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Broken English: An Amish-Country Mystery    by P. L. Gaus order for
Broken English
by P. L. Gaus
Order:  USA  Can
Plume, 2010 (2010)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

After a harrowing career as a sniper in Vietnam, ex-Army marksman David Hawkins has settled in an Amish community in Ohio. Not only has he found peace and embraced the nonviolence of the residents of Millersburg, but David is also ready to marry an Amish woman and convert.

Then the unthinkable happens. His daughter by a former marriage is murdered. David loses it and goes ballistic. He attacks the accused killer in his jail cell. Then an abrasive investigative reporter is shot and David disappears.

It appears that the man who was once paid to kill has regressed to his violent past and forsaken his vows of peace. It is up to Sheriff Bruce Robertson to find and apprehend the distraught father before he can do more damage. But Robertson's close friends, Professor Michael Brandon and Pastor Caleb Troyer, aren't so sure David Hawkins is the person responsible for the journalist's death.

The two men move in another direction which may have consequences that neither they nor the sheriff anticipate.

This mystery moves at the plodding pace of a horse-drawn carriage creaking through the Amish countryside. The reader has to be patient enough to allow Gaus to develop his plot in a manner that captures the ambience of the setting.

It may be slow and easy at the outset, but there will be some shocking surprises along the way as you meander through the not always tranquil and peaceful Amish settlement.

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