Published: August 2, 2016
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Elizabeth Harris’s life in Lancaster County has settled down somewhat. She’s settled into a form of domestic bliss with her man, Ezra Beiler and her caseload at the police department has become more or less routine. There’s crime, but nothing devastating. She has time to visit with her friends, the Yoders. At the end of her visit, however, Hannah Yoder takes her aside. Something has happened in the Amish community, something that troubles Hannah. While Hanna believes a Hexerei, a form of Amish voodoo, may be at work, Elizabeth doesn’t doubt it’s purely an evil human hand at work. When an entire Amish family turns up dead by a mysterious illness, Elizabeth digs deeper into the investigation. As more Amish families sicken and die, the CDC becomes involved and the investigation takes them out of Lancaster county. When the investigation turns to raw milk from Amish farms, word spreads and their very livelihood is threatened. Elizabeth quickly realizes that not only is she in the middle of an investigation into a serial killer, but a divisive split between the Amish and “English.” And beneath all of it, her relationship with Ezra begins to crack. Can Elizabeth find the killer before he kills again? And can she do it without losing Ezra and the support she so very much needs from him?
I loved Jane Jensen’s first Elizabeth Harris mystery, KINGDOM COME and she delivers another fabulous story in IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY. She layers the story bit by bit, building tension with each twist and turn. Children aren’t just dying, they are being killed by a devious and seriously sick killer. Jensen does a fantastic job bringing the reader into a battle between the Amish and “English” ways of life with Elizabeth straddling both worlds. Not Amish herself, after all, she could not be a cop if she was, she walks a fine line between those worlds because she has friends in both. Adding to those issues is her lover, Ezra, a man who was leaving the Amish when they met and who now still struggles with parts of his decision. His struggles factor into the issues Elizabeth finds herself dealing with as she tracks the killer. While this could lead to a muddle with a less skilled author, Jensen draws the reader in, building tension line by line. As with KINGDOM COME, I started IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY and couldn’t put it down. I wanted to find out who the killer was as much as Elizabeth did and while I thought maybe I knew who the killer was, there was one other character I hoped it would be simply because of the way he acted around Elizabeth. And Ezra, there is a vulnerability to him that rather than make him weak, makes him such a strong character. He is the perfect foil for Elizabeth, a balance to her toughness while at the same time aiding her in his own way with solving the crimes that keep her awake at night.
This series is definitely going to be one of my all time favorite. I can’t wait for the next entry. This is one you do not want to miss.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.