Among the Wicked is the eighth book in Linda Castillo's 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" in her teens. She has an understanding of both communities and it serves her invaluably in her work.
And it is that combination of skills and knowledge that has a police department from New York State asking for Kate's assistance. A young Amish girl has been found dead, the community isn't providing any answers and in fact seem quite frightened. Rumours abound about the new Bishop who seems to rule with a heavy hand. They want Kate to go in undercover - and she agrees.
It was interesting to see the Amish community through Kate's eyes this time as she lives among them, rather than outside of the community looking in. Castillo use lots of detail to bring the Amish settings, culture and language to life.
I really like Kate as a character - she's tough, loyal, kind and devoted to justice. But Castillo's latest plot will test Kate to the limits, physically and mentally. There's some really horrible stuff going on in the Roaring Springs community. The 'bad' guys immediately elicit strong feelings from the reader. Castillo's plot is on the dark side this time 'round - definitely in wicked territory. She ramps up the tension as the story unfolds, with Kate alone and in danger. And still, Kate won't give up......
Procedural details aren't overly employed, instead Castillo moves things along with deductions and action. I do wonder if these types of crimes 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."
Kate's personal life is a continuing storyline across the books. Her relationship with State Agent John Tomasetti is solid, but not without bumps. The interaction between the two comes across as real and believable.
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. Among the Wicked was another engaging read from Castillo. Read an excerpt of Among the Wicked.
You can connect with Linda Castillo on her website, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.