The New York Times bestselling series hailed as "gripping" (People magazine) and "compelling" (USA Today) returns with Police Chief Kate Burkholder called to the scene of a horrific tragedy on a peaceful Amish farm.
The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death—clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs' children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?
Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.
Chock full of twists and chills and set against the unusual world of the Amish, this series "will delight fans of Chelsea Cain and Thomas Harris" (USA Today).
In Castillo's fine third Amish thriller (after Pray for Silence), Kate Burkholder, police chief of Painter's Creek, Ohio, finds a gruesome crime scene at a farm. Solly and Rachael Slabaugh, and Solly's brother, Abel, have drowned in a poorly ventilated manure pit, succumbing to methane gas asphyxiation. But the deaths are no accident and may be related to a recent string of hate crimes against the Amish. The hate crimes designation brings in John Tomasetti, an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and Kate's sometimes lover. Kate becomes close with the four orphaned Slabaugh children, especially with the daughter, 15-year-old Salome. Kate, who was raised Amish, understands the difficulties an ambitious Amish teenager faces. Escalating hate crimes are uncovered, but the investigation is stymied because the Amish resist help from outsiders. Castillo melds deeply flawed characters with a glimpse into a unique community in which isolation can hide a plethora of secrets. 150,000 first printing; author tour.