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Among the Innocent

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When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths. As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths. As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light? USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.


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When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths. As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths. As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light? USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.

30 review for Among the Innocent

  1. 4 out of 5

    "Avonna

    Check out all my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com AMONG THE INNOCENT by Mary Alford is an action-packed Amish crime mystery/suspense featuring two law enforcement officers brought together by a serial killer who has returned to the quiet community of St. Ignatius, Montana to finish what he started ten years previously. This is a standalone mystery/suspense with a setting and characters I wish were going to be in a series. Ten years ago, Leah Miller was a young teen who was the lone su Check out all my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com AMONG THE INNOCENT by Mary Alford is an action-packed Amish crime mystery/suspense featuring two law enforcement officers brought together by a serial killer who has returned to the quiet community of St. Ignatius, Montana to finish what he started ten years previously. This is a standalone mystery/suspense with a setting and characters I wish were going to be in a series. Ten years ago, Leah Miller was a young teen who was the lone survivor of a horrific crime, where her entire Amish family was killed in front of her. Leah barely survived, she left the Amish and was taken in by the local sheriff and his wife. Now as a member of the sheriff’s department herself, she is called to the murder scene of young Amish girl with the same MO as her family’s killer who they all believed was dead. Dalton Cooper is the new Sheriff, and he has his own reasons for accepting the job in this small town which tie to the death of the accused murderer of Leah’s family. As they work the case, they realize that the true killer has returned, and the previous sheriff seemed to be hiding information. They also begin to have feelings for each other, but they feel the present case needs to take precedent. Another Amish girl is murdered, the killer is toying with Leah and the tenth anniversary of the Miller family’s death is near. Will Dalton and Leah be able to discover the truth before the dark past wins? I found this mystery suspense to be a page-turner that I could not put down. Leah and Dalton were both broken and not moving forward with their lives, and it took their coming together to solve this case and discover the facts from the past that would allow them to heal. They were both fully fleshed, realistic characters that I empathized with immediately. The serial killer was intelligent and frightening. Ms. Alford did a great job of placing plot twists and red herrings in just the right places to make the plot fast paced and surprising. The setting of this story was very interesting, too. A mixture of small-town Montana, Amish community and Indian reservation all interconnected. This could also be considered a Christian mystery because the characters do pray for God’s assistance at times, discuss their lack of faith due to their pasts and the romantic elements are no more than a few kisses. I highly recommend this Amish mystery/suspense!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Nice introduction to a new to me author! This suspense novel kept my interest from beginning to end. Following the murder of her family, Leah is taken in by an Englisher couple. She leaves the Amish and eventually becomes a police officer. Now it appears the man who murdered her family is back. I didn't figure out who the villain was until the reveal. The details were plausible. The romance could have been stronger, but that isn't an important factor for me as I'm more interested in the suspense p Nice introduction to a new to me author! This suspense novel kept my interest from beginning to end. Following the murder of her family, Leah is taken in by an Englisher couple. She leaves the Amish and eventually becomes a police officer. Now it appears the man who murdered her family is back. I didn't figure out who the villain was until the reveal. The details were plausible. The romance could have been stronger, but that isn't an important factor for me as I'm more interested in the suspense part of the novel. I look forward to reading other novels by the author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Hall

