"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blood of the Prodigal by P.L. Gaus

A Plume Book
A Division of Penguin Publishing
A Amish-Country Mystery
First Book In This Series

  • ISBN-10: 0452296463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296466
Set in Holmes County, Ohio, we are introduced to a group of "Old Order Amish" or "plain people" who only trust a precious few "English people".  

When one of the Amish boys disappears the Amish Bishop meets with Professor Michael Branden and Pastor Caleb Troyer, two "English" men he feels he can help locate the boy.  The Bishop believes that the boy was taken by his father, the Bishop's son, who had been exiled from the Amish community 10 years ago. The Bishop begs the men to not involve any police as he hopes to get the boy back and settle the matter quickly and quietly.

When the man suspected of taking the boy is found dead right down the road from the Bishop's home, the local sheriff starts to investigate the death but is not made aware of the missing boy until 3 days later at the bequest of the Bishop.  When the sheriff is given all the information many secrets that the Bishop hoped would remain in the past are revealed.  Time then becomes a matter of urgency to try to find the boy before it is too late.

This story is written by a man with over 30 years of research into the Amish lifestyle and in fact lives just a few miles away from one of the world's largest and most varied settlements of Amish and Mennonite communities and it shows throughout his writing. 

Just reading this first book in this series I understand so much more about a culture I have found fascinating for years.  We have small communities of Amish in Wisconsin but aside from seeing them out shopping from time to time, hearing some stories, reading romance type books featuring "plain people" and seeing the buggies along the highway I really know very little about their lifestyle.

This book not only educates us about the Amish culture, it also contains not only one but two mysteries.  One who killed the Bishop's son and two who actually has the Bishop's grandson.  The author blends the dangers of America today with the Amish way of life totally respecting their values and attitudes.  It is truly different from any other book I have read that tries to mesh these two worlds together.  I am really looking forward to the next book in the series "Broken English" and if it draws me in like this edition the reading will be a true pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Plume Books, A Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Kris said...

I'm intrigued by the Amish culture, so it sounds like this would be a good book for me.

rojo13864 said...

These sound great. I want to purchase all of his books on the Amish!!