Castillo’s latest Kate Burkholder mystery is entertaining and suspenseful. The tension between the Amish community and their English neighbors adds an additional level of intrigue to the story. The characters are realistic and convincingly motivated in their actions and choices. Kate’s own poignant experience with Amish life makes the story come alive.
When one Amish child is found murdered and another is missing, agent John Tomasetti invites police chief Kate Burkholder to assist with the investigation. Kate grew up Amish, but decided as a teen to leave the community before being baptized and accepting the Amish way of life permanently. The Amish community is closed to outsiders, but the murders force them to allow law enforcement in. Kate’s ability to understand the culture helps the investigation, but she is viewed with suspicion and, in some cases, distrust because she left. As Kate delves into the case, she discovers that a third girl has vanished in the past year. Kate begins to suspect that a serial killer is targeting Amish girls at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives. (MINOTAUR, Jun., 320 pp., $24.99)