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).
After nine years as one of Chicago 's finest, Erin McNeal had come to sleepy Logan Falls for a second chance, not to be watched over by a man as infuriatingly overprotective-and disarmingly attractive-as Nick Ryan. She was no damsel in distress, but someone wanted her dead, and Nick knew better than to entrust a guilt-driven daredevil with her own safety. It was his duty to protect her-whether she liked it or not. It seemed the only thing the chief of police and his newest deputy could agree on was the one thing they couldn't resist-each other. Could the cautious single father and the reckless beauty be cops…and lovers?
Becca slogged through a deep drift and stumbled toward the front of the shanty. A padlock hung from the hasp, but it wasn't engaged. Shaking with cold, she shoved open the door. The interior was dark and hushed. The air smelled of kerosene and fish. Out of the wind, it was so quiet she could hear the ice creaking beneath her feet. Her breath puffing out in clouds of white vapour, she pulled out the candle and matches she'd brought from home and lit the wick. The light revealed a small interior with plywood walls and a shelf covered with fish blood and a smattering of silver scales. A lantern sat on the shelf. A coil of rope hung on the wall . . .'
Three teenagers have vanished from Ohio's Amish country. The only thing they have in common, other than their religion, is they are keen to leave the Plain Life. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to consult by Agent John Tomasetti as her Amish roots will be invaluable in an investigation involving this sectarian society. They travel to the small town of Monongahela Falls to investigate the latest disappearance – that of seventeen-year-old Annie King. The only evidence left behind is a satchel – and a pool of blood. The case moves closer to home for Kate when a young relative, Sadie Miller, vanishes. With her own past resonating, Kate delves into the lives of the missing teens. Soon, a sinister pattern emerges along with a vital clue that changes everything. While following up on a lead, Kate makes an appalling discovery and unearths a secret no one could have imagined—thrusting her into a fight to the death with a merciless killer.
Praise for Linda Castillo
'Think the movie Witness and add just a touch of the Coen brothers' Fargo and you have the feel for this brilliant, nail-biting thriller . . .' Daily Mail
The sound of a scream in the early morning dawn leads to a case that will change Kate Burkholder's life irrevocably ...
When the police arrive at the Amish farmstead in Painters Mill they can't imagine the horror that awaits them. An entire family slaughtered: the men shot, the young women tortured and killed. The Amish are peace-loving, gentle folk and the town is shocked by what appears to be a particularly brutal - and random killing. But is it random? Every family has its secrets. Kate knows that better than anyone. And as she and Agent John Tomasetti dig deeper into the victims' lives they discover a young woman who was living a lie. A girl who had to live in silence. With her own past resonating - Kate knows she has to maintain some distance. From the case, and from Tomasetti. She knows what could happen if she gets too close. But when she puts herself in the line of fire - she realizes that, this time, there may be no going back.
Some secrets are too terrible to reveal . . .
Some crimes are too unspeakable to solve . . .
In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish. Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.