When Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is called to a farm in the Amish community of Painter's Creek, nothing could prepare her for the horror and tragedy she encounters. Solly and Rachel Slabaugh, and his brother Abel, have drowned in the hog pit leaving the four children as orphans. As the investigation progresses, it seems that the Slabaugh deaths were not an accident, and the case suddenly becomes a murder enquiry. Agent John Tomasetti and Kate have worked together before, and now he is called back to Painter's Creek to help seek out the perpetrators of what appear to be serious hate crimes against the Amish. Whether these crimes and the Slabaugh murders are linked is hard to establish because the Amish are very proud and private people who do not enjoy involvement from outside. As the case deepens, Kate develops a bond with the children, particularly the 15-year-old daughter, Solome. Maybe she is reminded of herself at that age, and maybe there's something about this case which stirs up memories for her. The events surrounding the deaths puzzle her something doesn't feel right. As more information comes to light, a tragic incident turns into something much more shocking.
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Bestselling author Linda Castillo knew at a young age that she wanted to be a writer and penned her first novel when she was thirteen. In her spare time, Linda enjoys reading, showing horses and barrel racing. Her first two novels featuring Kate Burkholder are Sworn to Silence and Pray for Silence.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The rain started at midnight. The wind began a short time later, yanking the last of the leaves from the maple and sycamore trees and sending them skittering along Main Street like dry, frightened crustaceans. With the temperature dropping five degrees an hour and a cold front barreling in from the north, it would be snowing by morning.
“Fuckin’ weather.” Roland “Pickles” Shumaker folded his seventy-four-year-old frame into the Crown Vic cruiser and slammed the door just a little too hard. He’d known better than to let himself get sucked into an all-nighter. It wasn’t like he was getting any younger, after all. But his counterpart—that frickin’ Skidmore—had called in sick, and the chief asked Pickles to fill in. At the time, cruising around Painters Mill at four o’clock in the morning had sounded like a fine idea. Now he wondered what the hell he’d been thinking.
It hadn’t always been that way. Back in the day, the night shift had been his salvation. The troublemakers came out after dark, like vampires looking for blood. For fifty years, Pickles had cruised these not-so-mean streets, hoping with all of his cop’s heart that some dipshit would put his toe over the line so Pickles could see some anxiously awaited action.
Lately, however, Pickles could barely make it through an eight-hour shift without some physical ailment reminding him he was no longer twenty-four years old. If it wasn’t his back, it was his neck or his damn legs. Christ, it was a bitch getting old.
When he looked in the mirror, some wrinkled old man with a stupid expression on his face stared back. Every single time, Pickles stared at that stranger and thought,How the hell did that happen? He didn’t have the slightest idea. The one thing he did subscribe to was the notion that Father Time was a sneaky bastard.
Pickles had just pulled onto Dogleg Road when his radio crackled to life. “You there, Pickles?”
The night dispatcher, Mona Kurtz, was a lively young woman with wild red ringlets, a wardrobe that was probably a nightmare for the chief, and a personality as vivacious as a juiced-up coke freak. To top it off, the girl wanted to be a cop. He’d never seen a cop wear black tights and high heels. Well, unless some female was working undercover, anyway. Pickles didn’t think she was cut out for it. Maybe because she was too young, just a little bit wild, and her head wasn’t quite settled on her shoulders. He had his opinion about female cops, too, but since it wasn’t a popular view, he kept his mouth shut.
Of course, he’d never had a problem working for the chief. At first, he’d had his doubts—a female and formerly Amish to boot—but over the last three years, Kate Burkholder had proven herself pretty damn capable. His respect for her went a long way toward changing his mind about the female role in law enforcement.
He picked up his mike. “Don’t know where the hell else I’d be,” he muttered.
“Skid’s going to owe you big-time after this.”
“You got that right. Sumbitch is probably out boozing it up.”
For the last two nights, he and Mona had fallen to using the radio for small talk, mainly to break up the monotony of small-town police work. Tonight, however, she was reticent, and Pickles figured she had something on her mind. Knowing it never took her long to get to the point, he waited.
“I talked to the chief,” she said after a moment.
Pickles grimaced. He felt bad for her, because there was no way the chief was going promote her to full-time officer. “What’d she say?”
“She’s going to think about it.”
“I don’t think she likes me.”
“Aw, she likes you just fine.”
“I’ve been stuck on dispatch for three years now.”
“It’s good experience.”
“I think she’s going to bring someone in from outside the department.”
Pickles thought so, too, but he didn’t say it. You never knew when a woman was going to go off on a tangent. The night was going to be long enough without having his dispatcher pissed off at him, too. “Hang in there, kid. She’ll come around.”
Relief skittered through him when he heard beeping on the other end of the line.
“I got a 911,” she said, and disconnected.
Heaving a sigh of relief, Pickles racked the mike and hoped the call kept her busy for a while—and didn’t include him. He used to believe that as he got older, women would become less of a mystery. Just went to show you how wrong a man could be. Women were even more of an enigma now than when he was young. Hell, he didn’t even get his wife 90 percent of the time, and he’d been married to Clarice for going on thirty years.
Rain mixed with snow splattered against the windshield, so he turned the wipers up a notch. His right leg was asleep. He wanted a cigarette. His ass hurt from sitting.
“I’m too old for this crap,” he growled.
He’d just turned onto Township Road 3 when Mona’s voice cracked over the mike. “Pickles, I’ve got a possible ten-eleven at the Humerick place on Folkerth.”
He snatched up the mike. “What kind of animal trouble?”
“Old lady Humerick says something killed a bunch of her sheep. Says she’s got guts all over the place.”
“You gotta be shitting me.”
“She thinks it might be some kind of animal.”
“Bigfoot more than likely.” Muttering, Pickles made a U-turn and headed toward Folkerth. “What’s the address out there?”
Mona rattled off a number that told him the Humerick place wasn’t too far from Miller’s Pond and the greenbelt that ran parallel with Painters Creek.
“I’m ten-seventy-six,” he said, indicating he was en route, and he hit the emergency lights.
The Humerick farm was lit up like a football stadium when Pickles arrived a few minutes later. A mix of snow and rain sparked beneath a giant floodlight mounted on the barn facade. A widow for going on twenty years, June Humerick was the size of a linebacker and just as mean. She claimed to Amish, but she neither looked nor acted the part. A decade earlier, she’d thumbed her nose at the bishop and had electricity run to her farm. She drove an old Dodge pickup, dipped tobacco when it suited her, and cursed like a sailor when she was pissed. The Amish church district no longer claimed her as one of its own. The widow Humerick didn’t seem to mind.
She stood next to her old Dodge, wearing a flannel nightgown, knee-high muck boots, and a camo parka. She clutched her late husband’s double-barrel shotgun in one hand and a flashlight in the other. “I’m over here!” she bellowed.
Leaving the cruiser running and the headlights pointing toward the shadowy livestock pens on the backside of the barn, Pickles grabbed his Maglite and heaved his small frame from the car. “Evening, June,” he said as he started toward her.
She didn’t bother with a greeting, instead pointing toward the pens ten yards away. “Evenin’ hell. Somethin’ killed four of my sheep. Cut ’em to bits.”
He followed her point. “Lambs?”
“These was full-grown ewes.”
“You see or hear anything?”
“I heard ’em screamin’. Dogs were barkin’ loud enough to wake the dead. By the time I got out there, those sheep was dead. I got guts ever’where.”
“Could be coyotes,” Pickles conjectured. “I hear they’re making a comeback in this part of Ohio.”
“I ain’t never seen a coyote do anythin’ like this.” The widow looked at him as if he were dense. “I know who done it, and if you had half a brain, so would you.”
“I haven’t even seen the dead sheep yet, so how the hell could I know who done it?” he replied, indignant.
“Because this ain’t the first time somethin’ like this has happened.”
“You talking about them hate crimes against the Amish?”
“That’s exactly what I’m talkin’ about.”
“Killing a bunch of sheep is kind of a roundabout way to go about it, don’t you think?”
“The hell it is. Some folks just plain don’t like us, Pickles. Us Amish been prosecuted for damn near a hundred years.”
“Persecuted,” he said, correcting her.
The widow glared at him. “So what are you goin’ to do about it?”
Pickles was all too aware of the recent rash of crimes against the Amish. Most of the infractions were minor: a bashed-in mailbox, a broken window, eggs thrown at a buggy. In the past, the Painters Mill PD as well as the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office had considered such crimes harmless mischief. But in the last couple of months, the crimes had taken an ominous turn. Two weeks ago, someone had forced a buggy off the road, injuring a pregnant Amish woman. The chief and the Holmes County sheriff were working on getting a task force set up. The problem was, the Amish victims had unanimously refused to press charges, citing an all-too-familiar phrase: “God will take care of us.”
“Well, June, we ain’t been able to get anyone to file charges,” he said.
“Gawdamn pacifists,” she huffed. “I’ll do it.”
“Before we lynch anyone, why don’t we take a look at them sheep and make sure it wasn’t dogs or something.” Pickles sighed, thinking about his new Lucchese cowboy boots and the mud he would soon be introducing them to.
June’s nightgown swished around her legs as she took him over the gravel drive...
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Descrizione libro 2011. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. When Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is called to a farm in the Amish community of Painter's Creek, nothing could prepare her for the horror and tragedy she encounters. Solly and Rachel .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 368 pages. 0.350. Codice libro della libreria 9780230752351
Descrizione libro MacMillan, 2011. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110230752357
Descrizione libro 2011. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. When Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder, is called to a farm in the Amish community of Painter's Creek, nothing could prepare her for the horror and tragedy she encounters. Soll.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 368 pages. 0.350. Codice libro della libreria 9780230752351