A deadly fire exposes the dark side of Amish life in A Gathering of Secrets, a harrowing new thriller in the New York Times bestselling series (July 2017) by Linda Castillo.
When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside—burned alive—Kate suspects murder. Who would want a well-liked, hardworking young Amish man dead? Kate delves into the investigation only to find herself stonewalled by the community to which she once belonged. Is their silence a result of the Amish tenet of separation? Or is this peaceful and deeply religious community conspiring to hide a truth no one wants to talk about? Kate doubles down only to discover a plethora of secrets and a chilling series of crimes that shatters everything she thought she knew about her Amish roots—and herself.
As Kate wades through a sea of suspects, she’s confronted by her own violent past and an unthinkable possibility.
Bestseller Castillo addresses the topic of sexual assault in Amish communities in her riveting 10th mystery featuring Painters Mill, Ohio, police chief Kate Burkholder (after 2017's Down a Dark Road). When 18-year-old Daniel Gingerich's death in a barn fire is ruled a murder, Burkholder searches for a motive. His family and friends insist he was well-regarded and had no enemies, but conversations with his peers gradually reveal another story. As Burkholder learns more about Gingerich, she grapples with painful memories from her own adolescence and finds herself empathizing with his killer, while her partner, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent John Tomasetti, offers a countering view. Castillo's sensitive handling of her subject matter builds a nuanced, often troubling picture of insular, patriarchal communities in which silence allows predators to thrive. Details of Amish crafts, family life, and commerce contrast with the ugliness of the crimes, and despite a convoluted resolution and cursorily resolved subplot, armchair travelers should find this a satisfying outing. Author tour.
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A Gathering of Secrets
I’ve read all of your books about the Amish, I can’t wait until the next one comes out, my biggest problem is that it has to come to an end, buy love to see more in the Kate Burkhoe series there are so many ways you can go,, Here’s hoping we see another one soon,,, love love love them,
Tenth novel in series!
A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo is the tenth A Kate Burkholder Novel. Kate Burkholder, the police chief for Painters Mill, gets a late night call about a barn on fire at the Gingerich’s. Kate arrives and is told that Daniel Gingerich is missing. It looks like an accidental barn fire until Daniel’s body is found inside the locked and barricaded tack room. Someone wanted to make sure that Daniel did not survive the fire. Kate begins her investigation, but the Amish in Painters Mill are less than forthcoming. Despite being raised Amish and having family in the community, Kate’s uniform and position holds her apart. She is determined, though, to find out who murdered Daniel and set fire to the Gingerich’s barn. The more Kate learns about Daniel, the more unsettled she feels. Can Kate break through the wall of silence to get the answers she needs?
I do not recommend reading A Gathering of Secrets on its own. While it can be read alone, you will miss out on Kate’s backstory. Why she is no longer Amish, how she become the police chief, her relationship with John Tomasetti, and how she gets along with her family. In A Gathering of Secrets, we follow Kate as she delves into Daniel’s life. She gathers evidence, interviews family and friends, follows up on anonymous tips, etc. Kate finds herself once again in a situation that endangers her life. I am amazed that she allowed herself to fall for the one incident. Kate has enough experience to know better (I would say more but it would be a spoiler). A Gathering of Secrets contains good writing and I like Kate’s character. She is a strong, smart woman who does a difficult job. It cannot be easy being English in a community where you grew up Amish. I would like to see Kate grow more as a person. It is time for her to move beyond what happened to her as a teenager (she will never forget it, but she needs to find a way to deal with what happened to her so she can have a future). I was disappointed that A Gathering of Secrets is exactly like the nine books before it. The author seems to follow a formula for her books and she is sticking with it. The descriptions are the fire, the body and other crimes are vivid and explicit. There is an uncalled for amount of foul language as well. I liked that the author included different Amish sects (Beachy Amish and Swartzentruber) and explained the differences. The mystery had depth, but the solution was obvious. I kept hoping there would be a surprise/twist that would shock me. I was amazed at the amount of violence from non-violent people. My rating for A Gathering of Secrets is 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). While I was not enamored with A Gathering of Secrets, I will read the next A Kate Burkholder Novel.
Love the Kate Burkholder series!! Hope there is more to come!