    3.5 stars! Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Characters: Dalton and Leah felt a little distant to me. They both had tragic pasts that kind of seeped into the present, but they didn't react as strongly as I assumed they would. I did think Leah's Amish childhood was an interesting twist. La 3.5 stars! Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher/author. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. Characters: Dalton and Leah felt a little distant to me. They both had tragic pasts that kind of seeped into the present, but they didn't react as strongly as I assumed they would. I did think Leah's Amish childhood was an interesting twist. Language: Clean. Moral/theme: This novel included themes of family and courage. Leah had grown distant from God after her family was killed. I would've liked to see a little more resolution with that theme. Plot: Plenty of suspenseful moments moved the plot along. There were times I wanted to talk some sense into certain characters so they'd stop trusting the villain. Romance: Clean. Just kissing. Writing: Mary Alford's writing style was straightforward and easy to read. Overall: Among the Innocent was an entertaining read, and I'd recommend it to those who enjoy Christian fiction and romantic suspense.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    Wow! This is an action packed, intense, edge of seat nail biter! It’s definitely the best Suspense Thriller I’ve read so far this year. Mary Alford pulled out all the stops when she penned this new novel giving her readers a riveting and unpredictable story to get caught up in. I found it to be scary with lots of twists and turns. Plenty of Police chases with a serial killer who is always one step ahead. From the first page I was drawn into this gripping book that I didn’t want to put down for a Wow! This is an action packed, intense, edge of seat nail biter! It’s definitely the best Suspense Thriller I’ve read so far this year. Mary Alford pulled out all the stops when she penned this new novel giving her readers a riveting and unpredictable story to get caught up in. I found it to be scary with lots of twists and turns. Plenty of Police chases with a serial killer who is always one step ahead. From the first page I was drawn into this gripping book that I didn’t want to put down for any reason. The ending was beautiful but I believe there will be a book two because some ends were left untied. Leah Miller grew up Amish in the community of St. Ignatuis Montana. During her Rumspringa when she was sixteen she spent time with an English boy who wanted her to run away with him. When she refused to go with him in favor of staying with her Amish family he left her in a fit of rage. Late at night he returned to her home and killed her family and left Leah wounded and scarred for life. It was believed that the killer had died in a fire but ten years later he is back and he’s on a killing spree . Leah is a police officer now and the killer is sending her threats that he has returned to finish the job he should have done ten years earlier when he didn’t kill her. Leah wants to stop this killer and bring closure for the death of her family members. She gets help when a new Chief of Police comes to St. Ignatuis. Chief Dalton Cooper has his own reasons to apprehend this serial killer. Will Leah and the Chief be able to outsmart the serial killer before he gets to Leah ? How many will die before this mad man is stopped? I recommend this book to readers of Mystery Suspense Thrillers and fans of the Author. This book is scheduled to be released on 6/7/22. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    ‘Despite the swelteringly heat, a cold shiver sped down Leah’s spine. Something bad was approaching l. She could feel it moving in. ‘ Ten years ago, Leah’s Amish family was murdered in front of her. She was left near death. Now the killer who was king thought dead, is back. And he is killing Amish young women, with Leah in his sights. Mary Alford starts this one off with such intensity that I was completely drawn in and barely could put the book down. She ramps up the fear as this horrifying kill ‘Despite the swelteringly heat, a cold shiver sped down Leah’s spine. Something bad was approaching l. She could feel it moving in. ‘ Ten years ago, Leah’s Amish family was murdered in front of her. She was left near death. Now the killer who was king thought dead, is back. And he is killing Amish young women, with Leah in his sights. Mary Alford starts this one off with such intensity that I was completely drawn in and barely could put the book down. She ramps up the fear as this horrifying killer plans everything down to the last detail, so very full of evil. She gives us a great plot, good characters and enough suspense to keep us on the edge of our seats. Well done! My thanks to Revell for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion here is entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    The majority of young Amish women living at home lead a sheltered life. When they go through rumspringa they are exposed to a lot of the things Englishers experience and some are led astray by these Englishers. Such as the case with Leah Miller, in over her head she feels excited to have an Englisher boyfriend and is happy to sneak out to see him at night. Shortly after she starts seeing him her whole family is killed. This Amish woman leaves the Amish faith and joins the police force seeking reve The majority of young Amish women living at home lead a sheltered life. When they go through rumspringa they are exposed to a lot of the things Englishers experience and some are led astray by these Englishers. Such as the case with Leah Miller, in over her head she feels excited to have an Englisher boyfriend and is happy to sneak out to see him at night. Shortly after she starts seeing him her whole family is killed. This Amish woman leaves the Amish faith and joins the police force seeking revenge. When the killings start back up again after sometime Leah and her partner, police chief Dalton Cooper must prove without a doubt who the guilty party is. After her family was killed Leah thought the murder was solved because the person that was blamed for the murders killed themselves. When innocent young Amish women start turning up dead again we know this isn't the case and the killer is still among us. As the book goes on we can see a pattern repeating itself so we have a good idea of who has done the killings. The book is so hard to put down. I read it in less that 24 hours. The suspense really grabbed my attention . Riveting, it kept me on the edge of my seat. I'll admit to feeling uneasy a bit while reading this. The author does suspense very well. Read it and find out the significance of the number ten. If you're just coasting through this book and I'm not sure how you could be doing that with all that's going on there is a big reveal pretty close to the end that'll give you a nice jolt. Highly enjoyed and recommended! Pub Date 07 Jun 2022 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    What a story! The victim of a heinous crime, Leah Miller is now part of the investigating team trying to stop the serial killer who took her family from her. I liked that Leah was a strong and smart character, even as she struggled with survivor’s guilt resulting from the murder of her family. The new police chief, Dalton Cooper, was also determined to catch the real killer and clear the name of the man who was blamed ten years earlier. The villain was a master manipulator who easily targeted and What a story! The victim of a heinous crime, Leah Miller is now part of the investigating team trying to stop the serial killer who took