Shunning Sarah: A Novel

Shunning Sarah: A Novel

4.2 9
by Julie Kramer
     
 

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An insular Amish town . . . A secret that won’t stay buried . . .

Minneapolis’s star investigative reporter Riley Spartz is constantly in search of her next TV sweeps piece. When she hears that a young boy is trapped at the bottom of a sinkhole, she smells ratings. Little does she know just how big the story will be—not only does itSee more details below

Overview

An insular Amish town . . . A secret that won’t stay buried . . .

Minneapolis’s star investigative reporter Riley Spartz is constantly in search of her next TV sweeps piece. When she hears that a young boy is trapped at the bottom of a sinkhole, she smells ratings. Little does she know just how big the story will be—not only does it involve a tragic murder, but the local Amish community as well. Once Riley is on the case, though, she sees that solving it will be anything but easy.

When Riley finds a clue the cops have missed, she uncovers a dark web of fraud and deception in the community—driven by motives as old as the Bible: sex and money. Riley will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice, and she is determined to do so before anyone—including herself—becomes the next target.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A young woman is found dead in a small Minnesota town, her face damaged beyond recognition, and she is finally identified as Sarah Yoder from a nearby Amish community. The Amish seem more forgiving than concerned with catching the killer, but Riley Spartz spots a clue that leads her to some very un-Amish-like doings. Fifth in a series that has won some awards and been nominated for more (biggies like the Anthony and the Barry).
From the Publisher
“Remember Witness—that truly thrilling movie with Harrison Ford in his heyday? Shunning Sarah is an even better suspense story filled with horse-driven buggies and folks in black hats.”—James Patterson

“Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds—that of television news and the mysterious world of the Amish. Shunning Sarah is a compelling novel chock full of all the elements readers of crime fiction crave. Riley Spartz is a very human heroine—and a force to be reckoned with. You will remember her and this story long after you finish the book—and anxiously await the next installment.”—Linda Castillo

“A stunning entry in this dynamic series with a fascinating glimpse into two worlds unknown to most of us: the Amish and the behind-the-scenes truth about local TV news. Talk about a culture clash!”—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author

“Addictive . . . A captivating heroine you'll root for and a shocking ending you won't see coming, Shunning Sarah delivers with a satisfying punch.”—Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author

“Kramer, a former journalist and TV news producer, has outdone herself. Her fourth Riley Spartz thriller (after Silencing Sam) has the perfect mix of suspense, excitement, romance, and surprises to keep the discriminating crime fiction reader captivated.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Kramer’s latest Riley Sparks mystery—set in Amish country—keeps you guessing.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The descriptions of newsroom politics and life in an insular community, as well as Riley’s never-say-die pursuit of the next big story, are spot-on and fun to follow.”—Romantic Times

“Kramer . . . does a nice job of explaining the turmoil at TV stations and other media these days.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press

Mystery Scene Magazine
“Kramer’s usual mix of suspense, humor and meticulous research in Shunning Sarah again show her series is so entertaining.”
AnnArbor.com
“Funny . . . suspenseful . . . an enjoyable breeze to read.”
Sunday News
“‘Amish fiction’ usually means light, innocent romance. Julie Kramer’s take on it is dark, guilt-ridden—lethal even.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451664652
Publisher:
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Publication date:
08/07/2012
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
152,400
File size:
4 MB

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

What do you smell, Bowser?”

Josh Kueppers, wearing a neon orange stocking hat and carrying a shotgun, chased after his dog.

“Maybe bear?”

His voice sounded hopeful as he dreamed of returning home with such a trophy. He’d watched the news the night before and seen reports of a black bear sighting in southeastern Minnesota. So while unusual, his goal wasn’t impossible. At least, that’s what he told himself during the pursuit.

The school bus had dropped the ten-year-old off outside his family’s farmhouse. As he dumped the mail on the kitchen table, he found a note from his mother that said she’d been called to work an evening nursing shift.

She instructed him to bike over to an older friend’s place down the road, spend the night, and go to school with him the next morning. Josh smiled at the prospect of fun.

But his mother’s absence also presented another opportunity. For a hunt. So he threw on his camouflage jacket and was out the door.

Josh and Bowser, a tan mixed breed, ran through a lightly snow-covered farm field. The corn had been harvested, but not yet plowed under. An early cold spell had hit just as the calendar touched October. He stumbled a couple of times before reaching a line of trees growing in a depression in the ground.

His dog bayed, just like a real hunting hound.

Josh’s eyes grew wide.

He held the gun steady, finger on trigger, as he glanced around to see what had attracted the animal’s attention. He didn’t want to be ambushed, although theirs did seem to be the only tracks, so he figured they were safe. He looked upward hoping to face off with a raccoon in the branches … but they were empty. No masked opponents.

He didn’t have enough experience to realize that broad daylight was less conducive to hunting wildlife than dawn or dusk. Bowser barked some more and Josh noticed a hole in the earth that looked curious. He hoped for a bear den. He moved closer, his eyes cautiously scanning back and forth for trouble, when the ground beneath him collapsed.

Josh tumbled downward amid a cascade of dirt and snow. Gradually, through a reassuring gap of sunshine, he became aware of his dog still above, sounding an agitated alarm that he feared would go unheard by anyone else.

Something smelled awful, and as his eyes adjusted to the blackness he realized he was not alone in the bottom of the pit. Fumbling for his gun, he aimed the weapon toward the sky and pulled the trigger in a calculated call for help.

Nothing happened.

Then he realized the safety was on, and tried again.

Almost immediately, he wished he hadn’t.

Instead of alerting someone of his whereabouts, the shot caused an avalanche of dirt that buried both Josh and the grisly secret beside him.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Remember Witness—that truly thrilling movie with Harrison Ford in his heyday? Shunning Sarah is an even better suspense story filled with horse-driven buggies and folks in black hats.”—James Patterson

“Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds—that of television news and the mysterious world of the Amish. Shunning Sarah is a compelling novel chock full of all the elements readers of crime fiction crave. Riley Spartz is a very human heroine—and a force to be reckoned with. You will remember her and this story long after you finish the book—and anxiously await the next installment.”—Linda Castillo

“A stunning entry in this dynamic series with a fascinating glimpse into two worlds unknown to most of us: the Amish and the behind-the-scenes truth about local TV news. Talk about a culture clash!”—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author

“Addictive . . . A captivating heroine you'll root for and a shocking ending you won't see coming, Shunning Sarah delivers with a satisfying punch.”—Alex Kava, New York Times bestselling author

“Kramer, a former journalist and TV news producer, has outdone herself. Her fourth Riley Spartz thriller (after Silencing Sam) has the perfect mix of suspense, excitement, romance, and surprises to keep the discriminating crime fiction reader captivated.”—Library Journal

“Kramer’s latest Riley Sparks mystery—set in Amish country—keeps you guessing.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The descriptions of newsroom politics and life in an insular community, as well as Riley’s never-say-die pursuit of the next big story, are spot-on and fun to follow.”—Romantic Times

“Kramer . . . does a nice job of explaining the turmoil at TV stations and other media these days.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press

Read More

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