New York Times bestselling author
LINDA CASTILLO
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KATE BURKHOLDER
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Read an ExcerptAmong the Wicked

"Castillo builds suspense brilliantly, using both the snowbound setting and the difficulty of working as an undercover Amish woman to great advantage."--Booklist

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by local law enforcement in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate's longtime love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication—and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep undercover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and finds herself alone . . . and trapped in a fight for her life.

 
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Seeds of Deception
Kate Burkholder short story available for .99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold.

It's autumn in Painter's Mill, and fourteen year old Katie Burkholder has been tasked with picking apples in Zimmerman’s Orchard with her brother. It’s just another day filled with chores—until her best friend Mattie arrives to help. Somehow, boredom transforms into fun and games whenever the girls are together. The innocent fun comes to an end when Billy Marquardt and his gang of friends interrupts. Katie is no prude, but she knows better than to associate with the older English boys, especially since they’re known troublemakers. Mattie has no such compunction. Thumbing her nose at the Ordnung and all of the Amish rules, she disappears into the old barn with Billy.

Moments later, the Zimmerman’s barn is consumed by fire. Katie suspects Billy had something to do with the blaze, but he denies it. When the facts don’t add up, Katie begins her own investigation—and she doesn’t like what she finds. Will her friendship with Mattie survive the truth?

 
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Read an ExcerptAfter the Storm
"Series fans as well as first-time readers will be enthralled by this compelling and atmospheric mystery set in the heart of Amish country."--Library Journal

When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones. 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.
 
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A Hidden Secret

 

Kate Burkholder short story available for .99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold.

When a baby-only hours old-is discovered on the Amish bishop's front porch in Painter's Mill, Ohio, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. The newborn is swaddled in an Amish crib quilt, and the only other item found with the child is a hand-carved wood rattle, which Kate also recognizes as Amish.

The little girl seems healthy and whole; but who would abandon her and why? Though the quilt and rattle could be purchased, Kate suspects the mother is Amish, possibly young and unmarried, both of which would be powerful motives for such a desperate act. With the rattle and the baby quilt as the only clues, Kate must call upon her own Amish roots, and with the help of state agent John Tomasetti, search the Amish and "English" communities of Painters Mill for clues to unravel the poignant, puzzling mystery.
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Read an ExcerptThe Dead Will Tell A Boston Globe Best Book of 2014

Everyone in Painters Mill knows the old Hochstetler farm is haunted.  Ghost stories abound, but no one knows what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago when an Amish father and his four children perished--and his young wife disappeared without a trace.

When Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide--a man found hanging from the rafters in his barn--evidence quickly points to murder, and she finds herself following an elusive trail that points back to the tragedy of that long-ago incident.  Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in a long time, she's happy.  Their newfound bliss is shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti's family four years ago is found not guilty and walks away a free man.

When a second man turns up dead, Kate discovers a link that sends the investgation in a direction no one could imagine and uncovers a horrifying truth that reaches deep into the past and strikes at the very heart of Painters Mill.  As Kate draws a bead on a stone cold killer, a murderer vows to right old wrongs and kill anyone who stands in the way.
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Long Lost
Kate Burkholder short story available for .99 cents everywhere ebooks are sold.

It’s autumn in Painters Mill, and Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti are taking a much-needed vacation at a small bed and breakfast an hour outside of town. After closing a difficult case, they’re looking forward to some down time, but their relaxation is cut short by rumors that the old house where they’re staying is haunted by a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier, leaving nothing behind but some bloody clothes by the river and rumors of a volatile relationship. Swept up in the girl’s story, and a need for justice, Kate and John begin looking into the mysterious disappearance of Angela Blaine. They discover long-buried secrets—and unravel a mystery with an unexpected outcome.
 
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Her Last Breath
“A stunner . . . Castillo once again displayes her mastery of edge-of-your-seat suspense.”—Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

A rainy night, an Amish father returning home with his three children, a speeding car hurtling toward them out of nowhere . . .

