All right, a thriller I mostly enjoyed! Hurrah! Well, except for the totally unnecessary (but happily brief) romance part. And the weird ending. But whatever.
The story: Kate Burkholder is the female, formerly Amish, rather young chief of police in Painters Mill, Ohio, the town she grew up in. Her world is doing okay until the night she gets a call about a dead girl in town — not just dead, but murdered, and not just murdered but murdered with the same MO of a serial killer that was active in the same town just sixteen years ago. Did you hear that toppling sound? Right. But the twist here (well, the beginning-of-the-book twist, anyway, totally not a spoiler) is that sixteen years ago, a fourteen-year-old Kate killed the Slaughterhouse Killer in self-defense and he’s been buried in a grain silo ever since. Kate has to tread lightly on this case (as she reminds the reader about a jillion times) because she doesn’t want any other cops digging into the past and figuring out what she did all those years ago.
Castillo does pretty well with this plot, except for the aforementioned bit where she likes to beat facts into the reader’s skull, and the other aforementioned bit wherein Kate has the sex with a cop brought in from Columbus who has even more problems that I don’t care about than Kate does. This is apparently the first in a series, and also Castillo apparently also writes romances, so I’m guessing there will be more of the unnecessary sex-having in the future. So I’m probably not going to read those. Oh well.
The other thing I didn’t like about the plot was that unlike a good mystery, wherein the killer is revealed at the end and you’re either like “I knew it!” or “Ohhhh, now I totally see it!”, this is done bad thriller-style and you’re like, “Oh, hello, person I would not have suspected until I read the last two pages, wherein it was proved conclusively that the killer is you.” So. You know.
Nonetheless, it was a fun and happy time (well, as happy as murders can be) after the tear-fest that was The Time Traveler’s Wife, so good on Castillo for that.
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