her family from her. I liked that Leah was a strong and smart character, even as she struggled with survivor’s guilt resulting from the murder of her family. The new police chief, Dalton Cooper, was also determined to catch the real killer and clear the name of the man who was blamed ten years earlier. The villain was a master manipulator who easily targeted and controlled willing and innocent young women from the Amish faith. It was helpful to have Leah as part of the investigation, providing a connection to the Amish community which she was once a part of. It was sad to watch as the various girls fell victim to the villain’s charms, yet it provided some great suspense, too. (4.5 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. You can read this review on my blog: https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    My blurb … Leah Miller was Amish until her whole family was murdered. Murdered right in front of her. Now, 10 years later, she is member of the local police force. Her memories under control til Beth, a young Amish woman, has been found dead — murdered. The same MO as Leah’s family. Now it is obvious the accused man, now dead, didn’t do it, And a new police chief, Dalton Cooper has arrived–literally at the murder scene. He has a personal reason why he took the job but it quickly becomes clear — th My blurb … Leah Miller was Amish until her whole family was murdered. Murdered right in front of her. Now, 10 years later, she is member of the local police force. Her memories under control til Beth, a young Amish woman, has been found dead — murdered. The same MO as Leah’s family. Now it is obvious the accused man, now dead, didn’t do it, And a new police chief, Dalton Cooper has arrived–literally at the murder scene. He has a personal reason why he took the job but it quickly becomes clear — this latest murder was done by the same person. Soon it is apparent the killer is not done with Leah yet. Can Dalton find the answer to his quest? Can he and Leah solve the murders without being killed themselves? My review … Hang onto your hats! Among the Innocent is a humdinger of a story. You won’t figure out this whodunit quickly. No waiting for the story to build a hook that will grab you. That hook comes within a few pages and doesn’t let go for 300 more. This is a plot you can sink your teeth in. Characters: Always a key element. Some authors might be a problem making Leah likeable, tough, and vulnerable all at the same time. Mary Alford makes it seem like a breeze. She is loving & caring toward Marge, now a widow. Marge & her husband Police Chief Ellis Petri gave Leah a home after her family was brutally murdered. Leah was spared but not without physical injury; a scar she has to this day. But she is tough. And needs to be to have survived 10 years ago and survive now! Dalton Cooper, the new police chief, arrives for his first day on the job literally at the scene of the Amish girl’s murder. Chief Petri was beloved by his police force and Dalton is fairly careful how he handles being the new chief and introducing himself while handling the murder scene. This book is abundant with rich characters and each fit their role in the story beautifully. “Pacing is a tool that controls the speed and rhythm at which a story is told and the readers are pulled through the events.” ~ Writer’s Digest. Pacing: For this reader, the pacing in Among the Innocent was just about perfect. Sometimes the story moves quickly — or maybe it was just me swiping my thumb across the Kindle to get to the next part. I never felt the pacing lagged. Never felt it was rushed. The story ebbs and flows as the plot builds. Genre: It’s a thriller. It’s an Amish mystery. It’s about a small town police force. Maybe I should say it’s a Thriller Amish Mystery! The only weakness (a minus of .5 stars) I found was near the end it became obvious to me, and I think to most readers, who the murderer is. We are supposed to do that. But our two very sharp police folks don’t see it when for this reviewer felt it was plain as the nose on their face. It was not in keeping with their smarts showed earlier. But, that didn’t ruin the book and I highly recommend to those who love thrillers, police books, and Amish mysteries. It’s definitely a winner. Rating: a solid 4.5 stars rounded to 5 for websites that only show whole numbers. I received a complimentary e-ARC copy of Among the Innocent via NetGalley from the publisher, Revell. A positive review was not required; the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. #AmongTheInnocent #NetGalley #MaryAlford Title: Among the Innocent Series: N/A Author:Mary Alford Genre:Amish, Thriller, Police Publisher: Revell Release Date: 7 Jun 2022 Format: Kindle (read), Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback Pages: 304 Source: NetGalley Cover: I like the cover but it doesn’t fit the book. Leah is in police uniform most of the time and the Amish need to be far more noticeable. Amish readers screech to a halt when they see Amish covers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    If you want a spooky sort of tale then I recommend this book. It's a nail biter for sure! Great characters and a great plot that will keep Ms. Affords readers glued to their seats while turning the pages from beginning to end! I devoured this book in one night. Yes, some of it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I thought Ms. Alford did a wonderful job with the very descriptive scenes that I had no trouble picturing the traumatic events unfolding in this book. I love the cover of the bo If you want a spooky sort of tale then I recommend this book. It's a nail biter for sure! Great characters and a great plot that will keep Ms. Affords readers glued to their seats while turning the pages from beginning to end! I devoured this book in one night. Yes, some of it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I thought Ms. Alford did a wonderful job with the very descriptive scenes that I had no trouble picturing the traumatic events unfolding in this book. I love the cover of the book too. It makes readers wonder what happens to the girl on the front cover. I know it did me Thanks Ms. Alford a great story! I highly recommend. My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Leah Miller was Amish until her whole family was murdered and she escaped. The killer is back to taunt her ten years later. She is now a police woman in the same village in the Montana mountains. A new police chief, Dalton, has taken over the station, just as a new murders take place. This was a fast paced thriller of a story with many threads to untangle. The killer is creepily diabolical and uses innocent teen girls to terrorize Leah. As the threads come together, Dalton and Leah grow closer a Leah Miller was Amish until her whole family was murdered and she escaped. The killer is back to taunt her ten years later. She is now a police woman in the same village in the Montana mountains. A new police chief, Dalton, has taken over the station, just as a new murders take place. This was a fast paced thriller of a story with many threads to untangle. The killer is creepily diabolical and uses innocent teen girls to terrorize Leah. As the threads come together, Dalton and Leah grow closer and depend on each other. Then find a surprising past connection. One special character was Marge, Leah’s adoptive mother who suffers with dementia. The author gave us some insight into the condition. Another clue could be what Marge cannot remember! If you want a page turner, give this one a try. It is well worth the reading. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Reads Program. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carole Smith

