A chilling phone call interrupts Police Chief Kate
Burkholder's insomnia caused by dark memories that haunt
her through the nights. An Amish family has drowned in a
manure pit. When she arrives on the scene, Kate finds three
bodies, a man, his wife and his brother dead and four
children in various stages of shock. The tragedy evolves
into horror when the deaths are the result of murder. Kate
battles her own troubling past as a former unrepentant and
excommunicated Amish woman. She identifies too closely to
the traumatized children.
Kate's lover, Special Agent John Tomasetti, joins her as
they investigate the killings and try to determine if the
murders have any relationship to the escalating hate crimes
against the Amish in Painters Mill, Ohio. John and Kate
struggle against the prevailing Amish culture that refuses
aid from the English. When a break in the case finally
materializes, Kate and John expose a shocking secret within
the Amish community.
Linda Castillo's Kate Burkholder series is
brilliant! Each book builds on the previous one, giving
deeper insights into her characters. Kate and John are
compelling, flawed characters with emotionally wounded
souls. They struggle against their own personal demons as
they attempt to deliver justice in a flawed world.
When Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to a farm
in the Amish community of Painter's Mill, Ohio, nothing
could prepare her for the horror and tragedy she
encounters. Solly and Rachel Slabaugh, and his brother
Abel, have drowned in the manure pit leaving the four
children as orphans. As the investigation progresses, it
seems that the Slabaugh deaths were not an accident, and
the case suddenly becomes a murder enquiry.
Agent John Tomasetti and Kate have worked together before,
and now he is called back to Painter's Mill to help seek
out the perpetrators of what appear to be serious hate
crimes against the Amish. Whether these crimes and the
Slabaugh murders are linked is hard to establish because the
Amish are very proud and private people who do not enjoy
involvement from outside.
As the case deepens, Kate develops a bond with the
children, particularly the 15-year-old daughter, Salome.
Maybe she is reminded of herself at that age, and maybe
there's something about this case which stirs up memories
The events surrounding the deaths puzzle her - something
doesn't feel right. As more information comes to light, a
tragic incident turns into something much more shocking.