Cover Image: Among the Innocent

Among the Innocent

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Member Reviews

The suspense in this book is unbelievable. The story kept me on the edge of my seat from almost beginning to end. The build up seemed innocent enough and then the story grabbed on and didn't let go.

Leah and Dalton were compelling characters with the history. So was the nameless villain. He taunted and kept my heart going through the whole story. I felt for the people of this town and the Amish community that was represented. I experienced many feelings due to the way the author presented this story. 

I would come back to this author and this world again. This was suspense and mystery at it's best with a faith journey for the main characters that felt natural and compelling. 

I received an early copy through the publisher and NetGalley and this is my honest review.
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I loved this book! Amish, suspense . . kept me reading! I would very much compare it to the Kate Burkholder series of Linda Castillo!
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This duo of crime fighters steps onto the stage with a dramatic and engrossing mystery. When Amish girls start disappearing, and then are later found murdered, it suddenly brings back stark memories of the horrible murders of Leah’s family when she was very young. She was the only one to survive the massacre, and she was so traumatized that she made a false identification when the police questioned her. She didn’t mean to, she just felt so much pressure to answer questions.

That investigation of the earlier crimes was done by the police chief, Ellis, who eventually became her foster father, and because he was so sure that the young man she had named was the killer, Leah spent the next years tamping down the niggling little doubts.

But now those doubts can’t be pushed aside any more.

The reader knows who the murderer is, or at least we think we do, and the suspense comes in the question of whether Leah and Dalton will catch him before he kills again. It’s a tension-filled chase as one false lead after another goes nowhere, while another girl is attacked. The desperation and frustration that Leah and Dalton feel is palatable and makes the drama even more intense. There are a number of surprises in the story. A big one toward the end of the book that ties some loose ends together nicely, but I won’t spoil that surprise for other readers. 🙂

As I read, there were a couple of things that bothered me in the plotting. One was the friendship that Leah had with the young boy that she accused of killing her family. It wasn’t clear how close they were, so I had to wonder why she didn’t know previously that Dalton was the boy’s brother. That was just a little thing that niggled at me every time the boy’s name popped up and it was referenced that they were friends.

Other readers probably won’t even notice those little issues. Sometimes I have a hard time taking off my editor hat, but when I did for this story, I was caught up in the drama of the chase, enjoying the surprises along the way and the people in the story. It was nice to meet Amish families and get a closer look at their lives. And the romance between Leah and Dalton was perfect. The way the relationship grew and developed was presented in a way that was believable, with all of the reasons that they were trying to pull back from each other ringing true. It’s obvious that this partnership will continue on the professional and personal level, and that’s good for readers who like an engaging romantic suspense.
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BOOK REVIEW - AMONG THE INNOCENT - MARY ALFORD - 5/5 STARS

It's funny how often I overlook books simply because they contain an element that doesn't appeal to me. Among the Innocent centres around an Amish community and as I don't read Amish fiction, I passed over this book when I first saw it. It wasn't until the author reached out that I took a second look at it and realized how interesting it sounded. I'm on a Criminal Minds binge at the moment and so this was exactly what I felt like reading. Among the Innocent is cannot-put-down good! The story was so thrilling, I'm mean what's more suspenseful than a serial killer obsessively stalking the MC! The setting had just enough Amish-ness (is that a word?) to make it interesting but not enough to turn off non-Amish readers like myself. The MCs were both amazingly strong people and I liked the realistic responses to the amount of stress and pressure they were under. As this is a crime thriller, it didn't have enough romance in it to be classed as one but the little it did have was sweet. I loved the contrast between the high energy action and the quiet moments of a blossoming romance.
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Ten years ago, Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered. The suspected murderer committed suicide. But when another Amish woman is murdered in the same way, Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper seek to find the true killer. Is it possible that an innocent man was framed and subsequently took his life?

Readers who enjoy Christian Romantic Suspense will love this book. It has it all. Murder and mystery, especially among the Amish, an overload of suspense and tension.

Disclosure: I received a free copy with no expectation of a positive or negative review from the publisher. The opinions are my own.
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As a fan of novels that include the Amish, I liked this book a lot.  The story was gripping and the characters were likeable.  It kept me guessing until the end.  Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series is very similar, but this book held its own.
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This highly suspenseful novel is set in an Amish community in Montana. The main character Leah, who is now a police officer, witnessed the brutal murder of her entire family ten years earlier. When similar style killings happen again Leah is thrust into the investigation into a serial killer.

The characters Dalton and Leah, who are at the center of the romantic storyline do not seem to connect, making the romance fall flat. This may be because it is difficult to develop a clean romance that meets the standards needed for a novel to be a Christian novel.

