With The Secrets of Crittenden County this accomplished and much beloved storyteller reaches a new level.
The first romance in the Secrets of Crittenden County trilogy traces the budding relationship between "Englischer" Walker Anderson and Amish Lydia Plank. They first met when she was dating Perry Borntrager, but now Perry after getting involved with the wrong crowd has gone missing. When his murdered body is discovered in the bottom of a well, the small community becomes embroiled in scandal. Cincinnati detective Luke Reynolds is assigned to the case, and begins asking prying questions that threaten to dredge up a past most folks would rather forget. Worried they may be suspects, Walker and Lydia refuse to talk about the last time they saw Perry. Luke's frustration with the townspeople's reticence is tangible and understandable, and highlights the difficulties outsiders have penetrating close-knit Amish communities. There are precious few clues and the focus is primarily on Lydia and her secrets, and though Walker and Lydia grow close during the investigation, she remains conflicted about whether or not to leave her culture behind and pursue a relationship with Walker. The frustratingly unresolved whodunit will likely drag into the next book, but Walker and Lydia's burgeoning romance will keep readers engaged.
This was such a good book! I could hardly put it down. The author has a gift for making the characters come alive. I highly recommend this book!
This book started a little slow, went downhill from there and never reached a conclusion. Not recommended.
I found the book to be very interesting. I liked the different story lines involving murder, religion, romance, and finding one's own self identity/worth. I am looking forward to the next one in the series.