USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the un-expected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a peaceful Amish community.
Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have been finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.
Q Why do people like reading Amish stories?
Mary: I am a fiction writer. People read the books because they point out the simple Amish way, with a simpler life. Of course, there will be abuses because they are human. But readers want to learn about the modest lifestyle.
Q How did you get the idea for this story?
Mary: I like to write about the smaller remote Amish communities in the mountains. I also wanted a serial killer. I researched a lot of communities and found out about St. Ignatius. I learned that the community and the town itself are set on tribal lands, an Indian reservation. This is the only Amish community on the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Q To capture the killer the three different law enforcement agencies worked together. What can you tell us about that?
Mary: Yes. The three are the tribal police, the St. Ignatius police department, and the sheriff’s department. I did reach out to people who live in that area. For the most part everyone gets along well.
Q What can you tell us about the Amish girls who died?
Mary: They were naïve, somewhat rebellious, and sought adventure. They wanted to spread their wings. They were gullible and easy to persuade to fall in love with him. They were easily swept away by the killer.
Q How would you describe Leah?
Mary: A survivor and very strong. She is not broken and yet feels like a loner. She is close to the chest and does not open a lot. As the story progresses, she trusts more. She built walls which leaves her vulnerable. Leah has survivor’s guilt and wonders why she was left alive, while the rest of her family was killed.
Q How would you describe Dalton?
Mary: He is strong, direct, and intense. He and Leah’s family are connected. Dalton is kind and considerate. He wants to move forward by solving the past. It is his mission to find out what happened. He is obsessive to find out what happened to his brother, which dominated everything in his life. He has the military attitude to accomplish his next goal.
Q How would you describe the relationship?
Mary: She fell in love with the Englisher and brought him into her community. He was her family’s killer, so she blames herself. Now she has a hard time to give her heart away to another man. She was a little resentful of the new police chief, Dalton. But after Dalton and her share moments together they draw closer. They have a lot in common. They both want to solve the murders, find the killer, and overcome the tragedy to their families which led them to have feelings for each other.
Q How would you describe the killer?
Mary: Damaged and angry. He never grew beyond what happened to him to become a better person. Instead, he took it and decided to hurt other people, turning it into violence. He loved to manipulate people. The killer disguised himself to be younger to gain the Amish girls confidence. He is brazened, a psychopath, and obsessive, hoping to break Leah.
Q What’s next?
Mary: A book 2 will have some answers on what happened to Harrison, Dalton’s brother. It is still in the consideration stage.
I am currently working on a four-book contract with Love Inspired Suspense. The first book comes out in March of next year. It will feature Fletcher.
Among The Innocent by Mary Alford is a suspenseful romance. It shows how the Amish work with those living on tribal lands. The plot was multi-faceted that kept readers on the edge of their seats.
The story begins with a naïve Amish teenager falling for an Englisher who turns out to be a serial killer. Sent to investigate is policewoman, Leah Miller who barely escaped the same killer years ago, while her family was murdered. She is now helping to investigate the new girl’s murder, in the same barn where the corpses of Leah’s family were found a decade ago. Leah is a police officer now and the killer is sending her threats that he has returned to finish the job he should have done ten years earlier when he didn’t kill her. Leah wants to stop this killer and bring closure regarding the deaths of her family members. She gets help when a new Chief of Police comes to St. Ignatuis. Chief Dalton Cooper has his own reasons to apprehend this serial killer. During the investigation, Leah and Dalton discover unsettling secrets about Leah’s recently deceased adoptive father, the former police chief, and Dalton’s brother. As more bodies pile up, Leah and Dalton must race against time to find the killer.
An interesting side note for readers is that an Amish community is part of the tribal lands. In trying to solve the murders three police agencies must work together.
This was an intense and edgy mystery with a tinge of romance. Bringing in the community of St. Ignatius, Montana added another layer to this riveting storyline.
Mary Alford's Latest
Among The Innocent
When Leah Miller’s entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family’s deaths.
As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can’t help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah–and Dalton–when the full truth comes to light?