I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect with the second book in the Amish of Hart County series, but it exceeded any expectations I may have had. Now, I’m still not a huge fan of Suspense and Amish books have their difficulties, but Shelley Shepard Gray is turning me into a definite fan of this sub-genre mash-up of Amish Romantic Suspense (or at least her version of it).
Told in third person from multiple points of view, this is a story of redemption for more than one character. I greatly enjoyed the growth of the primary relationship in this novel, as Waneta (Neeta) Cain deliberately sets out to conquer the insecurities of her sheltered girlhood. Determined to do what is right despite her fears, she reaches out to the broody and intimidating Mark Fisher. Recently returned to the surprisingly unforgiving Amish community in Hart County, Mark is a man who always tried to do right even when accused of a terrible wrong.
Having the perspectives of both Amish and former Amish characters made this an even more interesting read. While the secondary romantic relationship could have been a story on it’s own, it fit well within this novel. Though these characters took me a bit to warm up to, I did end up hoping that a future entry in this series might be centered on a similar set of former Amish characters. I also appreciated the references to the first novel of the series and Neeta’s parents were favorite minor characters for me, adding a sense of grounding and warmth to the story.
The suspense plot is quite well done and kept me second-guessing between two possible culprits. As in Her Secret (read my review here), there is a definite sense of growing peril with the characters experiencing some harrowing events. But for all of the suspense, peril, and evil doings, there is an ending that is quite satisfying.
I never thought I’d close a suspense novel and say “Aww.” Highly recommended.
From the Publisher:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.
Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…
Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.
Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?
His Guilt (The Amish of Hart County #2) by Shelley Shepard Gray | Avon Inspire, July 4, 2017 | paperback, 288 pages, e-book also available
This review refers to an Uncorrected Proof that was offered by the author’s editor on twitter. Changes may have been made to the novel prior to actual publication. No review was required. All opinions expressed are my own.