Among The Innocent
Leah Miller Book 1
June 7th, 2022
Among The Innocent by Mary Alford is a suspenseful romance. It shows how the Amish work with those living on tribal lands. The plot was multi-faceted that kept readers on the edge of their seats.
The story begins with a naïve Amish teenager falling for an Englisher who turns out to be a serial killer. Sent to investigate is policewoman, Leah Miller who barely escaped the same killer years ago, while her family was murdered. She is now helping to investigate the new girl’s murder, in the same barn where the corpses of Leah’s family were found a decade ago. Leah is a police officer now and the killer is sending her threats that he has returned to finish the job he should have done ten years earlier when he didn’t kill her. Leah wants to stop this killer and bring closure regarding the deaths of her family members. She gets help when a new Chief of Police comes to St. Ignatuis. Chief Dalton Cooper has his own reasons to apprehend this serial killer. During the investigation, Leah and Dalton discover unsettling secrets about Leah’s recently deceased adoptive father, the former police chief, and Dalton’s brother. As more bodies pile up, Leah and Dalton must race against time to find the killer.
“Leah is a survivor and very strong. She is not broken and yet feels like a loner. She is close to the chest and does not open a lot. As the story progresses, she trusts more. She built walls which leaves her vulnerable. Leah has survivor’s guilt and wonders why she was left alive, while the rest of her family was killed. I wrote Dalton as is strong, direct, and intense. Dalton is kind and considerate. He wants to move forward by solving the past. It is his mission to find out what happened.”
An interesting side note for readers is that an Amish community is part of the tribal lands. In trying to solve the murders three police agencies must work together. “I wanted to show how the tribal police, the St. Ignatius police department, and the sheriff’s department worked together. I did reach out to people who live in that area. For the most part everyone gets along well. They knew the Amish girls who died were naïve, somewhat rebellious, and sought adventure. They wanted to spread their wings. They were gullible and easy to persuade to fall in love with him. They were easily swept away by the killer.”
“I wanted to show how the killer was damaged and angry. He never grew beyond what happened to him to become a better person. Instead, he took it and decided to hurt other people, turning it into violence. He loved to manipulate people. The killer disguised himself to be younger to gain the Amish girls confidence. He is brazened, a psychopath, and obsessive, hoping to break Leah.”
This was an intense and edgy mystery with a tinge of romance. Bringing in the community of St. Ignatius, Montana added another layer to this riveting storyline.