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The Dead Will Tell: A Kate Burkholder Novel    by Linda Castillo order for
Dead Will Tell
by Linda Castillo
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The Amish country of Ohio should bring to mind peace and tranquility, but that's not the case in police Chief Kate Berkholder's world. A persistent and dangerous storm front not only brings a possible flood to the town of Painter's Mill, but a vengeful murderer as well.

When the suicide of a long-time Painter's Mill resident is instead ruled a murder, Kate finds herself trying to unravel the elusive threads of a decades-old cold case. Thirty-five years ago, a young Amish father and his four children died in a shooting and subsequent fire during a robbery gone horribly wrong. His young wife was kidnapped and never heard from again. After an item found on the victim points to a clear link to the Hochstetler murders, Kate cannot ignore the coincidence.

Nor can the surviving perpetrators of the crime ignore what's happened. Over the past weeks, each of them has received threatening notes and seen what they believe to be the ghost of Wanetta Hochstetler, the young Amish mother who'd gone missing. Nevertheless, they're unanimous in keeping their horrible secret about what happened at the Hochstetler farm, just as they'd all agreed to do over three decades before.

When the killer strikes a second and then a third time, Kate digs deeper and soon discovers the horrifying truth about what really happened that long-ago night at the Hochstetler farm.

This is the 6th instalment of Castillo's always engaging Kate Burkholder series and I think the best to date. Despite Kate's many insecurities about her past, her job and her recent move to her love interest, John Tomasetti's farm, her life finally seems to be evening out. Kate and Tomasetti's relationship, while integral to the series, never overshadows the mystery at hand. Even so, Castillo keeps it interesting and real, introducing another obstacle that could jeopardise their current happiness.

Linda Castillo creates another page-turning murder mystery, dripping with chilling atmosphere and intriguing characters, old and new, and one heck of a masterful plot that will definitely leave you guessing up until the shocking conclusion. The Dead Will Tell is an exemplary addition to an exemplary series.

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