Monday, January 4, 2016

KINGDOM COME by Jane Jensen

Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     January 5, 2016
ISBN:       978-0425282892
Genre:      Mystery
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Still emotionally hurting after her husband, Terry’s murder, former NYPD Detective Elizabeth Harris has returned to her home in Lancaster, in the Pennsylvania Dutch country.  There she’s joined the local police department and has been partnered with a more senior detective, Grady.  The peaceful routine of the town is shattered with the discovery of a murdered beautiful, scantily clad “English” girl named Jessica, in the barn of an elder in the Amish community.  Grady is convinced an outsider brought the dead girl’s body to the barn.  Elizabeth, however, strongly believes otherwise.  When an Amish girl, Katie, is also found dead, murdered in the same way Jessica was, Elizabeth is even more certain the killer is Amish, especially when she learns Jessica and Katie were friends.

While Elizabeth grew up in the area, it is Grady who has a deeper understanding of the Amish way of life.  As Elizabeth delves more deeply into the murder investigation she finds herself walking an almost undefinable line between the Amish and “English” world.  As a woman—a strong woman—she is enraged at what might have been sexual abuse of at least one of the murder victims.  On her own, still grieving the death of her husband she is confused and comes close to doubting her professional distance when she meets an Amish man, Ezra Beiler.  She is drawn to Ezra in a way she never imagined would happen again.  But there are problems—Ezra is from a different world than Elizabeth and he has his own problems and concerns.  More importantly, Ezra is a person of interest in the murders of Katie and Jessica. 

When the Amish elders demand Elizabeth be taken off the case and stay away from Ezra she is devastated.  Grady pulls her off the case…but Elizabeth cannot shake the belief that the murderer is hiding in plain site. 

Wow.  What a fantastic read.  I started reading Jane Jensen’s KINGDOM COME and just could not put it down.  Jensen gives her readers multi-dimensional characters, a compelling murder and an absorbing insight into not just the Amish way of life, but into both the internal and external conflicts of the people who walk the line between the two worlds.  She even tosses in a bit of humor through Ezra’s personality and his mule, Horse.  It is done as an integral part of Ezra’s personality making him even more likeable than the character already is.   

Elizabeth’s conflicts are multi-layered—dealing with her husband’s murder, trying to work with a strongly paternalistic culture while trying to solve a crime and finding herself falling for the very man who could have killed these young girls.  When Elizabeth finds a loophole to the order to stay away from the investigation I had a private fist bump moment. 

When the killer is revealed I was caught off guard—and the scenes that followed were wonderfully written.  This series is off to a fantastic start and there are enough initial conflicts between cultures and within the characters themselves that there is the potential for some really great future reads in this series.  I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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