Dark Road Home

Karen Harper, Author
Karen Harper, Author Signet Book $5.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-451-18725-3
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
An Ohio Amish community is the setting for this romantic suspenser by award-winning historical novelist Harper (The Wings of Morning). Terrorized by a stalker, Columbus attorney Brooke Benton flees with her seven-year-old niece to an isolated community, where she takes over the running of a friend's quilt shop. When a hit-and-run driver kills four Amish teenagers who had just visited her, Brooke is drawn into the investigation. Soon she finds herself knee-deep in suspects, facing new threats and falling in love with a man seeking to return to his Amish roots. The book is strongest in its loving depiction of Amish life, its creation of a dark mood and its development of the central romance. Subplots involving several unrelated evildoers diffuse the tension, however, especially since key developments are telegraphed. Credibility vanishes during the climax, which stems from an implausible story line involving two cartoonish villains whose machinations are awkwardly contrived. (Mar.)