cover image A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel

A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel

Linda Castillo. Minotaur, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-12131-8

Bestseller Castillo addresses the topic of sexual assault in Amish communities in her riveting 10th mystery featuring Painters Mill, Ohio, police chief Kate Burkholder (after 2017’s Down a Dark Road). When 18-year-old Daniel Gingerich’s death in a barn fire is ruled a murder, Burkholder searches for a motive. His family and friends insist he was well-regarded and had no enemies, but conversations with his peers gradually reveal another story. As Burkholder learns more about Gingerich, she grapples with painful memories from her own adolescence and finds herself empathizing with his killer, while her partner, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent John Tomasetti, offers a countering view. Castillo’s sensitive handling of her subject matter builds a nuanced, often troubling picture of insular, patriarchal communities in which silence allows predators to thrive. Details of Amish crafts, family life, and commerce contrast with the ugliness of the crimes, and despite a convoluted resolution and cursorily resolved subplot, armchair travelers should find this a satisfying outing. Author tour. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (July)