The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships, closely related to but distinct from Mennonite churches, with whom they share Swiss Anabaptist origins. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.
Two years ago, Joseph King was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison. He was a “fallen” Amish man and a known drug user with a violent temper. Now King has escaped, and he’s headed for Painters Mill.
News of a murderer on the loose travels like wildfire, putting Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and her team of officers on edge. But this is personal for Kate. She grew up with Joseph King. As a thirteen year old Amish girl, she’d worshipped the ground he walked on. She never could have imagined the nightmare scenario that becomes reality when King shows up with a gun and takes his five children hostage at their Amish uncle’s farm. Armed and desperate, he has nothing left to lose.
Fearing for the safety of the children, Kate makes contact with King only to find herself trapped with a killer. Or is he? All King asks of her is to help him prove his innocence—and he releases her unharmed. Kate is skeptical, but when the facts and the evidence don’t align, she begins to wonder who she should trust. Spurned by some of her fellow cops, she embarks on her own investigation only to unearth an unspeakable secret—and someone who is willing to commit murder to keep it buried.
About the book
This is the ninth book in the series with the police commander of Painters Mill Ohio, Kate Burkholder. Kate is struggling with kids who leave graffiti on a famous bridge, when she receives a phone call warning her: Joseph King, an Amish who killed his wife, escaped from prison. Kate knows King very well, they were friends when they were teenagers and Joseph was his first crush.
While she is checking the farm owned by Joseph’s brother-in-law, where the killer’s five children live, Kate is kidnapped together with the 5 children by the same Joseph who declares himself innocent of the killing of his wife and he has a witness in his favor. The 5-year-old daughter Sadie, who was 3 at the time, saw a man, an Englisher, in her home that night. Can Kate trust her old friend? Is he right or is it the extreme attempt of a sick mind to escape prison?
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff's department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.
Kate's long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication - and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.
Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone... trapped in a fight for her life.
About the book
This is the eighth book in Linda Castillo’s series focusing on the Amish community of Painters Mill. Kate Burkholder, ex-Amish, is traveling miles away from her community to solve an apparent accident in cold Ohio.
Usually I don’t like undercover cases especially if the protagonist has to travel so far from his/her city, but I understand that the author couldn’t write about Kate undercover in Painters Mills for obvious reasons. But I must say that the case is interesting, the undercover is not long or better said, between preparations and first contacts with the new city a third of the book has already gone by.
The case became even more interesting in the middle of the book when two Amish lead snowmobiles. But then I couldn’t handle when Kate gets in trouble… I mean… It’s the eighth book, maybe Kate doesn’t have experience in undercover work, but she has been a police officer for several years, is it possible that she doesn’t understand that spilling everything to the bishop put her in danger? I know that without this particular, there is no book, but the author could find a different turning point… Why she must always be in danger? It’s like Temperance Brennan, even in that series the protagonist is always in danger.
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.
About the Book
Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police of Painters Mill, a small town in rural Ohio, surrounded by Amish communities. Born Amish, she left the community a few years after a crime against her happened, to live among the Englishers.
In this new book, Kate is met with a challenging case. A boy scout, tasked with the cleaning after a tornado hits the town, finds a skull under the ruins of an old barn. Kate is called upon the findings and she must discover the identity of the bones and see if it was a murder or just an accident. Searching for the man is challenging but when she finds the identity, she discover a 30 year old disappearance which may cost her more than she is able to bargain.
Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time—and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.
On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they're both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?
When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.
About the Book
I was so taken by the tale that I totally forgot about the Tomasetti’s part of the story…
This is the sixth book of the Kate Burckholder Series, a series that I particularly love.
Fourteen year old Billy Hochstetler wakes up in the middle of the night and with his brother, goes downstairs to investigate. He finds his parents at the mercy of two “Englisher” gunmen demanding cash. His father, Willis, is shot and killed. Billy and his four siblings are locked in the basement. Billy manages to escape, but his siblings aren’t so lucky and die in a fire. His mother, Wanetta is kidnapped and never seen again. This happened 35 years ago.
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.