Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Shunning Sarah by Julie Kramer

Amish mysteries are hot right now, and Julie Kramer's television reporter lands in the middle of a crime in the Minnesota Amish community in Shunning Sarah. However, the blurb on the front of the book is a little misleading, "A peaceful Amish community is shaken by a brutal murder." On the contrary, the Amish community only wants to bury the story.

Riley Spartz, a TV reporter for a station in Minneapolis convinces her new boss to send her to Harmony, south of Minneapolis, to cover the story of Josh Kueppers, a ten-year-old boy who fell into a sinkhole. By the time she arrived, though, the boy had been rescued, and no one is talking. The sinkhole has become a crime scene, with a woman's body in it, a woman without a face. Identification only comes when Josh is able to help a sketch artist with the face. Sarah Yoder was an eighteen-year-old Amish woman. No one reported her missing. Sarah had left her faith and her home, so she has been placed in the bann, shunned.

While Riley struggles with the news director who wants her to cover stories about bears and food, she continues to find her way back to Harmony to cover Sarah's story. No one in the Amish community will talk to Riley, but a few other people in town want her to find the killer. Riley's investigation angers a few people, including the local sheriff. And, her investigation is threatening a few too many people.

In Riley Spartz' case, she has to deal with a dangerous story in Harmony. However, she's a TV reporter, who goes wherever the news director sends her. As in a police procedural, she has to juggle more than a couple stories at a time. In this case, the other stories are interesting, but it's the handling of the news director that is disappointing in the end. The rest of the story is wrapped up neatly. The solution to the problem with the news director was handled a little too abruptly, and, in my opinion,  that aspect of the story didn't have a satisfactory ending.

However, it's evident that Julie Kramer knows the news business. Riley Spartz' search for answers drives this story. And, she isn't satisfied until she finds answers, and justice, for an Amish girl who found herself in trouble.

Julie Kramer's website is www.JulieKramerBooks.com

Shunning Sarah by Julie Kramer. Atria. 2012. ISBN 9781451664638 (hardcover), 307p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book for possible review.


caite said...

I do like these Amish crime books for some reason. I guess their 'difference' , their beliefs, make a great backdrop.

Jane R said...

I liked the movie "Witness", which took place in an Amish community. I have a feeling I will enjoy this book as well. Now it's on my book list. Thanks for the review!

Lesa said...

Caite & Jane,

They even mention "Witness" on the front of this book. Hope you enjoy it!

Carol N Wong said...

I love Amish books except for the mushy mush Romance ones. I have one of the Amish mystery ones on my shelf. Looking forward to it.

Lesa said...

I agree, Carol. I find the Amish mysteries fascinating.

holdenj said...

I'm looking forward to this, she's a hometown author that just keeps getting better and better! Thanks for whetting my appetite!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, holdenj. Only try to whet your appetite, not give too much away.