Monday, July 4, 2011

The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson

Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis from Summerside Press: Cleveland, Ohio, 1928. Secrets bind the notorious Cardano family together, but Detective Rollin Wells is close to exposing the family’s dark secrets. The Cardanos are working in the hills south of Cleveland, and when Rollin travels to Sugarcreek to investigate, he discovers that the Cardanos want him dead.

Rollin hides out in an Amish home, trying to uncover why the Cardanos are in Amish country and who is collaborating with them. As he gets closer to the truth, he also attempts to find out what a beautiful Amish woman named Katie Lehman—a woman who reminds him of the girl he once loved—is hiding.

Will Katie trust him with her secret…and her heart? Or will the Cardano code of honor silence them both?

Review:  The Silent Order is a refreshing and exciting departure from the traditional Amish and historical fiction novels.  I was first drawn to the setting of the novel - 1928 Ohio. The 1920s was both an exciting and turbulent time in history, yet I have read so few novels set during that period.  My interest was further piqued by the summary.  How often do we see the mafia, detectives, and the passive Amish community in the same plot?  My expectations were set: this was not going to be a traditional Amish fiction novel.  I was not disappointed.

Melanie Dobson's writing and suspenseful story-line gripped me from the beginning.  The novel maintains a steady pace until the end, woven with secrecy, danger, and of course faith and a bit of romance.  Both main characters, Katie and Rollin are likable and well-developed.  They each wear scars from their pasts, and they are bound by the losses and traumas they suffered at the hands of cruel men.  As Katie's and Rollin's lives cross in Amish country, they reveal hidden secrets to each other and the reader.  In the midst of peril and fear, they experience healing, which provide heartfelt and tender moments.  The Silent Order is a fast and intriguing read that I highly recommend!

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