I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo
Series: Kate Burkholder #8
Published by Minotaur Books on July 12th 2016
“Maybe Tomasetti was right. Maybe I’d get up there and find myself in over my head. Then I thought of the dead fifteen-year-old Amish girl, the forty children at risk, and an Amish community that has fallen under suspicion, and I realize that I didn’t have a choice. All I can do is my best. It’s all any of us can offer. I hope it’s enough.”
FINAL DECISION: I am in love with these books. They satisfy my love for mystery and romance. This book has a mystery that kept me guessing and even gave me a jolt of surprise at the end. At the same time, I felt a deep connection with Kate as a character.
THE STORY: Police Chief Kate Burkholder is asked to take on a potentially dangerous undercover assignment. She is to infiltrate an Amish community in New York to see what is going on in the reclusive group because there are hints that children may be at risk including a teenager recently found dead. Kate’s background growing up Amish makes her the only reasonable option, but this assignment increases tensions with her live in lover.
OPINION: I have become a big fan of the Kate Burkholder books. They are a perfect melding of mystery with romance. This book allows Kate to consider her choice to leave her Amish community and explore a what-if life while aggressively pursing the mystery of what is happening in this New York state Amish community.
This case cries out for Kate’s particular talents since she grew up Amish. There is something strange going on in this small Amish community and police need someone to go undercover. With a charismatic and intensely conservative bishop, the community has shut itself almost completely from the surrounding community. Kate is pretty happy in her current situation and so this assignment shakes up her life a bit.
Cut off from all that is familiar to her, Kate ends up emotionally shedding almost all that she believes makes her who she is. Instead she has to confront everything that she left behind. Sometimes when we are forced to leave, we don’t want to remember that there are things that we might miss. Thing that might be better even if we are doing the right thing. Kate is confronted with that reality. Apart from the complications and personal relationships in Ohio, she sees that there are parts of the Amish community that she misses.
The assignment also tosses a wrench into Kate’s relationship with her lover John Tomasetti. John’s own past and losses make him overprotective of Kate. What I love about their relationship is that they talk and respect one another. Despite them being apart, this book shows them growing even closer.
“Tomasetti knows me. He knows how my mind works. He knows, better than anyone, that I’m driven and flawed. That sometimes I try too hard and can be a sore loser. He knows that when I sink my teeth into a case, I can’t let it go, sometimes to my own detriment. He understands all those things. And yet he loves me anyways.”
This book ends up being the perfect balance between personal and mystery. Kate’s journey makes the mystery relevant. I also was surprised by the ultimate reveal in the story. I always respect a mystery that outwits me and yet makes perfect sense.
My only complaint is that now I have to wait for the next book in the series.
WORTH MENTIONING: Trust no one.
CONNECTED BOOKS: AMONG THE WICKED is the eighth book in the Kate Burkholder series. Each of the books is an independent mystery book, but there are overarching story elements involving Kate’s life. The book can be read on its own, however.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.