True crime novels always seem to be popular at the library. Even on television investigative news shows like NBC’s Dateline has been running for nearly twenty-five years straight. Authors popular at the Port are Ann Rule and William M. Phelps. More recently on our shelves are books by Gregg Olsen, including this week’s selection: A Killing in Amish Country. If you’re a fan of the prolific genre of Amish Christian fiction, this is definitely not a title for you. However, if you do like watching gritty detective shows on TV or reading thrilling murder mysteries, this could be a good introduction into a new, but related section of books in the library.
In early 2009 Barbara Weaver, a wife and mother in the Amish community of Apple Creek, Ohio was murdered while she slept in her bed. Eli Weaver, husband of the murdered woman was eventually sent to prison for the crime as was his girlfriend and lover Barb Raber. Eli had had a troubled childhood and left the Amish church more than once before returning to settle down. Unfortunately he was also abusive to his wife and had more than one affair, a cell phone, and more contact with “outsiders” than normal in his hunting outfitting business. Like many true-crime novels, this one starts with the murder in question, and then proceeds to fill in the back story. In this case much of the backstory is fleshed out with details of Amish life. And, unlike some other crime novels this one does not have a clear-cut murderer. The story is less sensationalized simply because the characters in it live simple lives.This makes the story both confusing and compelling, and the reader is more or less left to make up their own conclusions at the end of this book.
You can get the book reviewed here, which was A Killing in Amish Country by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris, and more great titles to watch, read, listen to, or play with at the Port Library. This is director Rachel Malay, saying “Thanks for checking us out!”