A New York cop returns home to Amish country and a community that’s politely determined to undermine her efforts to solve the murder of a young woman from outside their insular world.
Oil lanterns light the barn of Detective Elizabeth Harris’ crime scene. Harris, as colleagues call her, still isn’t used to the rhythms of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, even though it’s closer to where she grew up than her latest home in New York City. Moving back to a simpler way of life after her husband, Terry, was murdered seems like a good way to clear her head, although her work is more familiar than she expected, apart from the different lighting. Investigating the murder of a young English—that is, not Amish—girl in an Amish town is made all the more difficult by a cultural disconnect. The Amish don’t take a shine to outsiders who ask questions, especially when they’re women. Luckily, Harris’ boss, Lt. Mike Grady, stands up for her even when the community has had it with her invasive investigation. But Grady is wary when Harris insists on befriending handsome Ezra Beiler, a person of interest in the case. When the body of a second young girl, this one Amish, is found, Harris is more determined than ever to solve the mystery. She can’t decide which is more frustrating: the fatalistic submission of the Amish to what they take to be God’s will or their closing ranks to keep whatever secrets they have to themselves.
Though a quick description of the premise might make this series kickoff from Jensen sound absurd, her writing style is consistently engrossing and enticing. Trust earned in this book should be repaid by the installments that follow.