cover image Shamed


Linda Castillo. Minotaur, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-22071-4

In the prologue of bestseller Castillo’s electrifying 11th novel featuring Painters Mill, Ohio, police chief Kate Burkholder (after 2018’s A Gathering of Secrets), an intruder murders Mary Yoder, a 60-year-old Amish widow, in her farmhouse. He then abducts Mary’s seven-year-old granddaughter, Elsie Helmuth, who was playing outside with her five-year-old sister, Annie. In a subsequent interview, Annie tells Kate that the devil took Elsie. Kate and her team undertake a methodical search for the missing girl, knowing that the chances of recovering her alive diminish rapidly with the passing hours. A break comes with the discovery that the Helmuth family adopted Elsie as a newborn under mysterious circumstances. The stakes rise as those involved in the adoption, including the midwife who assisted in Elsie’s birth, become targets of the person who took Elsie. More than one twist propels the action to its dramatic conclusion. To her credit, Castillo doesn’t tie up every loose end in what turns out to be a morally complex case. 200,000 announced first printing. Author tour. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (July)