In Castillo's fine third Amish thriller (after Pray for Silence), Kate Burkholder, police chief of Painter's Creek, Ohio, finds a gruesome crime scene at a farm. Solly and Rachael Slabaugh, and Solly's brother, Abel, have drowned in a poorly ventilated manure pit, succumbing to methane gas asphyxiation. But the deaths are no accident and may be related to a recent string of hate crimes against the Amish. The hate crimes designation brings in John Tomasetti, an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and Kate's sometimes lover. Kate becomes close with the four orphaned Slabaugh children, especially with the daughter, 15-year-old Salome. Kate, who was raised Amish, understands the difficulties an ambitious Amish teenager faces. Escalating hate crimes are uncovered, but the investigation is stymied because the Amish resist help from outsiders. Castillo melds deeply flawed characters with a glimpse into a unique community in which isolation can hide a plethora of secrets. 150,000 first printing; author tour. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011 Release date: 06/01/2011 Genre: Fiction
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