Thursday, May 05, 2011

P.L. Gaus's Blood of the Prodigal ~ Reviewed

Blood of the Prodigal
By P.L. Gaus
Published by Plume
ISBN# 978-0-452-29646-6
256 Pages

Back cover:

A compulsively readable new series that explores a fascinating culture set purposely apart. In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English," who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones."


The book world is inundated with Amish stories galore, but this book stood out to me for a couple of reasons. One the cover and title caught my attention and the credentials of the author. I was thankful to receive a review copy of a book that captured my attention and made me want to read what was inside. This is not your typical Amish story and I liked that!

“Say little..Listen A lot!” These simple watch words that Pastor Caleb and Professor Michael Branden stand by in dealing with the Amish community.

Bishop Eli Miller reluctantly seeks the help of an outsider when tragedy strikes. The Bishop must trust an outsider to discover the whereabouts of his teenage grandson. Pastor Caleb Troyer and Professor Michael Brayden, are boyhood friends who’ve helped the Amish community before. They both understand their ways, how private a people they are, and they both know the Bishop. Both Caleb and Micahel realize the situation must be serious for the Bishop to seek their help.

I liked how the books point of view is from an outsider looking into the Amish community. The reader gets a peek into the Amish Community world, that’s all. The author never takes you fully inside. I liked that.

This author lets the reader get to know Pastor Caleb and Professor Michael very well. They are a great team who respect the Amish community and earnestly want to help the Bishop find Josh. This is a different spin on a who-done-it kind of story. I didn’t figure out who did it until the author revealed it to the reader. This was an intriguing, fun, heart-felt story I really enjoyed. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and it definitely won’t be the last.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Bonus Review:

This blog tour really excited me, because my librarian had introduced me to Gaus and his books years ago. Originally published by Ohio University Press, these wonderful books have been picked up by a subsidiary of Penguin and re-released to a broader audience. I couldn't be more pleased!! Gaus has created a character who is a college professor by trade, and a brilliant detective by choice. He is sought out by an Amish family who has had their grandson kidnapped from them.

This mystery is layers deep, and includes some unexpected twists and turns. While the story includes a lot about the Amish and their culture, the focus is more on the mystery and the efforts to solve the problem before anyone else is harmed. (there is a murder too) The balance between the "English" and the Amish is brilliant, the story line grabs the reader and continuously grows in intensity. In short, if you like a good mystery, Gaus is brilliant!! Like I said, I am VERY pleased that this series is going to reach a larger audience! I am even more thrilled that there will soon be a new book in the series!!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

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