Author: Linda Castillo
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: In this electrifying thriller by New York Times bestseller Linda Castillo, Kate Burkholder must uncover a family’s long-hidden past to solve a brutal murder
When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones-and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged.
Meanwhile, turmoil of an emotional and personal nature strikes at the very heart of Kate’s budding relationship with state agent John Tomasetti. A reality that strains their fragile new love to the breaking point and threatens the refuge they’ve built for themselves-and their future.
Under siege from an unknown assailant-and her own personal demons-Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.
Review: In this thriller from Linda Castillo, we revisit the town of Painters Mill after a horrible tornado tears through the community, leaving a path of devastation in its wake. While dealing with current tragedies, Kate’s called to the site of something from the past–decayed remains have been found under the knocked down parts of an old building. When the forensic pathologist finds evidence of foul play, Kate’s got to find justice for a horrific crime that happened to a man thirty years in the past. An Amish man.
While Kate may have left her Amish family as a teenager, she’s still the go-to expert on their community any time a crime needs to be solved there. As she ferrets into the homes and relationships involved, she uncovers darkness and deceit not unlike any you would find in a normal family–proving that even though the Amish might appear simple, in the heart of all people, evil lurks just the same.
At the same time, Kate’s also being threatened by a family she helped during the tornado. Accused of harming the infant she’d attempted to save, she’s overwhelmed with grief about the baby girl’s loss while at the same time dealing with her own personal issues that cloud her judgement and threaten to tear apart her new-found happiness with live-in boyfriend, John Tomasetti.
I really enjoy Ms. Castillo’s writing style. These books are truly mysteries, with most of the descriptive passages dedicated to the environment, especially surrounding the murder scenes, and to the forensic analysis. Her plot lines bristle with suspense and keep you guessing until the very end. I like the juxtaposition of the Amish lifestyle, missing so many of the conveniences of modern life, superimposed over Kate’s new life in our secular world. There’s frequently a sense of loss and melancholy, as if Kate misses what she’s left and still hasn’t found a replacement in her new life. But she’s searching, and her growth is part of the story line as a whole. Each book is a new chapter on the Kate we’re growing to know and love, and I’ve liked each one as I’ve read it. Thanks for taking us along on the journey, Ms. Castillo!