    This was truly one of the best, gripping Mysteries I have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. One of my favorite things was knowing who the murderer was, but Mary Alford kept the reader trying to figure out his next move. A gripping story of a woman's family who were all murdered in front of her. Amish girls are being sought after and then killed as he is waiting till the 10th anniversary of Leah's families deaths. There's a surprise twist as the story wraps up. Very strong storyline an This was truly one of the best, gripping Mysteries I have read in a long time. I couldn't put it down. One of my favorite things was knowing who the murderer was, but Mary Alford kept the reader trying to figure out his next move. A gripping story of a woman's family who were all murdered in front of her. Amish girls are being sought after and then killed as he is waiting till the 10th anniversary of Leah's families deaths. There's a surprise twist as the story wraps up. Very strong storyline and characters made this a great read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Among the Innocent by Mary Alford is a captivating suspense novel. I thought the book was well-written with realistic, developed characters. I like that the main characters have suffered tragedies. They are flawed characters just like real people. There is plenty of action and tense suspense in Among the Innocent. A killer is back after ten years bringing back of flood of unwanted memories for Leah Miller. Unbeknownst to Leah, the new police chief, Dalton Cooper also has a connection to the crim Among the Innocent by Mary Alford is a captivating suspense novel. I thought the book was well-written with realistic, developed characters. I like that the main characters have suffered tragedies. They are flawed characters just like real people. There is plenty of action and tense suspense in Among the Innocent. A killer is back after ten years bringing back of flood of unwanted memories for Leah Miller. Unbeknownst to Leah, the new police chief, Dalton Cooper also has a connection to the crime that took Leah’s family. The pair must work together to capture a deadly killer. There are plenty of twists and turns in this edgy romantic suspense. There is graphic violence in the story (fair warning). The police follow leads, collect evidence, and try to keep people safe. Unfortunately, the killer always seems to be one step ahead. Be prepared for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end. The idea of such an evil person is terrifying. I enjoyed collecting clues so I could figure out the killer’s identity before the gripping reveal. I like how faith was woven into the story. Dalton Cooper is a man of deep faith. He shares his beliefs with Leah whose faith could use some boosting. I enjoyed the picturesque descriptions of St. Ignatius, Montana. The author really brought the area alive with her vivid word imagery. Among the Innocent is a book that will have you staying up late, quickly turning the pages so you can find out how the story ends (be prepared for a book hangover the next day). Mary Alford successfully combined solid characters, an absorbing plot, scary suspense, and faith into one suspenseful tale.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather Gilbert

