By: Linda Castillo
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: May 2, 2011
Someone is out to get the Amish people in Painters Mill, PA. This sounds so ludicrous that readers will have a difficult time absorbing it. However, to some folks it will be a one-day book, starting at eight a.m. and ending sometime that evening.
Roland "Pickles" Shumaker, is a policeman in this small town and is on patrol at four in the morning when he receives a call to go to a farm. On arrival he discovers that some sheep have been killed, not by another animal but by human animals. While he is on the scene, he receives another call that there are three people that have fallen into a manure pit at another farm. He knew that could be very dangerous as there are methane gases that, without fresh air, will kill very quickly. When the authorities arrive it is too late to save the victims of this supposed accident.
Police Chief Kate Burkholder (who grew up Amish) is also called out and arrives at the same time as her patrolman. There are three people in the pit, Solomon Slabaugh the owner, his wife, Rachael and Abel, his brother. The Chief tries to rescue Rachael, but the gases have gotten to her and she is dead. When the EMT's arrive they also find that the men have passed away too.
When these three people are found dead in their barn it seems to be an accident but, it is soon made known by the Coroner that one of the men, Solomon, was murdered. The authorities think that this was another case of hate against the Amish. The Chief and State Agent John Tomasetti look for clues that would provide a link between all the crimes. In their search, they uncover some really shocking secrets underneath the silent ways of the Amish community. There is much secrecy as the Amish people want to take care of their own business and do not cooperate with authorities, which makes it difficult for the police to do their work. Also, the author gives us an extremely surprising ending. Readers will have a new insight into the Amish Community after reading this book. The author is first class and while the characters are sometimes a little unbelievable, readers will not be able to put this down once started.
Quill Says: Completely filled with thrills and chills, a new outlook on the Amish, many clues and extremely good writing. These people will live in the readers' minds for a long time.