The writing is straightforward and easy to read. There are many plot twists and long kept secrets are revealed leading the reader to a surprising ending.
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Although this book doesn't have the 'love inspired suspense/inspirational romance' sash across the front of the book.......it sort of reads like one? In the book there are some suspenseful situations (some, I thought, questionable/unrealistic?), a romance, & a Christian aspect. There are no sex scenes or bad language. Although there is some violence & evil in the story, it was overall a pretty tame, fast read.
I received a complimentary e-ARC of this book from publisher Revell via NetGalley, in return for reading it & offering my own fair/honest review. These are my own opinions.
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Among the Innocent was an action packed and suspenseful story! This was a page turner for me! The characters are both flawed and realistic. Seeing them come together and overcoming their pasts to figure out the truth was great! The romance isn't really strong but there's enough there to understand their feelings for one another! There are plenty of twists to keep you guessing and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat and glued to the pages! This was a fantastic read! I will definitely be reading more books by Mary Alford! Thank you Partners in Crime Tours and Mary Alford for sharing this fantastic book with me!
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This book grabbed my attention at the beginning and never let go.  Leah Millers entire Amish family was killed in front of her and she was left for dead.  Years later she returns as a policewoman.  It seems the murders are starting all over again in the same way as her family's.  But how can that be when the murderer was caught and is dead.  The new police chief, Dalton Cooper, doesn't believe the correct person was arrested all those years ago.  Dalton and Lisa both have to learn to forgive themselves for what they perceive as their fault for things that was done in the past.

This book will keep you guessing all the way to the end.  There are surprises at every turn.  I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good mystery.  

I was given this book by Revell Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not  compensated in any way.
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Before I say anything else, I have to say this: I want MORE! I want more stories in this community, with these characters, from this author. I am not above begging, in case the powers that be are reading this. #justsayin

I quickly fell in love with Dalton & Leah and, frankly, the whole St. Ignatius Police Department – Marge included. And as I said above, I want to spend more time with them in future books. There are so many interesting personalities that make up this police department, and I really enjoyed riding along, so to speak, as they race to find the serial killer that has haunted them for the last ten years.

And when I say ‘riding along’, I mean ‘sitting on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, and frantically turning the pages’. Alford has perfectly captured the disturbed mind of a serial killer with an obsession, yet the creep factor is exactly the right amount for this story. Not over the top but still enough that you want to leave the light on while you’re reading it lol. I honestly wasn’t sure which characters would survive this journey until almost the very end… and even then I didn’t quite let my guard down until I turned the last page. Twists, surprises, and unexpected curve balls abound, and the closer we get to the thrilling conclusion the less you should blink – you don’t want to miss a single word!

Bottom Line: I have enjoyed several books by Mary Alford, but I think Among the Innocent is my new favorite. Its gripping story, gentle faith message, fast pace, nail-biting suspense, and sweet romance combine with Alford’s engaging writing voice and layered characters to keep you glued to the pages from start to finish. If you’re looking for a book you can’t put down, make sure Among the Innocent is in your shopping cart! (And here is where I plead again for this to be a series because… well I can’t tell you but it’s a really good reason!)

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
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Among the Innocent is set in an Amish area with Amish characters, those who were formerly Amish, and others. The storyline is interesting, although I found the love interest a bit contrived as it happened very quickly and seemed awkward at times. If you enjoy a story with plot twists, action, and mystery this is the book for you.
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Among The Innocent is an Amish thriller well-written by author Mary Alford.

Beth Zook is missing; what deep dark secret was she hiding? Could a forbidden romance have stolen Beth away? The police force consisted of only four police officers in the small town of St. Ignatius. They had not dealt with such heinous crimes.

Officer Leah Miller remembered when she saw the deaths of her family. Now, after ten years, John was back. She had managed to stay alive ten years ago, but now he would make sure the deed was done. Dalton was unable to save his wife, would he be able to save Leah?

I was entranced by the story from chapter one and finished reading it in 1 1/2 days. I was urgently reading through the chapters as if there were no end. I had to know who did it. I highly recommend Among The Innocent to fans of mystery, suspense, and thrillers. I give Among The Innocent 5*/5*.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Ten years ago, the peaceful Amish community outside St. Ignatius, Montana was rocked by a family’s gruesome murder. Leah Miller is the only survivor, left orphaned and taken in by the town’s police chief and his wife. Now Leah is an officer on the force and responding to a phone call about a missing girl, a girl whose family farm sits right next to the one that belonged to Leah’s family. A girl whose secrets and circumstances seem a little too familiar to Leah. She’s not the only one who recognizes the similarities; her new police chief, Dalton Cooper, is holding on to the secret that he was best friends with the man who took the blame for those murders. And there’s no way Harrison could have been responsible for what happened to Leah’s family and what has now happened to Beth Zook, since he’s dead now. One thing is certain, though: the murderer is not finished with Leah Miller.

