Thursday, July 1, 2021

ARC Review: Fallen by Linda Castillo


Linda Castillo 
Series: Kate Burkholder (Book 13)
Publication: Minotaur Books (July 6, 2021)

Description: In New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo’s new thriller Fallen, a rebellious Amish woman leaves the Plain life, but the secrets she takes with her will lead Chief of Police Kate Burkholder down a dark path to danger and death.

When a young woman is found murdered in a Painters Mill motel, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is shocked to discover she once knew the victim. Rachael Schwartz was a charming but troubled Amish girl who left the fold years ago and fled Painters Mill. Why was she back in town? And who would kill her so brutally?

Kate remembers Rachael as the only girl who was as bad at being Amish as Kate was―and those parallels dog her. But the more Kate learns about Rachael's life, the more she's convinced that her dubious reputation was deserved. As a child, Rachael was a rowdy rulebreaker whose decision to leave devastated her parents and best friend. As an adult, she was charismatic and beautiful, a rabble-rouser with a keen eye for opportunity no matter who got in her way. Her no-holds-barred lifestyle earned her a lot of love and enemies aplenty―both English and Amish.

As the case heats to a fever pitch and long-buried secrets resurface, a killer haunts Painters Mill. 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 hitting close to home. Will Kate uncover the truth and bring a murderer to justice? Or will a killer bent on protecting a terrible past stop her once and for all―and let the fallen be forgotten?

My Thoughts: Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to a motel for a dead body and finds the remains of young woman she knew from her own youth. Rachael Schwartz was another who left the Amish way of life. Now, she's returned to Painters Mill in time to be beaten to death with a baseball bat.

As Kate tries to discover who murdered Rachel she uncovers a number of secrets from Rachel's past. Rachael never fit in as an Amish young girl. She was too much of a troublemaker. She didn't like the rules. It doesn't help that when she left, she wrote a tell-all book about growing up Amish that has upset most of the community.

Kate also learns that she was still a troublemaker and not quite ethical. Her bank accounts and income shouldn't support her lavish lifestyle. Kate and Tomasetti discover that she was probably a blackmailer. Maybe it was her blackmailer that ended her life.

Even when the blackmailer is discovered, Kate is unconvinced that he was also her murder. Her continued investigation into Rachael's past and her murderer put Kate in the crosshairs of villains who will do anything to protect their secrets. 

This was an excellent, action-packed thriller. It is a wonderful entry into the Kate Burkholder mystery series.

Favorite Quote:
It's the pink polish on the toenails that turns me inside out and rouses the stir of outrage. And for the hundredth time I'm reminded that just a day and a half ago this young woman cared about such trivial, everyday things as a pedicure. She painted her nails and put on makeup. She went shopping and combed her hair. She laughed and breathed and touched the lives of thoe people around her. I take all of it in, the broken heap of what's left, and for an instant I'm frightened in some base and primal way.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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