Friday, February 4, 2011

Dark Road Home by Karen Harper

Dark Road Home by Karen Harper is the first book in the Maplecreek Amish trilogy. Brooke Benton, an attorney who won a case for a person who it was later discovered really did commit the crime, moves to Maple creek after being stalked from someone she thought because of the case she won. She stays with a friend of her deceased sister who owns a quilt shop. Brooke has also brought her sister’s daughter, Jennifer, Brooke promised her sister she would care for her daughter before her passing. Daniel Brand is a woodworker who left his Amish family to pursue his trade. Daniel buys the home next door to where Brooke is staying and plans to finally come home to be baptized into the Amish church. Daniel meets Brooke on the first night he comes home when he finds Brooke dancing with some Amish teens. As the teens leave on the dark road home, Daniel and Brooke hear a loud explosion like noise. As they get to the sight they learn that all but one teen, Katie, is dead and she later dies at the hospital. The driver of the car who hit their buggy left the scene. As an attorney, Brooke wants justice. This is not the way of the Amish and they frown on her trying to find the murder. Daniel decides to help her in the investigation and in the process they fall in love. The story also focuses on the depression and grief of Katie’s mom, Emma. Emma tries to take medication for her depression, but her husband frowns on the use of medicines to cope. Brooke tries to help her as loses the trust of a lot of the Amish people. As Brooke and Daniel investigate, someone starts to stalk Brooke again. Will he be safe in Maplecreek? What will happen to the forbidden love they find? Read to find out the answers to these questions.

I really enjoyed this book. There are several story lines going on at once and many twist and surprises in the story to keep the reader guessing. I have never lost a child but I think it would be hard not to be able to grieve. Emma’s husband wants her to just accept it as God’s will and move on. Emma can’t do that. I really liked this storyline. I also enjoyed seeing the growing love between Brooke and Daniel. I’ve read a lot of Amish fiction, but was able to still learn some new things about the Amish culture. The only thing I did not like is that I felt the killers were given away too early in the story, but other than that I loved it am really looking forward to reading the second book in this series, Dark Harvest.

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