Mary Alford pens intense suspense in Among the Innocent. My attention was piqued from the very beginning and held throughout the entire pulse-pounding sequence of events. This was the first I’ve read from this author, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me a copy to read and review. All opinions expressed here are my own and are completely genuine.
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Among the Innocent by Mary Alford is one of those books that has you on the edge of your seat from the very first page all the way to the end. Among the Innocent tells the story of Leah Miller, who was raised Amish and whose family was savagely murdered. After Leah’s Family was massacred, Leah was adopted and raised by the town’s Police Chief and his wife, leaving the Amish Faith. As an adult, Leah joins the Police Force following in her adoptive father’s footsteps. Moving back to the town where the murders happened, Leah is watching out for her adopted mother who has Dementia and mourning her adoptive father who died under suspicious circumstances. Always having a feeling that the wrong man was arrested, everything comes a head for Leah as the 10 year anniversary of her Family’s death approaches. In the days before the 10th Anniversary, young Amish women or women that have ties connected to the Amish community start being attacked or murdered in the same way as that of Leah and her Family. Letters are left behind at the crime scenes saying that the killer is after Leah. Joining forces with the new Police Chief, Dalton, Leah and Dalton stop at nothing to solve the case. Throughout the investigation, they are led to the Killer’s other murders. While investigating, Police Chief Dalton has ties to the case himself. Through the ups and downs of the case, Leah and Dalton begin to fall for each other.

I loved how many twist and turns were in Among the Innocent. I felt as though it was a roller coaster of a read! I loved how fast pace Among the Innocent is and how there were no lagging moments were in the book. The type of crimes described in the book had the essence of a true crime book or show. I enjoyed getting to know the characters of Leah and Dalton and watching them grow and overcome in the book. Very rarely does a book surprise and keep me on the edge of my seat the way Among the Innocent by Mary Alford does. This is my first book to read by Mary Alford and it will not be my last! (I am really looking forward to her next read!) If you are looking for a book full of suspense and intrigue that will give you a roller coaster of a read, then I highly recommend Among the Innocent by Mary Alford!

I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.  This review is also on Goodreads and my blog, Leslie's Library Escape.
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I was really excited to read Among the Innocent, I like reading Amish books and contemporary suspense and this was a unique blend of them. The cover is very eye-catching and so gorgeous. I liked the main characters, but I didn't really connect with them on an emotional level, like I like to, to make me feel what they are feeling. I didn't feel very aggravated during the suspenseful parts since I didn't connect with the characters. I did struggle with the story when it said it was a small town and community, yet has a CSI division close and I also struggled with the idea that they knew what the perpetrator looked like, but never saw him in a small community. I am interested to what happens next and it does like there could be another story, but I haven't seen any information on a next hook. I would be interested in reading another installment. 

I received an ecopy from Netgalley and the publisher, all thoughts are my own.
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Among The Innocent by Kate Alford gave me a nice introduction to this author's work. A suspense thriller that ticked all the boxes for me to make it a great read. 

We meet Leah, a witness to her family's murders. She escaped and now ten years on, She is police officer in the same village. Now, the killer is back and it opens the floodgates of memories she has spent years suppressing. Her new Police Chief, Dalton, also has links to her past that she isn't aware of. We see them having to work together to attempt to catch the killer, if they can.

A well written thriller that brings a strong sense of place and characters that are very realistic and well rounded. The fact that the main characters had all suffered some kind of tragedy made them even more authentic with their flaws and each having their unique voice within the plot.

There are plenty of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing as the investigation unfolds and they try to find this evil and cruel killer. It just so happens the killer is always one step ahead which makes for such a tense read. There are scenes of violence and brutality but these aren't gratuitous and just help to ratch the atmosphere of this book up even more. 

The sense of place I mentioned is so strong and Kate Alford really brings the setting alive with her detailed writing which made me feel like I could be there with Leah and Dalton trying to stop this killer.

 The weaving of faith into this story is cleverly done, without going over the top. Dalton is a man whose faith is strong. Leah is a woman who really needs faith or at least a little bit and we see Dalton sharing his belief with her, I did really like this, I thought it would do Leah some good at least.

