After the Storm (Kate Burkholder, #7)by Linda Castillo

Published July 14th 2015 by Minotaur Books

5 Stars

Synopsis: In this electrifying thriller by New York Times bestseller Linda Castillo, Kate Burkholder must uncover a family’s long-hidden past to solve a brutal murder

When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones–and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged.

Meanwhile, turmoil of an emotional and personal nature strikes at the very heart of Kate’s budding relationship with state agent John Tomasetti. A reality that strains their fragile new love to the breaking point and threatens the refuge they’ve built for themselves–and their future.

Under siege from an unknown assailant–and her own personal demons–Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.

My Review: This is the seventh book in the Kate Burkholder series, but the first that I read. All I can say is that I need to go back and start this series from the beginning. I really enjoyed this book. Kate is the police chief in the little town of Painters Mill, Ohio. She was raised in an Amish community but left the community to go to college and become a police officer. She speaks Pennsylvania Dutch so is able to speak and understand the Amish when they are involved in an investigation.

The book starts with a tornado that is heading towards Painters Mill and on track to hit the local trailer park. There is nothing anyone can do but hope for the best. When Kate and John Thomasetti (her live in companion) head to the trailer park they find a woman and baby in a trailer. The get them out, but this starts a chain of unfortunate events. Also as a result of the tornado, some old bones are unearthed at an abandoned farm. Kate sets out to identify the bones and again, sparks another tragic set of events to unfold.

This was a well written story and I assume the rest of the series is as well. I like the way she tells about the Amish community and how they live as well as how it feels to be an outsider. The characters are very real, with emotions that you would expect from anyone. They are not over the top, yet they are not afraid to show their feelings. I really enjoyed the mystery and suspense. I thought I knew who the culprits were, and I was right, but the story was more about how Katie is able to prove it. It was suspenseful and the tension in the book seldom lets up. The way the two story lines were put together was well done and made for a great book. All the ingredients necessary to create an enduring series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.