    This mystery seemed like a clean version of a Linda Castillo mystery. While I felt the romance moved way too quickly for police officers with a serial killer loose in their Amish community and I felt the police were portrayed in unrealistic ways that appeared far too cavalier for such a situation (such as letting the primary target accompany them to every crime scene!), the book was riveting and I was glued to the page.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    This is the first book I have read by this author and now I'm wondering why! This Christian Suspense novel has everything I look for in a book: developed characters, fascinating backstory, a bit of mystery, a hint of romance, and action-packed scenes that will have you wondering if you can put the book down or if you will need to continue reading the book. I haven't read a book that included Amish characters in some time and I forgot how much I enjoy the simple life, slightly different language, This is the first book I have read by this author and now I'm wondering why! This Christian Suspense novel has everything I look for in a book: developed characters, fascinating backstory, a bit of mystery, a hint of romance, and action-packed scenes that will have you wondering if you can put the book down or if you will need to continue reading the book. I haven't read a book that included Amish characters in some time and I forgot how much I enjoy the simple life, slightly different language, and the close-knit ties they have in their communities. I have read about rumspringa for the teens and how that can influence their desire to stay in the Amish community or venture out on their own. The downside to this is that the teens can be easily influenced by western culture since it is very different from their own. We see that with several of the female characters that are taken in by the killer's charm and don't realize that what he is portraying is not right. Leah is familiar with both worlds and is able to bridge the gap when needed. However, the death of her family dredges up memories when new girls are found murdered and notes are left behind for Leah. I wondered throughout the book who was behind all of this and I did start to figure it out but not until closer to the end when a few clues are provided. I still didn't grasp the full impact of those clues until all was revealed. I thought Leah could be reckless when it came to her own safety at various times throughout the book, but thankfully Dalton, the new police chief, did his best to keep her safe. However, sometimes the killer had the jump on Leah and Dalton which just added to the tension in the story. Dalton may be the new chief but he has another motive for his move to St. Ignatius. It is hinted at but we don't find out the true reason until much later in the book. There are some twists regarding his secret and the outcome but you'll have to read the book to find out what. While this is a Christian-based book, the religious aspect is minor, but it brings in the faith that Leah and Dalton have that everything will turn out ok and that a higher power is watching over them. This was a fantastic read and I will be investigating more of this author's works. We give it 5 paws up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dana Michael

