4 out of 4 stars
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The disappearance of fifteen-year-old Eli Reader doesn’t cause much of a stir in the quiet Amish community until the missing teen is connected to a mob hit that took place just five miles outside of Caroline Creek. With evil accusations flying about her younger brother, Maria Reader is quick to return the insults with sharp words of her own. As the tensions within the church boil over, Maria turns to the outside world for help.
Bruce Ellsworth has helped the Reader family in the past, but that was back when he was chief of police. Now the disgraced former lawman will try to aid the Readers in the search for Eli. While his status as a private investigator limits his jurisdiction, his knowledge and expertise about the Trontelli crime family extend back to his glory days with the Castletown Police. Will Bruce locate Eli and take down the mob, or will Eli become another missing person never heard from again?
Shadows We Remain is an exciting crime drama by Mose J. Gingerich. As a former member of the Amish religion, the author brought to life the intricate details of the Caroline Creek community. I was familiar with some Amish culture before reading this book. Still, I learned an enormous amount about the dynamics between the married and unmarried people within the community, the activities enjoyed by the people, and how the leaders functioned within the church. I also loved how Maria’s fiery personality brought to light some negative aspects of the religion and how her character arc brought about a positive resolution to the conflict within this portion of the book.
I also appreciated how well the author developed the relationships between the characters. Ruth Reader was a loving but flawed mother to Maria, and I loved how she supported and encouraged her daughter despite the painful situation handed to the family. My favorite relationship had to be the father-daughter-like relationship that formed between Maria and Bruce. Some of the conversations they had were quite touching, and while the conclusion did not turn out how I expected, I was delighted with the emotions that played out in the final scenes.
While the book did have a few minor proofreading errors, they did not take away from my reading enjoyment. I loved the suspense and the mystery woven into the story and had a blast trying to put together the pieces before the characters did. I was a little skeptical about how much crime-solving knowledge Maria had as an Amish woman; however, the naïve mistakes that she made balanced out her thoughts and actions, making her a more realistic character.
I gladly give Shadows We Remain four out of four stars. I disliked nothing about the story, and I would highly recommend this well-written book to those who enjoy Amish fiction and crime novels. There was mild swearing throughout the book and a few instances of severe swearing near the end, but no erotic content. Shadows We Remain is an excellent novel for those who enjoy a mix of drama and suspense with an engaging plot. I would eagerly read future works from this author and look forward to additional books in the Caroline Creek series.
Shadows We Remain
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