Release Date: June 23, 2009
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Kate Burkholder
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Sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community of Painters Mill, Ohio. A young Amish girl, Katie Burkholder, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Murders. In the aftermath of the killings, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence, and for Katie, the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.
Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate Burkholder is back. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate for Chief of Police. She's certain she's come to terms with her past--until the first body is discovered in a snowy field.
Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to name him, she would betray both her family and her Amish past--and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.
When I read the synopsis, I liked the juxtaposition of the Amish community and the English (modern life). The fact that the main character, Kate Burkholder is right in the middle makes it even more interesting. She grew up Amish, but choose not to stay. The Amish don't see her as one of them and the non-Amish only see her as one of them. She doesn't have much contact with her family unless absolutely necessary, not only because she left, but also because of something that happened when she was still apart of the community. When I found out the reason and the way her family handled themselves, I didn't want to believe how people who are seen as kind-family oriented people could make a horrible situation worse, leaving Kate to just suffer in silence, but the little knowledge I have of the Amish and the information you get in the book of their way of living makes it more than possible. If I were Kate, I would be the one shunning them and not vice versa. Just like Kate, John Tomasetti is forced to carry on after a horrible event. He is sent to help the small town of Painter's Mill, but not because he's the best man for the job.
This was a thrilling story and I needed to know how it would end, even though some of the scenes are very graphic and hard to read through. Usually, I have an idea who the killer might me, but there was no way I could know who it was until it was revealed.