What at first appears to be a tragic, but routine accident becomes personal for Chief of Police Kate Burkholder when she discovers that the victims are the husband and children of her childhood friend, Mattie. As Kate delves into the case, she comes face to face with her Amish past and memories of growing up with Mattie. The investigation takes on a more sinister cast as evidence emerges that nothing about the crash was accidental.

Desperate for answers, Kate begins to suspect she's not looking for a reckless drunk who fled the scene of a brutal hit and run, but instead she finds herself on the trail of a stone cold killer living amid the residents of Painters Mill. It is a search that takes her on a chilling journey into the darkest reaches of the human heart and makes her question everything she has ever believed about the Amish culture into which she was born.
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Read an ExcerptGone Missing “Exciting . . . Castillo ratchets up the tension nicely before the disconcerting ending.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Rumspringa is the time when Amish teens are allowed to experience life without the rules. It’s an exciting time of personal discovery and growth before committing to the church. But when a young teen disappears without a trace, the carefree fun comes to an abrupt and sinister end, and fear spreads through the community like a contagion.

A missing child is a nightmare to all parents, and never more so than in the Amish community, where family ties run deep. When the search for a presumed runaway turns up a dead body, the case quickly becomes a murder investigation. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder knows that in order to solve this case she will have to call upon everything she has to give not only as a cop, but as a woman whose own Amish roots run deep.

Kate and state agent, John Tomasetti, delve into the lives of the missing teens and discover links to cold cases that go back years.Will Kate piece together all the parts of this sinister puzzle in time to save the missing teen and the Amish community from a devastating fate?
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Read an ExcerptBreaking Silence
“Exceptionally well-drawn characters and a gripping plot that takes some shocking turns to a heart-pounding conclusion . . . Another winner.”—Booklist (starred review)


The Slabaugh family are model Amish farmers, prosperous and hardworking, with four children and a happy extended family. When the parents and an uncle are found dead in their barn, it appears to be a gruesome accident: methane gas asphyxiation caused by a poorly ventilated cesspit. But in the course of a routine autopsy, the coroner discovers that one of the victims suffered a head wound before death, indicating foul play. But who would want to make orphans of the Slabaugh’s children? And is this murder somehow related to a recent string of shocking hate crimes against the Amish?

Having grown up Amish, Kate is determined to bring the killer to justice. Because the other series of attacks are designated hate crimes, the state sends in agent John Tomasetti, with whom Kate has a long and complex relationship. Together, they search for the link between the crimes—and uncover a dark secret at work beneath the placid surface of this idyllic Amish community.
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Read an ExcerptPray for Silence

“Shades of In Cold Blood . . . Another chilling thriller.”—People

"Violent and earthy, and completely impossible to put down."--BookPage 

The Plank family moved from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to join the small Amish community of Painters Mill less than a year ago and seemed the model of the Plain Life—until on a cold October night, the entire family of seven was found slaughtered on their farm. Police Chief Kate Burkholder and her small force have few clues, no motive, and no suspect. Formerly Amish herself, Kate is no stranger to the secrets the Amish keep from the English—and each other—but this crime is horribly out of the ordinary.

When she discovers a diary that belonged to one of the teenaged daughters, Kate is shocked to learn the girl kept some very dark secrets and may have been living a lurid double life. Who is the charismatic stranger who stole the young Amish girl’s heart? As Kate’s outrage grows so does her resolve to find the killer and bring him to justice—even if it means putting herself in the line of fire.
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Read an ExcerptSworn to Silence “Lovers of suspense will find no better novel to read this summer than Sworn to Silence, a teeth-chattering debut thriller…”—USA Today

“Sworn to Silence is the opening salvo in what promises to be a gripping series.”--People

Sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community of Painters Mill, Ohio. A young Amish girl, Katie Burkholder, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence, and for Katie, the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.

Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate Burkholder is back. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate for Chief of Police. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to name him, she would betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.
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