Amish Outsider by Marta Perry is the first novel in the River Haven series. Michael Forster and his daughter, Allie are returning to the Amish community where he grew up and left as a teenager. Michael’s wife, Diana was murdered eight months ago, and the police focused their investigation on him. He is hoping this will be a fresh start for the two of them. The only problem is his wife’s family also lives in River Haven. Michael enrolls Allie in the Creekside Amish School taught by Catherine Brandt. Teacher Cathy, as she is called, feels drawn to Allie who is quiet and withdrawn. Cathy wants to help the little girl which means spending time with her attractive father. As time passes, Michael and Cathy become close. Michael knows he should stay away from Cathy, so he does not mar her reputation. A series of incidents threaten the safety of those Michael loves. The only way to move forward is to put the past to rest which means finding the person responsible for Diana’s death.
Amish Outsider is a compelling novel. I thought the book was well-written and it proceeded at a steady pace. Amish Outsider is different from other Amish novels. There is mystery, suspense, family, friendships and romance. I liked getting to know the residents of River Haven. Stubbornness seems to run in the Forster family. Michael left home as a teenager with Diana and has been living as an Englischer. He was running a successful construction company until his wife died and the legal bills crippled him financially. Diana was unhappy with their life which ended up with the pair becoming separated. Michael did not kill his wife, but he is unable to convince the police of his innocence. Michael wants a safe place for his daughter, Allie and he hopes it is in River Haven with his Amish family. Aunt Verna and Sarah provided levity with their schemes to help their family. Family is important as we see in Amish Outsider and they stick together which I found endearing. I like how the community came together to help when one of their own was in need and to support a good cause. I delighted in the unpredictability of an Amish Outsider. You never knew what would happen next. The scary incidents were suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. The tension builds as the story progressed in this page turner. There are several suspects in Diana’s murder with good clues. One of the phrases that stuck with me from Amish Outsider is “Evil can be anywhere. But peace is inside us.” Marta Perry has outdone herself with the absorbing and suspenseful Amish Outsider.
I am looking forward to the next novel in the River Haven series. Thank you for reading my review. Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader