Gone Missing-Linda Castillo(4 out of 5)

Kate Burkholder is still Chief of Police in the Amish town of Painters Mill, Ohio. She is also desperately missing Tomasetti, her detective friend and romantic interest. She gets a call from Tomasetti telling her that Amish teens have been disappearing in the town about fifty miles away from where she is, and they want her to consult with them on the case. Kate immediately agrees and they immediately begin to realize that this is a serial killer who’s been killing or kidnapping Amish teens for years- going back 15 years or so. Image



The first thing that struck me as unusual here is that the 4th book in the series doesn’t have Silence in the title- the previous 3 in the Amish series did…and that was only the beginning of the changes.

The changes- are miniscule and aren’t overwhelming in a manner that makes you set the book on fire or want to don sparkly fangs. They don’t suffer the plot and spoil the writer(a lame take on the spare the rod, spoil the child phrase of my misbegotten youth.), but they do leave me giving this great author 4 stars instead of the usual 5. The previous 3 books all got 5 stars, and deservedly so. Linda Castillo is still a great author, but this one lost something.

First thing first- the length of the book. Her books are never overly long, as she doesn’t fluff up her mysteries or characters as others- she cuts to the chase and her characters are very steadfast and precise. However, this book is shorter than the others, by at least 70 pages. I felt like there were more things in this plot that should have/could have been addressed but weren’t. So that flipped things in an opposite direction. Also- Kate’s character is spending more time focusing on her burgeoning feelings for Tomasetti. Those feelings are in the previous 3 books, but not to this extent. I mean, there was no weird scene where she tries on wedding dresses while planning her imaginary wedding, but you wouldn’t have been surprised had there been one. Thankfully, Castillo didn’t go there. This felt more like it was a testimonial on the uprising of Amish youth during Rumspringa, and the psychological profiles of those teenagers. Kate, being a former Amish, gets that and spends a lot of time reliving that. More so than connecting with Tomasetti, her long-distance police detective friend and romantic partner. Seeing the character of Kate spends much time ruminating over those feelings that terrify her, but then when her chance is there to connect with Tomasetti and she doesn’t, strikes me as just plain silly. The culprit gets more ballsy and more girls disappear. The first is later found dead on a riverbank of a fatal stab wound. The next one who disappears hits way too close to home- it’s Katie’s niece Sadie. Katie hits a brick wall with many of the Amish families, who steadfastly invoke that code of silence, so it’s up to her and Tomasetti’s expertise, as well as some great supporting law enforcement characters, to find the missing teens and whomever is doing this- to put a long overdue stop to it. They finally get a concrete lead, and of course not only is Kate in imminent danger, but those she has found who are still alive but imprisoned, also. It builds to an anti-climatic ending- or so you think. They believe they have not only caught the perpetrator, but also provided closure and some measure of peace to the families of the missing. However- you get to the second from last chapter and Castillo delivers a whopper of a surprise. I mean, clearly, there must be a sequel to this book- with the wide-open plot twist she deftly delivers, for if she doesn’t tie up this whopper of a plot device, well, it would kill her author cred- at least with me. I think her long-time fans would rightfully be pissed. 

All in all, still a highly satisfying mystery. I just think there were some things present in her other books in this series that were on vacation in this book. She’s still great with remaining true to the depths of human suffering in her characters and Kate still kicks ass as a police chief. Tomasetti is still as mysterious and elusive as ever, but he’s lost his edge a little and is more focused on building a more stable relationship with Kate. Good? Yes, you want them together, but- again, hard for me to put my finger on, but something in the dynamic here has lost something for me. I still dug this book. I espicially LOVED the ending, what a great way to leave us hanging for your next book in the series next year. 


~ by generationgbooks on June 28, 2012.

One Response to “Gone Missing-Linda Castillo(4 out of 5)”

  1. I apologize for the awkward spacing. I was having a lot of trouble formatting this on WordPress today. Possibly the humidity has melted the PC in the sun. 😦

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