    Among The Innocent is a nail biting romantic suspense. The heroine is a former Amish whose family was murdered ten years ago. She was the only survivor. Fast forward ten years and the serial killer is back in full force in a killing spree of young Amish ladies. The new Police Chief has his own reasons to hunt down the killer. All the while both Leah and Dalton fight their romantic feelings. I enjoyed the book very much and I hope there will be more from this author. *I was given a copy of this boo Among The Innocent is a nail biting romantic suspense. The heroine is a former Amish whose family was murdered ten years ago. She was the only survivor. Fast forward ten years and the serial killer is back in full force in a killing spree of young Amish ladies. The new Police Chief has his own reasons to hunt down the killer. All the while both Leah and Dalton fight their romantic feelings. I enjoyed the book very much and I hope there will be more from this author. *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and this is my honest opinion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I loved this book! It was intense and edgy and kept me on the edge of my seat. Leah and Dalton were great characters. I received a copy from Net Galley. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelsie

    **3.5/5** When I saw who endorsed Among the Innocent by Mary Alford, I instantly agreed to read it. I usually avoid anything to do with Amish fiction, but based off thy synopsis, it seemed more of a background point versus the main setting. This is true. Alford provided her readers with a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle without being overwhelming, forced, or overdone. As usual with romantic suspense novels, Leah and Dalton must solve a case—catch a serial killer—before it s too late. Questions ( **3.5/5** When I saw who endorsed Among the Innocent by Mary Alford, I instantly agreed to read it. I usually avoid anything to do with Amish fiction, but based off thy synopsis, it seemed more of a background point versus the main setting. This is true. Alford provided her readers with a glimpse into the Amish lifestyle without being overwhelming, forced, or overdone. As usual with romantic suspense novels, Leah and Dalton must solve a case—catch a serial killer—before it s too late. Questions (and attraction) swirl together, making an already stressful situation even more complicated. Overall, however, Among the Innocent…didn’t quite do it for me. For being a “romantic suspense” novel, I did not feel the connection between Leah and Dalton. It was there, yes, but it felt more like an affectionate friendship. For me, it was not developed enough. Romantic suspense novels require a fine balance between the case and the relationship. Alford put too much focus on the former. Even then, she kept reminding readers of the anniversary of Leah’s family’s murder, and it became repetitious. It was like the author wrote out a specific timeline and used the anniversary as her point of reference. Which, in and of itself, is not bad. Instead of having the characters say or think about it, I would’ve just had chapter subtitles of “# Days till the Anniversary.” Readers would still have that significant date looming, but no need for the repetition. The “surprise twist” was not much of a surprise for me, though maybe that’s because I read so much of this genre that I catch on too easily. The timing of things, too, was a problem for me, though I won’t go into that in great detail due to spoilers. When the book ended, I still had unanswered questions, and the conclusion felt rushed. With a lot of novels in this particular genre, I find it hard to let the characters go. I want to spend more time with them. So I do; I wait maybe one or two days before beginning my next novel. Alford’s novel, though, I started another book the next day. I was happy to move on from Leah and Dalton. Not because they were bad characters or anything like that. I just…didn’t like them as much as others created by other authors. Among the Innocent by Mary Alford has its strengths, like an intense plot and good imagery. Fairly good characters, too, who readers will want to root for. Though the stakes were high, it lacked the excitement that I have found in other romantic suspense novels. It is still good, and I’ll probably read more of Alford’s work, but I just think it could have been better. Note: I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All views expressed are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I have been a fan of Mary Alford for quite a while, but Among the Innocent has to be one of the most engrossing, edge of my seat book I've read of hers. The intertwining of Leah's and Dalton's pasts is slowly revealed and well written. The love Leah has for her adoptive mom is so sweet. There was murder. There was tension. There was betrayal. There was romance. AND there was a smashing ending to the mystery. It was complex, but not so much that I couldn't keep track of the action. I really liked I have been a fan of Mary Alford for quite a while, but Among the Innocent has to be one of the most engrossing, edge of my seat book I've read of hers. The intertwining of Leah's and Dalton's pasts is slowly revealed and well written. The love Leah has for her adoptive mom is so sweet. There was murder. There was tension. There was betrayal. There was romance. AND there was a smashing ending to the mystery. It was complex, but not so much that I couldn't keep track of the action. I really liked some of the side characters, also. The fact that the Amish community was part of the tribal land was very interesting. I recommend this book to anyone who likes thrilling suspense sprinkled with romance. I sure hope Ms. Alford has more like this one coming.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Luebke

    I really enjoyed this intense thriller. I received this book for free and I voluntarily chose to review this story. I've given it a 5* rating and spent a couple late nights reading. It grabbed my attention from the beginning. I loved how the hero and the heroine were woven into the story and how close they were all connected. Lots of action and drama to hold your attention. And this has a fantastic ending. Not good to read this right before bed. I really enjoyed this intense thriller. I received this book for free and I voluntarily chose to review this story. I've given it a 5* rating and spent a couple late nights reading. It grabbed my attention from the beginning. I loved how the hero and the heroine were woven into the story and how close they were all connected. Lots of action and drama to hold your attention. And this has a fantastic ending. Not good to read this right before bed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Linda Palmer

    A great story that had me on the edge of my seat. It was difficult to put down as I wanted to find out what happens next. Great believable characters that are identifiable. Glad I had a chance to read this story. Great suspense story! I received a copy of this book but all opinions are mine.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Among the Innocent is a Christian based suspense/romance novel set in an Amish community. It's more of a romance novel than a suspense novel because the romance is the key story line of the book. I enjoyed the novel and the main characters and really enjoyed reading a book featuring Amish characters. Leah grew up in an Amish community in St. Ignatius, Montana. When her entire family was killed ten years earlier, she leaves the Amish faith and joins the police force. The person that was believed t Among the Innocent is a Christian based suspense/romance novel set in an Amish community. It's more of a romance novel than a suspense novel because the romance is the key story line of the book. I enjoyed the novel and the main characters and really enjoyed reading a book featuring Amish characters. Leah grew up in an Amish community in St. Ignatius, Montana. When her entire family was killed ten years earlier, she leaves the Amish faith and joins the police force. The person that was believed to be responsible for the murders killed themselves and the case was closed...until another Amish woman is murdered in similar circumstances. Was this a copy cat murder or had the wrong person been blamed for the murders ten years earlier? Leah and Dalton, the new chief of police, work on this case together and struggle to put the pieces together before there is another murder. When it appears that Leah is the target of this killer, she and Dalton know that they have to stop the killer soon. As Leah and Dalton become closer and the need to catch the killer becomes personal for both of them, the suspense really ramps up and it's difficult to put the book down. Can Leah and Dalton find the killer before it's too late? Will they be able to find their 'happily ever after'? You need to read this exciting new book by Mary Alford to find out the answers to these questions. Once you start this book you won't want to put it down until the last page. Mary Alford is a new author for me but after reading and enjoying this book, I plan to check out her previous books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marietta Slater

