Book Review: "Clouds Without Rain" by P.L. Gaus

Summary from In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English," who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed.

A fatal accident involving and Amish buggy and an eighteen-wheeler sets Professor Michael Branden on a quest to uncover the links between the crash and a spate of disturbing events.

I have to say, unfortunately, out of all the books in the series that this was the most forgettable. Unlike the past books, I didn't find anything that really stood out to me in the story. It's written well and I like Professor Branden and Pastor Troyer's characters very much and I really enjoy their knowledge of the Amish community. The plot about the two sects of Amish are interesting as modernization vs Old Order gets a lot of discussion in the book. The mystery evolves from just being a horrific crash of a buggy and 18 wheeler to something more devastating to the Amish community. However, I just didn't feel as drawn into the story as I have with past books. When the killer is finally revealed at the end, I was kinda ho-hum about it.

What I like best about these books is that while they deal with the Amish community, they are not entirely set in Amish country. The Amish are shown as real people who are dealing with their own issues. It's not romanticized at all, in fact there are many negative sides of being Amish shown in these books. This makes me feel better because it counteracts with all the other Amish stories that make it sound like the ideal lifestyle to live. While this one edition might not have gelled with me as I would have liked, I do like the other books in the series and am definitely giving the rest of the volumes a chance to be read.

Clouds Without Rain by P.L. Gaus is published by Plume (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Oh that is too bad -- the story did sound intriguing and the cover is pretty haunting.


  2. I think the title and the cover art and plot do sound interesting. I hadn't heard of this book. Nice to hear your take on it. I think I'd still be interested in picking it up sometime.


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