Kate Burkholder: Shadows of the Past

"Kate Burkholder" is a crime thriller novel by Linda Castillo. The story takes place in the fictional town of Painters Mill, Ohio, a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows each other. Kate Burkholder is the chief of police in Painters Mill, and the novel follows her as she looks into a disturbing case of murder and violence.

The novel begins by introducing Kate Burkholder, a woman with a dark past who used to be a member of the Painters Mill Amish community. Kate left the community and rebuilt her life as a police officer in Columbus, and then returned to Painters Mill to become the chief of police. As the novel begins, a series of gruesome murders shake the community. The victims are all women, and they're all found strangled, their bodies left in remote and obscure locations around the town.

As Kate investigates the murders, she finds herself drawn back into the world of the Amish, a world she thought she had left behind for good. The investigation leads her to a man named Jacob King, a reclusive and mysterious Amish man who seems to know more about the murders than he's letting on. Kate becomes convinced that King is the killer, but she can't prove it - and the evidence seems to point in other directions.

As the investigation continues, Kate's personal and professional lives become entangled. She struggles to maintain her relationships with her colleagues and the people of Painters Mill, all while trying to catch a killer who seems to be always one step ahead of her. The tension builds to a dramatic climax, as Kate races to uncover the truth about the murders before it's too late.

Overall, "Kate Burkholder" is a gripping thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With complex characters, a compelling plot, and evocative descriptions of small-town life, Linda Castillo has crafted an excellent work of crime fiction that will appeal to fans of the genre.

The novel opens with a prologue that sets the stage for the story. A young Amish girl named Rachel was brutally murdered in Painters Mill 16 years ago, and her killer was never found. The town is still haunted by the memory of the crime, and many of the people who live there still feel the aftershocks of the tragedy.

Fast forward to the present day, and we are introduced to Kate Burkholder, the chief of police in Painters Mill. Kate is a tough and capable officer with a troubled past. She grew up in the Amish community but left at age 18 after a traumatic incident that left her estranged from her family and religion. After working as a police officer in Columbus, Kate returned to Painters Mill to take over the job as chief of police, hoping to put her past behind her.

But the peace of the town is shattered when a series of murders begin to take place. The victims are all women, and they are all strangled. The killings are brutal and leave the community in a state of fear and panic. Kate and her team of investigators work tirelessly to try to find the killer, but they are stymied at every turn. The crimes are so heinous that no one wants to believe that they could be committed by anyone in their own community.

As Kate delves deeper into the investigation, she begins to find disturbing connections between the murders and her own past. She starts to suspect that there is an Amish connection to the killings, and she finds herself reaching out to the community that she has been estranged from for so long.

At the same time, Kate is struggling to maintain her relationships with her colleagues and the people of Painters Mill. Her past makes her an outsider in many ways, and she has to work hard to gain the trust of the community. She also begins a relationship with John Tomasetti, a state agent who is investigating a similar series of murders in a nearby town. Their personal and professional lives become intertwined as they race to catch the killer.

The tension in the book builds steadily as Kate and her team race against time to try to solve the case before the killer strikes again. There are a few twists and turns along the way that keep the reader guessing, and the ultimate reveal of the killer is satisfying and well-plotted.

Overall, "Kate Burkholder" is a page-turning thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The character of Kate Burkholder is well-drawn and complex, and her struggles to reconcile her past with her present make her a compelling protagonist. Linda Castillo has done an excellent job of creating a vivid and atmospheric small town setting, and her descriptions of life in an Amish community are fascinating and insightful.


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