Berkley, 2016, 296 pages
In Kingdom Come, the first in a new mystery series from Jane Jensen, an ex-NYPD detective seeks escape in Amish country and finds darkness instead.
When a beautiful, scantily clad "English" girl is found dead in the barn of a prominent Amish family, Detective Elizabeth Harris knows she's uncovered an evil that could shatter the peace of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Even though Elizabeth's boss is convinced this was the work of an "English", as outsiders are called, Elizabeth isn't so sure. Now Elizabeth must track down a killer with deep ties to a community that always protects its own - no matter how deadly the cost.
This book would have been a lot better without the Amish romance.
The premise is interesting enough if you like the standard trope of "big city detective has to solve crime in an unfamiliar culture." Elizabeth Harris is a former NYPD detective who moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after her husband was murdered. She is getting used to the slower pace of things, trying to establish herself on the force without being perceived either as weak or as an obnoxious ball-buster, and of course angsting over her dead husband.
An "English" (non-Amish) girl is found dead in a local Amish family's barn with her skirt hiked up around her waist. Detective Harris is put on the case, and while no one believes any of the Amish could have been involved, Harris ends up following clues that do in fact threaten to uncover nefarious doings among the horse-and-buggy set. Especially when a second victim, a runaway Amish girl, turns up.
This was a decent mystery, and having been to Lancaster myself it was easy to picture the setting. What I didn't like so much was Ezra, the hunky Amish widower who gives Detective Harris tingles deep inside the moment she meets him. Suddenly the book is half murder mystery, half Amish romance. C'mon, if I wanted that I'd have read this:
This is apparently the first in a series, and I am not sure if I care to read the next one.
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