    I received this as an ARC book. In return, I write a review which I am more than happy to do so. This is definitely a 5 star book. Setting is in an Amish community in Montana, but it isn't a typical Amish book. Leah Miller grew up in a loving Amish family until 10 years ago when an Englisher she had been seeing brutally murdered her family. The local sheriff and wife adopted her. Now nearing the 10th anniversary of the brutal murders, the killings have started again. The killer is targeting you I received this as an ARC book. In return, I write a review which I am more than happy to do so. This is definitely a 5 star book. Setting is in an Amish community in Montana, but it isn't a typical Amish book. Leah Miller grew up in a loving Amish family until 10 years ago when an Englisher she had been seeing brutally murdered her family. The local sheriff and wife adopted her. Now nearing the 10th anniversary of the brutal murders, the killings have started again. The killer is targeting young impressionable Amish girls. She and the new chief of police are trying to stop the killings before he murders Leah. This book is very well written and has just enough twists and turns. It is definitely a page turner. My only negative thing to say (and I can't say too much without giving anything away) is that I felt cheated toward the end of the book regarding Harrison.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Baker

    Among the Innocent is a lovely story about Leah, a young woman whose entire family was murdered. She is working together with Dalton, the chief of police, to find out what really happened to her family. This was a one-sitting read for me, and I think you'll love it too! Read if you love: police investigation, amish culture Thank you to Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. Among the Innocent is a lovely story about Leah, a young woman whose entire family was murdered. She is working together with Dalton, the chief of police, to find out what really happened to her family. This was a one-sitting read for me, and I think you'll love it too! Read if you love: police investigation, amish culture Thank you to Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    this is a very good story, liegh is now a policewomen and dolton is the new chief, now there is another killing just like the ones that took her family from her , they are in a race to find out why he is back and why he wants to kill liegh, if you like suspense stories that are well written and grab you at the start and hold you till the end you will want to read this story i was given a copy by netgalley but this is an honest review

