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Fallen: Kate Burkholder #13    by Linda Castillo order for
by Linda Castillo
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2021 (2021)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Linda Castillo's Fallen is the thirteenth in her mystery series starring Painters Mill Police Chief Kate Burkholder, who grew up Amish, but renounced that life after being raped by a neighbor. After working for sixteen years as a big city cop, she returned to the area where she was born, but has still not fully come to terms with her past.

This episode opens on Rachael Schwartz's early morning murder in a dirty motel, on her return to Painters Mill (in the heart of Amish country) after leaving as a rebellious seventeen-year-old. After making a cesspit of her life, she has finally forged a good one and hopes to make things right - but doesn't get the chance to do so.

Kate is happy in a relationship with John Tomasetti, an agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Their six-acre farm is a work in progress. Called to the brutal murder scene, Kate remembers Rachael (precocious and questioning) as the only girl she'd met who 'was worse at being Amish' than Kate was.

Kate interviews Rachael's parents (who didn't know she was in town), her oldest friend Loretta, and an Anabaptist clan whom Rachael had trashed in a book, Amish Nightmare, that won her many enemies. The story moves back and forth in time between the present investigation and recollections of Rachael's Amish upbringing.

More violence follows, leading to a shocker of an ending, that's almost the end for Kate as well. As always with this exemplary series, the mystery is well plotted, the characters engaging, and the window into Amish life fascinating.

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