“What the Bishop Saw” begins in Goshen, Indiana. Henry Lapp is beaned in a baseball game and as a result has acquired savant syndrome. This allows him to display unusual skills in art. He is able to draw everything he sees, right down to the facial expressions. He and his parents almost consider this a curse.
Fifty-two years later finds Henry in San Luis Valley, Colorado as bishop of an Amish community. Someone is setting fires and in one of them a man died. The whole town is on edge, but it seems that the arsonist is targeting only Amish families, causing some of them to move away instead of trying to find the person responsible. Henry resists using his “gift” to help, but pressure from his friends cause him to draw exactly what he saw at the first fire. His uncanny ability to capture absolutely everything around him at a particular moment finds clues that would not be recognizable at all. This novel by Vanetta Chapman is entertaining. It is centered around a syndrome that is quite rare and the story surrounding it brings to light the problems that it sometimes causes. I like the book, it kept me interested.