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The Hidden One: Kate Burkholder #14    by Linda Castillo order for
Hidden One
by Linda Castillo
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Hidden One follows Fallen as the fourteenth in Linda Castillo's Amish mystery series starring Painters Mill chief of police Kate Burkholder. She 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, and worked to come to terms with her past.

This episode starts with the re-opening of a cold case when the remains of Amish bishop Ananias Stoltzfus are uncovered. He had disappeared a decade before and it's now clear that he was murdered. The bishop was very much respected in the Kishacoquillas Valley, Pennsylvania, but Kate soon finds that he had a very dark side after his town's elders ask her to find out what happened.

Doing so takes Kate back into her own Amish roots, as her first love, Jonas Bowman, has been arrested for the murder - he owned the muzzleloader found with the victim and that was used to shoot him. Of course, readers know that Kate will get answers, but someone is very anxious to stop her from solving the case and the sheriff (up for re-election) is looking for a slam dunk.

The answer - and the origins of the dead bishop - are shockers that come close to killing Kate, and make her re-evaluate the 'fragility of life' and what matters most. As always, Castillo delivers a masterful plot in an atmospheric setting, with a very surprising conclusion. Don't miss The Hidden One!

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