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Readers & Writers Ink Reviews
By Karen Harper
Kat Lindley lives with the memory of her failed attempt to save an abused youngster from his father. The little boy was killed and Kat was badly injured, forced to spend several months in physical therapy. She left the city police force and accepted the position of dispatcher in the peaceful Amish community of Maplecreek.
But Maplecreek isn't as peaceful as it appears. Someone is targeting the Amish community. The infrequent attacks have been unsettling, but no one has been hurt. Shortly after Kat arrives, the attacks become more dangerous and are launched against the Amish children. Kat agrees to go undercover, masquerading as a member of the Amish community. Given her failure in Columbus, she's desperate to save Maplecreek's children.
Widower Luke Brand is the leader of the Amish community, despite the fact his father bears the title of bishop. Although the community is reluctant to go outside for help, he convinces them that the children's lives are at stake. Following a particularly vicious attack against the youngsters, Luke goes to the local police.
Kat is introduced as cousin to one of the local families, come from Pennsylvania as Luke's fiancé. As she struggles to learn and live the Amish life, she develops an affection and respect for the community and its leaders and followers, as well a deep love for the children. She and Luke work together to uncover the identity of the perpetrators, while struggling against the unspoken and forbidden feelings growing between them.
As incidents escalate and the vicious attacks end in more than one death, Kat is unsure whom to trust, both inside and outside the community. The more she learns through her often unorthodox investigative methods, the less certain she is of the true source of the danger. Her possible suspects range from those who have left the community to those who appear to support the community and extend to the sheriff himself, particularly when she finds one of her primary suspects has ties to individuals who are assumed to be innocent and supportive. If she doesn't identify the source of evil soon, Luke will likely be the next victim.
Karen Harper provides a chilling insight into the effects of hatred and misunderstanding, visited upon an innocent community and its children. Her talent for creating and maintaining tension and suspense provide a story rich in mystery and intrigue, but equally rich in love and the positive highlights of human nature. DARK HARVEST is yet one more example of her sensitive and provocative storytelling abilities and will have the reader searching for her previous books as well.
-- Reviewed by DanaRae Pomeroy
Readers & Writers Ink Reviews
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