By P. L. Gaus
“Gaus usually writes quiet novels, but this one is harsher than his others, full of suspense, the immediacy of a hostage situation, and in-depth Amish funeral rites.”
“An engaging twist in this novel is that, unlike most mystery writers, Gaus spends relatively little time on the motives and personality of the chief ‘villain.’ Instead, he focuses on the reactions of the direct and indirect victims of the crime—the kids, their parents and extended family, and their developing view of the way the world should work…. (C)learly defined characters and a vivid sense of place.”
“Amish teenagers run wild during Rumschpringe, their time of testing in the outside ‘English’ world, in Gaus’s absorbing fifth entry in this powerful series.... Detailed Amish funeral and wedding rites conclude an otherwise taut tale, offering fascinating insights into this closed society’s struggle to maintain traditions amid a rapidly changing world.”
“Sober and authentic, Gaus’s well-paced fifth takes a hard look at the risks the community must take and the compromises it makes to preserve itself in an ever-more-complex world.”
Amid a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and other temptations of the “English” world, a group of Amish teenagers on their Rumschpringe test the limits of their parents' religion to the breaking point. The murder of one and the abduction of another challenge Professor Michael Branden as he confronts the communal fear that the young people can never be brought home safely.
Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community. In his desperate search, Branden struggles with the reluctance of the Amish to trust the law to help them find the answers to their problems.
In A Prayer for the Night, his fifth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus deftly balances the pace and practices of Amish life in northern Ohio against the unfolding urgency of a hostage situation. As Gaus has proven before, the mystery gains from its exploration of the ever-widening chasm between the traditional life of the Amish people and their interaction with the outside world.
P. L. Gaus is the author of seven books in the Amish-Country Mystery series. He lives in Wooster, Ohio, an area that is close to the world’s largest settlement of Amish and Mennonite people. Gaus lectures widely about the lifestyles, culture, and religion of the Amish..
Visit his website at P. L. Gaus
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It is 1883, and all of Klara Bozic's girlish dreams have come crashing down as she arrives in Thirsty, a gritty steel town carved into the slopes above the Monongahela River just outside of Pittsburgh. She has made a heartbreaking discovery. Her new husband Drago is as abusive as the father she left behind in Croatia.
As another college year draws to an end, Professor Michael Branden is weary after nearly thirty years of teaching. Sitting in his office on a warm spring day, he receives an unexpected visit from an Amish man who claims his brother, a dwarf like himself, has been murdered. Their discussion of the odd details of the case is interrupted by a commotion on campus, which turns out to be the apparent suicide of a young woman, who, it seems, has leapt to her death from the college bell tower.
Clouds without Rain is a well-plotted, suspenseful tale about the core of the human condition, as illustrated by the thought and faith of the Amish, and by their stewardship of the land they hold sacred.
What is the relationship between history and fiction in a place with a contentious past? And of what concern is gender in the telling of stories about that past? After the first blizzard of an early winter, a Mennonite college girl with a troubled past appears curled up and bloodied outside the offce of her childhood psychiatrist. Mute for many years as a child, Martha Lehman is again not talking.