Linda Castillo's newest book, After the Storm, has just released. It's the seventh entry her wonderful Kate Burkholder series.
Kate is the Chief of Police in the town of Painters Mill, Ohio. The area also has a large Amish population. Kate was born into the Amish community, but chose to leave and live as an "Englischer". She has an understanding of both communities and it serves her invaluably in her work.
A prologue from the past sets up the premise for After the Storm. And in the present, a tornado tears through the area of Painters Mill, wreaking havoc - and exposing that past. A set of bones is found under the wreckage of an old barn - and it was no accidental death.
I loved settling in for what I knew would be a great read - and catching up with Kate.
Kate's personal life is a continuing storyline across the books. Her relationship with State Agent John Tomasetti has reached a new level - and new hurdles. I like the continuity across the books as the personal lives of the characters change and grow with each new entry. The supporting cast is solid and dedicated to their Chief. Kate's own conflicts between the community she was raised in and the world she now lives in also provide a great secondary story line. Castillo use lots of detail to bring the Amish settings, culture and language to life.
The whodunit is nicely played - not overly hard to solve, but still enjoyable.Castillo provides lots of suspects along the way for the reader to choose from. Procedural details aren't overly employed, instead Castillo moves things along with deductions and action. I do wonder if these crimes (because some of them are quite ugly) happen in the Amish community? A quote from Kate: "The Amish have all the same weaknesses as the rest of us. Including the human capacity for violence."
Castillo's premise and use of the Amish community and their way of life in her books is interesting and different enough to separate it from other series. After the Storm was an engaging, enjoyable book - a perfect porch read. Read an excerpt of After the Storm.
You can connect with Linda Castillo on her website, as well as on Twitter and on Facebook.