Title: His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Amish of Hart County Series Book Two
Publisher: Avon Inspire
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational, Amish, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.
Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…
Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.
Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?
In His Guilt, Shelley Shepard Gray’s insightful storyline about the effects of gossip and judgmental attitudes will give readers a lot to think about. Although this latest thought-provoking release is the second installment in the The Amish of Hart County series, it can easily be read as a standalone.
Two years earlier, Mark Fisher was questioned by the Sheriff about a brutal assault on a young woman in the community. He was ultimately cleared of any involvement in the case and he moved away soon after. He has recently returned to Hart County in order to work with Henry Lehman, the one person who has always supported and believed in him. His co-worker, Waneta “Neeta” Cain is initially a little anxious in his presence, but once she gets to know Mark, will she realize everyone’s fears about him are unfounded?
Although they grew up in the same Amish community, Mark and Neeta’s life experiences are very different.Mark’s childhood was extremely dysfunctional and his parents were abusive and neglected both him and his younger brother Calvin. Unlike Mark, Neeta’s parents were nothing but loving and the three of them are still quite close. As an adult, she remains devoted to them but will their relationship withstand their quick judgment against Mark?
When another young woman in the community is attacked, Mark is once again indicted in the court of public opinion. However, gifted preacher Eli delivers a powerful sermon about the dangers of gossip and judging others, but will his flock take his lessons to heart? Fortunately there are some members who are willing to admit they are wrong but when the Sheriff fails to make an arrest and the perpetrator strikes again, will Mark be able to prove his innocence?
His Guilt is a heartwarming romance with a hard-hitting storyline that is not typically found in Amish fiction.Shelley Shepard Gray broaches difficult subject matter with sensitivity and deftly highlights the fact that not even peaceful, religious communities are exempt from violence, child abuse and malicious gossip. Mark carries a terrible burden as he tries to overcome his dysfunctional past and he struggles to feel worthy of the unconditional love and support of the people in his life. Despite her strong conviction in her faith, Neeta must face her own shortcomings as the events unfold within the close-knit community. This latest addition to The Amish of Hart County series is a beautifully delivered lesson in forgiveness that also carries a timely reminder to avoid gossip and harsh judgment of others.