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by Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books, July 2014
320 pages
ISBN: 1250029570

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Linda Castillo serves up the sixth novel in the Kate Burkholder series of thrillers by returning to Painters Mill, Ohio and its beautiful farmland setting and its continuing tension between the Amish and Englisher cultures. Kate's lover, state agent John Tomasetti, is still reeling emotionally from the murders of his wife and children four years ago and the release of one of the men responsible. Two apparent suicides are quickly recognized as murders and the bizarre object which connects them is kept secret by Kate and the rest of the law enforcement community because there is not yet any way to figure out what it means.

Soon after the two murders there are indications of ghostly hauntings and the possibility of a connection to a tragic and never resolved occurrence more than thirty years ago when an Amish family suffered the death of a father and his four children and the disappearance of his wife. It becomes clear that the two murdered are not the only persons who have been targeted for gruesome ends and Kate's small police department is stretched to its limits to offer protection to all of those who think they're threatened as well as to those who don't.

We readers are presented with a number of local characters just as Kate is, and some of them clearly might be responsible for what's going on. Sorting them out while trying to solve the murders already committed and protect everyone in Painters Mill from becoming future victims is a monumental set of tasks.

The author is simply masterful at establishing situations and drawing out the horror and suspense she creates. As with most successful thrillers, the plotline is quirkier than the reader has much chance of tumbling to. The treat here is that Castillo has an amazing imagination to go with her skill at telling the story.

Diana Borse is retired from teaching English at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and savoring the chance to read as much as she always wanted to.

Reviewed by Diana Borse, July 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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