I'll be honest, when I think of a great read I don't think "Inspirational Fiction," but I have never been disappointed by any of Melanie Dobson's work. I am not at all interested in studying history or reading another mindless love story but Dobson has a way of working magic with her words. She cleverly disguises her history lessons in suspenseful plots with believable characters and while she's at it, she sneaks in questions we all ask but are too afraid to voice out loud.
In The Silent Order she tackles finding God in times of pain and suffering and brilliantly compares and contrasts two sisters who chose opposite paths to deal with their pain. My mother's heart resonated with the heroine, Katie Lehman, and her desire to protect her son at all costs in spite of living in a society that promoted peace at all costs. My heart ached with Rollin Wells, the hero, as he wrestled with guilt, shame and grief. Could God really forgive his deepest, darkest secrets and sin?
Dobson drew me into this suspenseful story within the first handful of pages and I literally read the book cover to cover in a matter of hours. I found myself continually flipping back to the first couple of chapters, amazed at how Dobson connected the dots of her plot in unexpected ways. Without trying, I learned about the Amish culture, the Mafia of the 1920's, and God's redemptive power to heal, forgive, and make all things new. This is one story I did not want to end.
Melanie Dobson has taken something that I'm not overly fond of right now (Amish themed books) and given it such a fascinating twist that I couldn't help but love this book. When you mix the Amish with mystery, mayhem and the Mafia, how could it not be great. There are many twists and turns in this book that really kept me guessing. Melanie has a way of presenting all kinds of questions and then slowly but surely pulling the threads together one at a time. Giving just enough info to help you figure things out but not enough info to spoon feed it to you - I love that! I'm an intelligent reader, don't patronize me... and Melanie doesn't. She continues to write books that are making me a life long fan of her books!
A Suspenseful Romance With a Twist! Don't Miss It!
November 21, 2010
Willow Spring, NC
I really enjoyed reading this book. The instant pull into the story is absolutely amazing. The plot line is different, though. Very different. Melanie Dobson is a seasonly talented author who truly knows what her fans will love. She took two extremely different worlds and blended them in a way that would seem unthinkably impossible. But, she did it and it was WONDERFUL!
Rollin Wells, a 1920's detective, was the depth of the story. Dobson chiseled his character into one that instantly grabs you and pulls you by his side to solve the case. The mysterious air around him really makes the story one that it's hard to put down (literally! I did NOT want to put the book down!).
From page one, Wells is working to expose and bring down a Sicilian Mafia, a crime family. In an Amish novel. I told ya it was different. Wells' true-to-life character really pulled me back in to time, to the 20s and into action with him. It felt like something you would see on a big screen, like The Godfather, or some other Little Italy crime family movie. WOW! But, what happens when Wells meets Katie Lehman? THAT'S where the mystery and secrets REALLY come in!
Katie Lehman's intriguing Amish character if full of secrets. She's unsure who to trust with them, when she knows that she really must. She hasn't been baptized yet, but she's still uncertain....who can she tell? What will happen when she does tell? She is a beautiful character full of love and she wants only whats best for her son. When she meets Rollin Wells, her past comes back to haunt her. She's finding it hard to hold onto that secret.... And she learns a powerful message from God, and Rollin, about forgiveness, grace and mercy.
This not-so-ordinary, awesomely unique novel is high on my recommendation list. It deserves the highest of 5 stars for it's ability to take the reader on twists and turns of an incredibly, two-worlds-collide, roller coaster ride. If you've never read an Amish novel before, but you LOVE suspenseful twists in a novel, then this is the PERFECT place to start....and it's sure to hook you on the love and grace of a wonderful Amish novel! Melanie Dobson gets 2 thumbs up for her fantabulous research and detail on Sicilian crime families in the 1920's and blending it with the simplicity and love of Amish. Don't miss out on this incredible novel!
The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson is proof that bonnet lit is branching out into other genres. Rollin Wells is a detective working to bring down the gangster family the Cardanos in 1928 Ohio. When his partner is killed while they investigate a lead out in Amish country, Rollin is forced to seek help from Katie Lehman, a local girl with a secret. He has to try and bring down the Cardano family before they destroy him, and Katie, who is beginning to claim his heart. Dobson's writing is always very smart with three-dimensional characters and complicated and intelligent plots. There is a sense of darkness around Rollin's quest to bring down the Cardanos, as well as Katie's secret. The chemistry between Rollin and Katie is both immediate and very real. This is not a book for your average bonnet lit reader with sweet romance, and neat endings. The Silent Order is far more literate and thought-provoking. As the tension grows, the pages fly by until the reader finally remembers to breathe again.