Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: Return To Grace

Author: Karen Harper
Title: Return To Grace
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: Feb 21,2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: In the shadows of a graveyard, a SHOT rings out…

Hannah Esh fled the Home Valley Amish community with a broken heart, throwing herself into her worldly dreams of a singing career instead. But as much as she tries to run from her past, something keeps pulling her back. On a whim, she brings four worldly friends to the Amish graveyard near her family's home for a midnight party on Halloween. But when shots are fired and one of her friends is killed, Hannah is pulled back into the world of her past.

The investigation into the shooting uncovers deep-buried secrets that shock the peaceful Amish village to its core. Determined to prove her value to the community she left behind, Hannah attempts to bridge two cultures, working closely with both handsome, arrogant FBI agent Linc Armstrong and her former betrothed, Seth Lantz, now widowed with a young daughter.

Caught between Seth and Linc, between old and new, Amish and worldly, Hannah must choose her future. Unless a killer, bent on secrecy, chooses it for her.
Return to Grace

Review: Return To Grace combines two of my favorite genres, Amish Fiction and Mystery. What I loved about Karen Harper's writing is that she doesn't instill a lot of Christian elements that are found in most books containing Amish characters. She made both the English and the Amish "real."

Seth, who was Hannah's original sweetheart, got a girl pregnant, and that's why he had to break things off with her, causing her to leave the Amish before she was baptized.

Let me tell you the things that were awesome about this story:

1. I loved Hannah and Seth and how they were tied together from their past through the present and how their relationship blossomed through the murder investigation.

2. It was impossible to guess who the real culprit was in the killings, though you had a few clues toward the end of the story.

3. The story had great secondary characters that you really connect with like Ray-Lynn and the Sheriff.

4. A gripping mystery that keeps the pages turning. This isn't a cozy, but it isn't quite a thriller. It starts with a shooting on Halloween and then balloons from there.

5. She portrayed Seth as a sexual being! It isn't all prayer caps and whoopie pies! There was no sex, but there was sexual tension between the characters.

There were a few things that bugged me.

1. Why was Hannah Goth? I would have liked to have known a little more about how she turned to that lifestyle.

2. Her father told a huge lie to a record producer about her, so she wouldn't get a recording contract? Not very believable.

3. Her ease of turning away from Linc (the FBI agent) at the end. I would have liked a little more indecision there.

All in all though, the good outweighed the bad, and Karen Harper is now on my list of must read authors. This was a superb book and one I'd highly recommend if you like mysteries or Amish fiction.

Rating: 5 flowers


Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs