Linda Castillo's latest release - Gone Missing - is the fourth book in her popular Kate Burkholder series.
Kate is the Chief of Police in Painters Mill, Ohio, home to a large Amish population. Kate herself was raised Amish but has chosen to leave and lives as an "Englischer". Her background makes her invaluable in dealing with the Amish community.
State Agent John Tomasetti asks Kate to consult on a case he's working - a missing teenage Amish girl. As they delve deeper into the case, it appears there are more missing Amish teenagers. But have they met with foul play? Or are they experiencing Rumspringa - a time when young Amish can 'sow their wild oats' with no repercussions before deciding if they will commit to the community.
Castillo combines many elements, making her books easy, interesting and engaging reads. First off, Kate is a very likeable character. She is respected by her staff, respects the Amish and comes across as a 'real' person. She is conflicted about many things in her personal life, most notably her burgeoning relationship with Agent Tomasetti. This definitely adds some 'spice' to the novel.
The case is a good whodunit. I do wonder if these crimes (because some of them are quite ugly) do happen in the Amish community? Is Castillo basing her plots on facts or creative license?
The pacing is quite quick, with lots of action - especially at the end. (which was a good gotcha as well)
Those looking for a hard bitten crime novel won't find it here. But those looking for a easy, engaging summer read will enjoy Gone Missing. Fans of Julie Garwood and Tess Gerritsen would enjoy this character. The first book in the series, Sworn to Silence, will soon be a two-hour original movie starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder. You can find Linda Castillo on Facebook.
Sound like something you'd enjoy? Well, you can read an excerpt of Gone Missing......
....enter to win one of two copies I have up for grabs, courtesy of St. Martin's Press! Open to US only, ends July 17/12. Good luck!