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New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family.
The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.
State agent John Tomasetti arrives on the scene to assist. He and Kate worked together on a previous case during which they began a volatile relationship. They soon realize the disturbing details of this case will test their emotional limits and force them to face demons from their own troubled pasts—and for Kate, a personal connection that is particularly hard to bear.
When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl's heart? Could the brother—a man with a violent past, rejected and shunned by his family and the Amish community, have come to seek out revenge? As Kate's outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.
Topping her own bestselling debut, Linda Castillo once again immerses us in the world of the Amish with a chilling story that is both a fast-paced thriller and intriguing psychological puzzle.
In this overwrought thriller from Castillo, her second after Sworn to Silence, someone slaughters all seven members of the Amish Plank family at their home in Painters Mill, Ohio. The bodies of the two teenage daughters show signs of torture. At first, it appears the father, Amos, killed his wife and five children, then shot himself. When clues point to a killer outside the family, Kate Burkholder, the local police chief who left the Amish community decades before, zeroes in on 15-year-old Mary, who may have flirted with the idea of living in the "English" world. Lending a hand is Kate's on-again/off-again boyfriend, John Tomasetti, an agent suspended from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Identification for failing a recent drug test in the wake of his own family's murder about two years earlier. Castillo excels at detailing gory crime scenes, but she leaves Kate and John as little more than cookies cut from the same "troubled cop" mold. Author tour.