Going, Going, Gone!
If you haven’t read any of Linda Castillo’s mystery/thrillers set in Amish country, you should start now. I will say, however, that you should not be deceived by the fact that these thrillers are set in Amish country, because they are fairly dark and not for the faint of heart. Gone Missing is the fourth book in the series which follows Kate Burkholder as the chief of police in Painter’s Mill, Ohio, a community that includes a large number of Amish families. The book begins with Kate breaking up a fight involving a 15-year-old Amish girl on rumspringa. Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience the outside world, before deciding if they want to become baptized, and live by the Amish rules for the rest of their lives or leave the Amish way of life and be cut off from your family forever as Kate Burkholder chose to do.
It is not long before Kate gets a call from John Tomasetti, an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation(and Kate’s lover), asking her to consult on an on a case in which there are two missing Amish Teens. Kate is often asked to help with cases involving the Amish as not only does she speak fluent Pennsylvania Dutch, but she also has inside knowledge of the Amish daily life that is invaluable to investigations. As Kate works with Tomasetti and his team the case expands to include more victims than originally thought. A phone call from home brings the case back to Painter’s Mill and the rebellious local girl who Kate caught fighting in the beginning Goes Missing.
Castillo’s characters are well crafted and while Kate and Tomasetti are the dominant characters the smaller characters are interesting and quirky. Beneath all the fast paced thriller aspects Gone Missing is still a police procedural. Castillo’s books are striking with the juxtaposition of the brutality and darkness of the crimes with the plain life of the Amish.
If you haven’t started this series it is worth a try.