Kate Burkholder #3
SYNOPSIS: Police Chief Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of a horrific tragedy on a peaceful Amish farm.
The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death—clearly, foul play was involved. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaughs’ children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?
Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community. – via Goodreads
So here I am. Back reading about this ex-Amish cop and all, and I was frustrated again. I understand she loves the Amish and their way of life and all, but a sick crime is a sick crime, not made worse because they are Amish, or that the case should affect her more because they are Amish, or because they are Amish that they are above other rules of the universe, or exempt from crime and pain and suffering, or that because they are people assholes will leave them alone. That has never applied to anyone. Also, Castillo’s writing style is still not something I enjoy, and I find it jarring, when she flips from writing about something happening with someone else, how it is described and all, and then it flips to Chief Burkholder, then it is first person, present tense. Disconcerting. Not only that, Kate Burkholder can manage to get sloshed on three shots of vodka and a beer. That must be great, imagine the money that could be saved! Anyhow, there were aspects of this book that were overly melodramatic, making it an absolute favourite of mine. Meh, as if I needed more of that. As I complained about for the last novel as well, the Amish community was milked dry for this. It is so annoying. Really. Plus dealing with the relationship with Tomasetti? Fine, but it is getting really old now. I maintain that Kate Burkholder is not a pleasant character, and being unable to identify with any aspect of her just makes this so much more a difficult read, and truly gets in the way of me caring about how she feels and what she is doing. There is also the problem that Painters Mill is a really small town but seems to be inundated with Amish hate crimes and murders. Seriously, how long can she keep this up and still call it a peaceful town? How did it all seem to happen now that she is police chief? I just don’t get it. Her work is really repetitive.