Lamb to the Slaughter by Karen Ann Hopkins
An adult mystery from the author of the young adult romantic Temptation Series!
Some Amish communities aren't so cozy.
Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest.
Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate. At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl’s parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting.
Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up. Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.
*Lamb to the Slaughter is book one of Serenity’s Plain Secrets.
I read the Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins, which was a different type of Amish book for me. I was eager to check out this one as soon as I heard it was available. This one is also different from so many that I tend to read, as it brings out the uglier side of the Amish community. As far as I know, this ugly side isn't the norm, which made it a little weird to read. At the same time, I was completely drawn in by the prologue and had a hard time putting down the book in order to do anything else. Others are not going to appreciate this view of the Amish and therefore shouldn't read it.
This book was so much more intriguing than the Temptation series for me. Yes, a good murder mystery will often trump a romance in my book, though there is some romance thrown in. Little plot twists creep up on you. Some I had figured out ahead of time; some were unexpected. My suspicions as to the guilty party tended to shift slightly throughout, because I was trying to figure out if Hopkins was going for the obvious culprit or would throw another curveball.
We get to know Serenity pretty well through her perspective in some of the chapters. She has a lot to prove, being the first female sheriff in the area, and has her own personal demons. She also has a hard time understanding the Amish culture, even though she grew up in the area. Her need to prove herself gets in her way, especially in regards to Daniel. Her wishy-washiness toward him made me crazy, but I wasn't the only one. I actually kept picturing the sheriff from Under the Dome while I was reading this.
Daniel also takes a turn telling the story in some chapters. We get to know him as the former Amish man who is happier living with the English, but truly misses his family. He has his own little secrets and demons, but is inherently kind. I feel like there is more to him and his story that we just haven't yet uncovered.
We also get to know the deceased as the chapters alternate between telling her past story and following the present events. The entire picture is slowly uncovered between these three perspectives, which works quite well here. It builds up the anticipation without being confusing and keeps the pages turning.
This case does wrap up nicely, but another one opens up at the end of this. I will be eagerly anticipating the second book in the series! Overall, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Find Karen Ann Hopkins
A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration forthe story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tendingto a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
We have a really exciting prize package for this tour, so make sure to follow along for more chances to win every day! What’s up for grabs:
• An autographed set of Karen’s YA Temptation series
• A traditional Amish style hand stitched wall hanging/lap quilt with the lone star pattern in country colors
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