Rachael Schwartz was excommunicated from the Amish community over fourteen years ago when she was only 17-years old. She had a reputation as a free spirit and couldn’t abide the confines of the Amish lifestyle. However, she returns to Painter’s Mill only to be brutally murdered in her motel room. When Police Chief Kate Burkholder reaches the crime scene, it’s clear by the horrific level of the beating that this was very, very personal.
the heart of the story…
Rachael’s murder was vividly portrayed at the beginning of the story so throughout the investigation, I was examining the potential suspects for signs of whether they could possibly do what was done to her. It was truly brutal. Kate shared a connection with Rachael as both were former Amish, even though she was younger but recalled her fondly. I liked that there were flashbacks to the past throughout the story as I came to learn more about Rachael and how she ended up not only being excommunicated but shunned by family and friends. The list of suspects was plentiful but I thought I’d singled out the murderer.
I’m still loving the audio version of this series as McInerney is not only the voice of Kate but the stories as a whole. She also masters the other characters and her storytelling skills just elevate the writing.
the bottom line…
I enjoyed this story as Kate seems to be maturing not only as a law enforcement officer but emotionally in her relationships, including that with John Tomasetti, her almost fiancé. The investigative journey was highly interesting as it not only shone light on Rachael but more of Kate’s past as well. I thought I’d identified the killer and was dead wrong, even though the clues were there. Unfortunately, Kate finds herself once again in peril, though she followed protocol. Just wish this wasn’t part of the formula. Even still, I found it hard to put this one down and was eager to solve the mystery.
- Release Date: July 6, 2021
- Series: Kate Burkholder #13
- Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
- Audio Length: 10 hours
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio