The Dead Will Tell
Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time-and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.
On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide-an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they're both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti's family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?
When a second man is found dead-also seemingly by his own hand-Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished-and his young wife disappeared without a trace.
And, as Kate knows-the past never truly dies . . .
The sixth book in the Kate Burkholder series has the police chief back in Painters Mill, Ohio, with its Amish community once again playing a role.
The book opens with a crime taking place, an attempted robbery that goes horribly wrong. An Amish farm boy, Billy Hochstetler, awakes to witness a house invasion rob him of his family, his father shot in front of him. His siblings burned alive. His mother missing.
Then we jump forward some 35 years, to an intriguing set up as one of the group follows instructions - in the form of notes - to revisit the house. It seems that somebody knows what happened and is acting on it.
When a respectable middle-aged man is found hanging from the rafters of his barn, a small wooden Amish doll in his mouth, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene. Soon suspecting murder she follows the evidence, more threats and further dead bodies, to the tragedy at the Amish farm back in 1979.
Billy is now married and running an apple farm. Back in '79 he was taken in by an Amish family. Burkholder was a one year old Amish girl at the time.
Several suspects emerge from the locals who fear they’ll be the next target for a gruesome killing.
The investigation coincides with Burkholder's own troubles at home. She’d moved in with her lover, the state agent John Tomasetti, and things were going well, then news reaches him that a man has walked free from jail on a technicality. This man was among those responsible for murdering Tomasetti’s family four years ago. Tomasetti doesn’t take this news well and the threat of self-destruction looms.
Both the murders of Tomasetti’s family and the Hochstetler tragedy bring buried crimes back to the surface.
Haunting and suspenseful, the pace is swift, the twists satisfy and the ending delivers.
About Linda Castillo:
Linda Castillo is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kate Burkholder novels, including Sworn to Silence and Her Last Breath, crime thrillers set in Amish country. The first book in the series, Sworn to Silence, was recently was adapted into a Lifetime Original Movie titled "An Amish Murder" starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder. Castillo is the recipient of numerous industry awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Holt Medallion and a nomination for the RITA. In addition to writing, Castillo’s other passion is horses. She lives in Texas with her husband and is currently at work on her next novel.