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Clouds Without Rain (Ohio Amish Mystery, Bk 3)
Clouds Without Rain - Ohio Amish Mystery, Bk 3 Author:P. L. Gaus A compact and tautly written mystery, the third in the series (after Blood of the Prodigal and Broken English), Gaus portrays vividly the clash of traditional Amish values with the forces of land development and greed. The author knows his setting and characters intimately from teaching in central Ohio, the land of horse-drawn buggies, conservat... more »ive bishops, and kids who smoke, drink and otherwise defy their elders. Here Gaus's series hero, Professor Michael Branden, goes undercover to investigate teenage buggy robbers on mountain bikes, but soon becomes involved in something far more sinister.
Part of Gaus's strength lies in graphic description, as in the horrifying opening scene of auto, tractor-trailer and horse-cart carnage. Dialogue, while often extended and intense, sounds authentic when spoken by devout Germanic church members trying to resist Branden, the police and the encroaching modern world.
Gaus has structured his novel Dragnet style, relating events day-to-day, moment-to-moment, while the plot unfolds with deceptive simplicity from the initial gruesome accident. The title is emblematic of social problems in an old-fashioned land battered by change. Rural Ohio is suffering from a summer drought, but midway through his inquiry Branden learns the true biblical significance of a "cloud without rain, blown along by the winds."« less