Review: Gone Missing – Linda Castillo


Kate Burkholder #4

SYNOPSIS: Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.

A missing child is a nightmare to all parents, and never more so than in the Amish community, where family ties run deep. When the search for the presumed runaway turns up a dead body, the case quickly becomes a murder investigation. And chief of Police Kate Burkholder knows that in order to solve this case she will have to call upon everything she has to give not only as a cop, but as a woman whose own Amish roots run deep.

Kate and state agent, John Tomasetti, delve into the lives of the missing teen and discover links to cold cases that may go back years. But will Kate piece together all the parts of this sinister puzzle in time to save the missing teen and the Amish community from a devastating fate? Or will she find herself locked in a fight to the death with a merciless killer?  – via Goodreads

GRADE 8Well, well, well. This was probably the first Kate Burkholder book that I enjoyed, for a multitude of reasons. For one, Burkholder herself was far less grating in this one, and less liquor and “poor me” helped immensely. Then there was the fact that there was actually some change and development in the relationship between her and Tomasetti. I also enjoyed the fact that, while she spoke for ages about the Amish again, it wasn’t nearly as bad in the other books, because they were not these amazingly perfect beings or anything like that. The story was also extremely interesting, a mystery I wanted to know more of, to figure out, and instead of wasting forever and six days going around in circles in the case as usual, Castillo lines this one up perfectly, and it keeps you hooked and engaged throughout. Man, it’s actually a really good story. Not too many bells and whistles, but it’s a goodie. I think another relief for me was that technically all this drama concerning the Amish was not taking place in Painter’s Mill for a change, because I maintain that, while Burkholder has been chief of police there for three years, for a small, idyllic little town, there is a lot of murder and mayhem concerning the Amish, which makes it unbelievable. Burkholder didn’t moan nearly as much as usual, and I only had flickerings of annoyance with her this time around, and it made for an overall better experience. As you can tell, I was more impressed with this book than I thought I would be. Picked it up because I was bored and just wanted something quick, and instead I found something quick and interesting, something I did not expect from Castillo’s Burkholder series. You can also read this out of sequence – might be better all round for a look at everything, but the book gives you enough information that if you don’t know (or have forgotten a lot, like me), you will still follow without issues. Worth a look see (just don’t judge it by the cover – gosh, that is bad).

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