Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
UGH! So this book has taken be years to read, I couldn’t remember why and now I do. I don’t have much of an introduction to this book review other than that if you are going to be reading this don’t worry about spoilers on how the boy goes missing. Why you ask? BECAUSE YOU WON’T EVEN FIND OUT IN THIS BOOK!
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.
Let us begin with my review, where I will just start by saying I did not dislike this book because it was bad, it was a decent story, but I did dislike this book because not one thing on this book indicated the book would be about what it was.
So when I read the title and the back of the book I was like “man this is going to be about a murder mystery in an Amish town. I like murder mysteries, I am going to love this”. Now I also saw that this was part of a series but considering it tells you who was killed on the back of the book I just assumed this book would be about searching for who killed him and that it was a book that would take you down this wormhole of Amish secrets. To be fair I was thinking like the tv show Amish Mafia style, don’t ask me why. But that is really all I remembered thinking when I bought the book. THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT!
Okay so let me tell you something. I fell a little lied to. There is probably the equivalent of 1/4 of the book that actually focuses on the investigation of the murdered Amish boy. And that probably generous if I am being honest. The rest of the book is basically a love story…or well a story of friendship that turns to love. That is it. Do we find out how the boy went missing? No. Do we get some crazy investigation? No. Do we even get the satisfaction of knowing why the boy was killed? No.
I don’t want to trash this book too much because it honestly wasn’t horrible. Yes I am upset about being led to buy the book because everything about it told me it would be different than what it was, but I would have still bought the book had I known it was a love story. I like those kinds of stories. Throw a murder mystery in with it and I am bound to enjoy it. Just not when you lie about it.
Now Gray did do a really good job of showing how despite the murder having happened there are still people that have their own problems and own lives. Lydia learns secrets about herself and her family, and Walker is just trying to find out why he likes a girl he shouldn’t. It is a good story to mix in. Lydia and Walker both knew Paul and they don’t want to trash his name, but they also knew he wasn’t a good person. Lydia and Walker bond over that and then they have to start moving on with their lives. It is pretty realistic to how things work in the real world. I enjoy that.
I want to say don’t read the book, but it isn’t bad. Just don’t expect it to be something that it is not like I did. Just know that it is more a love story with a murder that happens to be going on, not a full on murder investigation where the love story just kind of pops in and out.
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