My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When a man is found hung in his barn, Painter’s Mill Chief of Police Kate Burkholder naturally assumes that it is suicide until evidence on the body indicates foul play. Soon all the clues start pointing to a 35 year old homicide in which a man and his 4 children were killed and the mother disappeared without a trace. The discovery of a second victim suggests to Kate that someone it out for justice and has no qualms about how they get it.
A solid thriller with an exciting climax. Nevertheless, there are one or two plot points that require some suspension of disbelief.
To begin with, the culprit and motive are easy to figure out, but their identity creates several unrealistic plot holes. That said, the mystery is compelling and the original crime is so terribly sad as are its consequences. Castillo manages to evokes the reader’s sympathies for the villain even though some of their actions are inexcusable, and this is a testament to her skillful writing.
In terms of character development, Kate and Tomasetti’s relationship faces some obstacles as ghosts from John’s past raise their ugly heads and Kate must cope with her insecurities. There is a certain prickliness to Kate’s personality, which may irritate some readers, but to me it makes her all the more human and endearing.
There is a question that remains unresolved from the previous installment and one can only hope that the author plans on completing this story arc sooner rather than later.
All in all, this is one of my favorite police procedural series and Kathleen McInnerny’s audio narration is superb. Looking forward to the next book.