A thriller that had me gripped, I was so intrigued with the twists, turns and suspense. I just needed to find out what was next. I will definitely look out for Kate Alfords books in the future. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Partners In Crime Tours.
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Among the Innocent was a creepy and chilling story of a murderer who would not let go, of what they thought was theirs. The path this evil took did not care who they hurt or who got in the way. 

Leah Miller lost her entire family and her way of life when evil stepped in her life. And even though she tried very hard to distance herself and move on even becoming a cop, the murderer was always there. He was waiting in the shadows still creating havoc for her. Leah thought that he was dead, but ten years later gruesome murders are taking place and there is no doubt that they are related to Leah's case. 

New police chief Dalton Cooper has a connection to all of this, but he keeps that information to himself. He is also bound to catch this murderer and keep Leah safe as well.

This, like I said is really creepy. The innocence and naivety of some of the victims was hard to watch. These young women lived a relatively peaceful Amish lives with their families, but they were preyed upon by their weakest emotions. I would recommend not reading this one at night.

I was provided a copy of this novel by the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
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AMONG THE INNOCENT by Mary Alford is an action-packed Amish crime mystery/suspense featuring two law enforcement officers brought together by a serial killer who has returned to the quiet community of St. Ignatius, Montana to finish what he started ten years previously. This is a standalone mystery/suspense with a setting and characters I wish were going to be in a series.

Ten years ago, Leah Miller was a young teen who was the lone survivor of a horrific crime, where her entire Amish family was killed in front of her. Leah barely survived, she left the Amish and was taken in by the local sheriff and his wife. Now as a member of the sheriff’s department herself, she is called to the murder scene of young Amish girl with the same MO as her family’s killer who they all believed was dead.

Dalton Cooper is the new Sheriff, and he has his own reasons for accepting the job in this small town which tie to the death of the accused murderer of Leah’s family. As they work the case, they realize that the true killer has returned, and the previous sheriff seemed to be hiding information. They also begin to have feelings for each other, but they feel the present case needs to take precedent.

Another Amish girl is murdered, the killer is toying with Leah and the tenth anniversary of the Miller family’s death is near. Will Dalton and Leah be able to discover the truth before the dark past wins?

I found this mystery suspense to be a page-turner that I could not put down. Leah and Dalton were both broken and not moving forward with their lives, and it took their coming together to solve this case and discover the facts from the past that would allow them to heal. They were both fully fleshed, realistic characters that I empathized with immediately. The serial killer was intelligent and frightening. Ms. Alford did a great job of placing plot twists and red herrings in just the right places to make the plot fast paced and surprising. The setting of this story was very interesting, too. A mixture of small-town Montana, Amish community and Indian reservation all interconnected. This could also be considered a Christian mystery because the characters do pray for God’s assistance at times, discuss their lack of faith due to their pasts and the romantic elements are no more than a few kisses.

I highly recommend this Amish mystery/suspense!
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“The inevitable showdown coming had been a decade in the making. When it was over, would any of them be left standing?”

This quote. It indicates the enormous level of suspense created and maintained throughout novel. I felt the need to check my blood pressure after reading Among the Innocent by Mary Alford, to make sure it was not abnormally high!! This particular novel is a little darker than most I choose to read, but it is oh, so well done!

I did identify with Leah more than I would like at some points. “She’d lost her family to a killer—probably Ellis to the same man. Now she was slowly losing Marge to a different kind of killer.” The killer that stalks Marge is all too prevalent, and so many families must deal with that threat. I loved how that thread strengthens the story.

Sigh. Dalton is swoony dreamboat who might be perfect, but for his secrets. Full of faith despite a rough past, he is protective of Leah, kind, sensitive, and quite the looker. Will he and Leah be able to work together to keep tragedy away from the Amish community, or will they become part of the region’s mounting calamities?

I received a copy of the book from RevellReads and NetGalley. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own. 

Notable Quotables:

Let it go. The past is written and done,
but you’re not.”

He was back. John was back.

“…he wanted to beg her to trust him. Yet how could he ask for trust when he had his own secrets?”

“It’s going to be okay.” And it would, because he’d make sure of it. Yet to get to okay, they’d have to go through a whole lot of bad.

“Her heart kicked out an unsteady beat at his protectiveness. Something about him made her wish for a second that she could be normal.”

“You’re alive because God wants you to be. He has a reason. You’ll find it.” 

“I’ve learned I’m better off with animals. For the most part, they don’t try to kill you.”

“The mountains were black shapes in the distance, but they were always there. Just as God was. Even in the darkest moments when it was hard to feel his presence.”
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