Series: #1 in a planned series
Publication Date: 2009
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #48
I first heard about this book in a Bookbrowse newsletter and it sounded intriguing. Then I started seeing several positive reviews so I got myself on the library waiting list. I was not disappointed.
Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in the small town of Painters Mill, Ohio. She grew up in Painters Mill within the close circle of her Amish family and culture. Sixteen years ago a series of brutal murders terrorized the town. By the time it was all over, teenaged Kate had decided that she did not want to join the Amish church. Placed under the bann by the church leaders she eventually left town and became a police officer. When she returned to take the job of Chief of the small police department her familiarity and history with the Amish members of the community was helpful. When a young woman is found brutally tortured and murdered, Kate has a major crime on her hands. Is it a serial killer? Is it the same killer from before? Will the secrets Kate and her family have kept for sixteen years come to light? Will those secrets cost Kate her job or even worse, the deaths of more women?
This is the first in a planned series and I can say I’m definitely going to be watching for the next book. I liked the character of Kate despite her flaws and issues. The other characters were interesting and it will be interesting to see how they’re developed in the next book.
I thought the mystery itself was well done. I didn’t figure it out early on and my best guess turned out to be wrong.
Be warned that there is a pretty high grisliness factor in this one. The crimes are brutal and it’s not for the faint of heart or nightmare prone.