Fallen (Kate Burkholder Book 13)
July 6th, 2021
A Simple Murder (Kate Burkholder Short Story Collection)
Feb 9th, 2021
Minotaur Books Pub
Fallen by Linda Castillo brings back the wonderful character, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder. Fans of this series are never disappointed with these amazing stories, and this novel is no different.
The plot begins with a young woman brutally murdered at a Painter’s Mill motel. Called to investigate, Police Chief Kate Burkholder realizes she knew the victim, Rachel Schwartz. She and Kate had some things in common, not really fitting into the Amish community when they were young women.
“Kate knew Rachel as a child since she sometimes babysat her. Rachel was a rebel rouser from the time she was two years old, and it got worse from there. Kate realizes as a child Rachel was a ‘pistol” type personality. In some ways she could be loveable, while in other ways she was maddening and disrespectful. As she became an adult Rachel did really bad things. She had aspects of a sociopath without much of a conscience. She was a rule breaker, risk taker, could not identify boundaries, and stepped over the line. But even with all that, Kate felt Rachel deserved justice and did not deserve to be bludgeoned to death.”
This story allows readers to get a further glimpse into Kate’s life before she left the Amish community. There is a mixture of old Amish traditions with the changing values of some. People are led to understand why Kate and Rachel felt the need to join the “English community.” As a child, Rachael was a rowdy rulebreaker whose decision to leave devastated her parents and best friend, Loretta. As an adult, she continued to be a rabble-rouser, not caring who she hurt to succeed in life. Her no-holds-barred lifestyle earned her a lot of enemies, both English and Amish.
“Both did not follow the rules although Kate knew boundaries. Kate did see parallels between the two of them. They got in trouble and did not respect many of the Amish norms. In some way they were kindred spirits with spunk since both drank and smoked.”
Through Kate’s investigations people learn of frequent explanations for why officers think and act in a certain way. Kate realizes someone doesn’t want Rachael’s past, or the mysteries she took with her to the grave, coming to light. As Kate digs deeper, violence strikes again, this time literally hitting close to home as Kate is put through the ringer, having to fight for her own life.
With A Simple Murder, readers are treated to another Linda Castillo book, out this year. These six short stories feature Kate Burkholder and her partner in crime (and the bedroom) John Tomasetti. The stories are not as complex, dark, or gritty as the novels. There are crimes of greed, jealousy and passion. Even with short stories, Castillo has a knack for pulling readers into the story by weaving in a fascinating plot line with interesting characters, highlighting Kate Burkholder’s abilities as the police chief of Painters Hill.
“They were previously released in e-format. These stories are not as dark, a little lighter, more fun, and not quite so heavy. My goal was to try to capture the setting, characters, and keep the mystery straight forward.”
Whether a short story or a novel, Castillo has a knack for pulling readers into the story by weaving in a fascinating plot line with interesting characters, highlighting Kate Burkholder’s abilities as the police chief of Painters Hill.