Suspenseful, chilling, and thought-provoking, A Gathering of Secrets by American writer Linda Castillo is number ten in her Kate Burkholder series, but can easily be read as a standalone. With this installment, Ms. Castillo has, once again, authored a winner!
There are a few factors, in particular, that make this series, as a whole, stand out. Firstly, the series revolves around a woman who was raised in an Amish family, but left the fold when she was eighteen. Kate Burkholder is the Chief of Police in fictitious Painters Mill, in northeastern Ohio. Her fluency in the Amish Dutch language, as well as her deep understanding of the Amish culture, makes her uniquely qualified to investigate the dark and often brutal crimes involving these otherwise idyllic and pious communities. In A Gathering of Secrets, the inciting incident is a barn fire at a small, Amish farm. In the course of the story, we also explore a painful chapter of Kate's youth, and her relationship with her beau, John Tomasetti, of the Ohio Bureau of Investigation is, happily, further developed.
Another appealing and distinguishing quality of the Kate Burkholder books is the pacing. There are many crime fiction books marketed as thrillers that have relatively even pacing throughout, with slowly increasing tension that picks up steam considerably in the final 15 to 20 percent. Ms. Castillo's Kate Burkholder novels, on the other hand, ebb and flow between more quiet, often poignant and revelatory, character-centered scenes, and those that are much more action-focused, so the reader is rewarded not only with a nail-biting, breath-holding, grand finale, but also with several other tension-filled and highly suspenseful scenes sprinkled throughout the novel, and the structure of A Gathering of Secrets is no exception!
With their unique juxtaposition of the charming and the chilling, the comforting and the criminal; with their wonderful development of characters that the reader becomes enamored with, as well as their intriguing police procedure and frequently riveting pace, it is no wonder that the Kate Burkholder books have become so popular and beloved! Don't miss A Gathering of Secrets, another entertaining and satisfying addition to this highly recommended series!
Best for Crime Fiction Readers:
- Who are interested in learning about other cultures, in this case, that of the Amish in a small region of Ohio.
- Who enjoy reading police procedurals.
- Who are interested in exploring the psychological effects of crimes.
- Who appreciate, or don't mind, just a bit of romance in their crime fiction and mysteries.
- Who are not highly squeamish or faint of heart. The novel does contain some visceral, potentially distressing descriptions of a crime (or crimes) and the aftermath, but the descriptions do not comprise very much of the book, and are not overly prolonged.
- Who appreciate the exploration of coming-of-age themes.
- Who enjoy crime thrillers.
Pages: 308 (Hardcover)
A deadly fire exposes the dark side of Amish life in A Gathering of Secrets, a harrowing new thriller in the New York Times bestselling series by Linda Castillo.
When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside—burned alive—Kate suspects murder. Who would want a well-liked, hardworking young Amish man dead? Kate delves into the investigation only to find herself stonewalled by the community to which she once belonged. Is their silence a result of the Amish tenet of separation? Or is this peaceful and deeply religious community conspiring to hide a truth no one wants to talk about? Kate doubles down only to discover a plethora of secrets and a chilling series of crimes that shatters everything she thought she knew about her Amish roots—and herself.
As Kate wades through a sea of suspects, she’s confronted by her own violent past and an unthinkable possibility.
MINM Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Are you new to the Kate Burkholder series? Are you up to date on the series? If so, do you have a favorite novel, or favorite novels, in the series? Mystery in Minutes would love to hear from you in the comments below!
- Jul 2, 2019 Book Review: LOCK EVERY DOOR by Riley Sager Jul 2, 2019
- Jun 11, 2019 Book Review: THE INVITED by Jennifer McMahon Jun 11, 2019
- May 20, 2019 Book Review: MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim May 20, 2019
- April 2019
- Mar 21, 2019 Book Review: AFTER SHE'S GONE by Camilla Grebe Mar 21, 2019
- Feb 28, 2019 Book Review: THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides Feb 28, 2019
- Feb 19, 2019 Book Review: THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper Feb 19, 2019
- Feb 1, 2019 Book Review: THE HIDING PLACE by C.J. Tudor Feb 1, 2019
- Jan 24, 2019 Book Review: NEVER TELL by Lisa Gardner Jan 24, 2019
- Jan 8, 2019 Book Review: An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen Jan 8, 2019
- Jan 8, 2019 Happy 2019! Jan 8, 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 27, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton Oct 27, 2018
- Oct 17, 2018 MINM Book Review: The Wife by Alafair Burke Oct 17, 2018
- Oct 15, 2018 A Quick Note To Authors, Publishers, And To My Readers: Oct 15, 2018
- Sep 30, 2018 MINM Book Review: Button Man by Andrew Gross Sep 30, 2018
- Aug 31, 2018 YOU by Caroline Kepnes Book Review and Video Trailer of the Series Adaptation Aug 31, 2018
- Aug 21, 2018 Book Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones Aug 21, 2018
- Aug 10, 2018 MINM Book Review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman Aug 10, 2018
- Aug 1, 2018 MINM Review: A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay Aug 1, 2018
- Jul 22, 2018 MINM Book Review: NEED TO KNOW by Karen Cleveland Jul 22, 2018
- Jul 10, 2018 MINM Review: A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo Jul 10, 2018
- Jul 2, 2018 Book Review: THE LAST TIME I LIED by Riley Sager Jul 2, 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- Feb 23, 2018 MINM Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn Feb 23, 2018
- Feb 12, 2018 MINM Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir Feb 12, 2018
- Jan 31, 2018 MINM Review: LOOK FOR ME by Lisa Gardner Jan 31, 2018
- Jan 21, 2018 MINM Review: Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner Jan 21, 2018
- Jan 7, 2018 MINM Review: The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor Jan 7, 2018
- Dec 17, 2017 MINM: Wishes our readers Happy Holidays with an excerpt from Magpie Murders Dec 17, 2017
- Dec 16, 2017 MINM Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz Dec 16, 2017
- Dec 5, 2017 MINM Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen Dec 5, 2017
- Nov 28, 2017 MINM Review: You Can Run by Steve Mosby Nov 28, 2017
- Nov 21, 2017 MINM: is Thankful Nov 21, 2017
- Nov 15, 2017 MINM Review: NIGHTBLIND by Ragnar Jonasson Nov 15, 2017
- Nov 8, 2017 MINM Review: Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo Nov 8, 2017
- Nov 2, 2017 MINM Review: Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge Nov 2, 2017
- October 2017
- Sep 26, 2017 MINM Review: Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin Sep 26, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Glass Houses by Louise Penny Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Unsub by Meg Gardiner Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: Exquisite by Sarah Stovell Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware Sep 24, 2017
- Sep 24, 2017 MINM Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins Sep 24, 2017