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This author certainly knows how to weave a story! It’s suspense at its best. Leah Miller’s family was murdered 10 years ago and it appears that the perceived killer has returned to finish the job with Leah. Dalton is the new police chief and Leah’s boss. Together they are determined to find and subdue the killer. Lots of action in this story. I highly recommend this book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    If I wanted to frame this book in a bookish way I'd say 'Among the Innocent' falls somewhere between Marta Perry's 'Brotherhood of the Raven' series and Linda Castillo's 'Kate Burkholder' series. It has elements of both but is also its own unique story. Definitely amped up from Marta Perry's Amish suspense but very much toned down from Linda Castillo's popular series. If that helps you get a feel for the 'ick' level in this serial killer mystery. There are some gruesome scenes, but not overly des If I wanted to frame this book in a bookish way I'd say 'Among the Innocent' falls somewhere between Marta Perry's 'Brotherhood of the Raven' series and Linda Castillo's 'Kate Burkholder' series. It has elements of both but is also its own unique story. Definitely amped up from Marta Perry's Amish suspense but very much toned down from Linda Castillo's popular series. If that helps you get a feel for the 'ick' level in this serial killer mystery. There are some gruesome scenes, but not overly described and the whole serial killer aspect gives me the heebie-jeebies, though we don't get too many villain POV scenes --- just enough to make a reader shudder, not completely creep her out! :-) Excellently paced, this is a nice mix of police procedural and action scenes. The killer taunts Leah and that draws out the tension in the suspense as Leah and Dalton try to track him down. Love the way the author pulled it all together in the end. This is the kind of suspense that you can look back on and spot the clues you missed in the heat of the moment. Proud to say I figured out one key part of the mystery but couldn't figure out why. Alford wraps most everything up, but there is this one dangling thread that has me wondering if 'Among the Innocent' is the first in a series? Or at least there might be a sequel? I sure hope so. Even though I got a paperback copy of this book from the publisher, I couldn't resist the lure of the audible edition narrated by Libby McKnight -- she kept me spellbound right to the very last word. Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    10 years ago, Leah's Amish family was murdered. The local police chief (Ellis) and his wife took her in. Blame was placed on an Amish boy visiting from another town who died in a fire. Leah joined the police force. The chief died a year ago, but the circumstances seem suspicious both to Leah and to the new police chief (Dalton) who arrives in town. Dalton has ties to the person blamed for the killings, but doesn't immediately let people know this. He wants to reopen the case, but before he can d 10 years ago, Leah's Amish family was murdered. The local police chief (Ellis) and his wife took her in. Blame was placed on an Amish boy visiting from another town who died in a fire. Leah joined the police force. The chief died a year ago, but the circumstances seem suspicious both to Leah and to the new police chief (Dalton) who arrives in town. Dalton has ties to the person blamed for the killings, but doesn't immediately let people know this. He wants to reopen the case, but before he can do so, a murder of an Amish girl with the same MO as those ten years ago occurs. Leah feels "John" is back. Leah had been secretly seeing John. He'd wanted her to run off with him, but she didn't want to leave her family. She always felt an enraged John returned to kill her family, but Ellis assured her the man who died in the fire had done the deed. Dalton, Leah, and the other officers along with back-up support from the tribal police and the next county, investigate and do their best to prevent others from becoming victims as they now find a serial killer now using the name Jonathan on the loose and dangerous. He makes it clear he plans to kill Leah on the 10th anniversary of her family's deaths. Dalton and others speak of their faith in God, but this Christian fiction work contains a depth not achieved by most works in the genre. The publisher classifies it as romantic suspense, but the romance is subtle and less than the amount contained in many cozy novels. I'd call this a police procedural suspense thriller. I enjoyed this and will look for other books written by the author. I received a copy through LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Super intense, both heart wrenching and heartwarming, and slightly graphic at times. Among the Innocent is a well written book with a good dose of suspense! If you like Colleen Coble's novels - specifically Because You're Mine - then you're sure to like Among the Innocent! Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for provinding me with a complimentary e-copy in exchange for my honest review! Super intense, both heart wrenching and heartwarming, and slightly graphic at times. Among the Innocent is a well written book with a good dose of suspense! If you like Colleen Coble's novels - specifically Because You're Mine - then you're sure to like Among the Innocent! Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for provinding me with a complimentary e-copy in exchange for my honest review!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    'He waved when he saw her looking, and she reacted like a moth drawn to a flame. Beth had never met anyone so unpredictable before. One minute he teased, the next his eyes smoldered with such intensity that it frightened her.' I've long enjoyed her books but Mary Alford's outdone herself with this book. The first page of Among the Innocent reeled me in and I didn't want to stop reading about the search for a truly evil villain! After a ten-year absence "John" has returned to the small Amish comm 'He waved when he saw her looking, and she reacted like a moth drawn to a flame. Beth had never met anyone so unpredictable before. One minute he teased, the next his eyes smoldered with such intensity that it frightened her.' I've long enjoyed her books but Mary Alford's outdone herself with this book. The first page of Among the Innocent reeled me in and I didn't want to stop reading about the search for a truly evil villain! After a ten-year absence "John" has returned to the small Amish community in Montana where he first killed, and his new reign of terror puts the peace-loving people in acute danger. This worst kind of villain hides behind his devastating charm to lure young, innocent, impressionable Amish teenage girls to their deaths, and there seems to be no stopping him! In this book, Alford proves her ability to completely stir emotions with her words. I could feel the fear, uncertainty, and disbelief, along with the frantic need to find this madman before he killed again. Yes, this story is intense, but there are also moments of joy in seeing the friendship that develops between Leah Miller and Dalton Cooper and watching their individual journeys to finding true faith. Among the Innocent is a danger-filled, pulse-altering book that kept me wondering who, how, and why? I recommend it to all who enjoy Christian romantic suspense. I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This is the first book that I have read by this author but will definitely be checking out her other books. This book had me turning the pages like crazy trying to figure out what is going to happen next. Leah is a former Amish person who leaves the community after her family is murdered. She becomes a police officer to avenge her families deaths. Almost 10 years later there is another murder that is very similar to Leah's attempted murder. The dreamy new police chief, Dalton, is also keeping sec This is the first book that I have read by this author but will definitely be checking out her other books. This book had me turning the pages like crazy trying to figure out what is going to happen next. Leah is a former Amish person who leaves the community after her family is murdered. She becomes a police officer to avenge her families deaths. Almost 10 years later there is another murder that is very similar to Leah's attempted murder. The dreamy new police chief, Dalton, is also keeping secrets on how he is connected to the initial murders. I enjoyed how protective he was of Leah. This was a great story to read and definitely kept my interest. Thanks so much to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

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