I was so excited when I saw that Shelley Shepard Gray was back with a new series! I'd read her Charmed Amish life series and really enjoyed it, so I couldn't wait to see what her new series was about. Turns out, it's even better! Not only is it Amish fiction, it's also a suspense series! Shelley's new Amish suspense series is planned to be six books long (woohoo!!! The more books in a series the better, in my opinion!) The series is called The Amish Of Hart County. The first book in the installment is Her Secret. The back cover says:
"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.
After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.
For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.
Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County."
The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover. It had such a foreboding and dark feel to it, it really set the tone for the story to come. I picked up Her Secret thinking I'd read a chapter or two. I read a chapter or two, went to do some chores, came back and read 5 more chapters, made dinner, read 5 more chapters ... I couldn't stop! At bedtime, I said I'd read one more chapter, and before I knew it I'd finished the book! This was truly a book that I couldn't put down. I loved it! The plot was so fresh (I've never seen Amish and crime/mystery/suspense blended together in quite this way) and it had a touch of romance in it as well. I'm so excited for the next book in this series - I can't wait to read it! Shelley has really hit the ball out of the park with this one. My only complaint was a small quibble with the writing style - there were a lot of very short sentences. I think this was a stylistic choice to increase the feeling of suspense, but it grated after awhile. This is the reason I rated it 4 instead of 5 stars. However, this is very easy to get past and may just be a personal preference of mine. All in all, if you love Christian fiction, this is a must-read!
I received a copy of this book from Litfuse in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.