This is the first book I’ve read by Linda Castillo, and one of the few books I’ve read about the Amish culture. I kind of jumped in mid-series, because this was the only book available at the time I needed a book, and while the characters do progress through the series, I don’t think I lost much in reading this one out of order.
Kate Burkholder is a police chief in a small town near an Amish community, and she is also a former Amish person. She was raised Amish, but during her 18th year she decided that she wasn’t cut out for the plain life, and left home to pursue a career in law enforcement. Based on some traumatic events that happened to her, which she addresses briefly, she had a falling out with her parents, and sadly, she never saw her father again.
In this book, several Amish girls have gone missing during an event called Rumspringa. During Rumspringa an Amish teen can live an “English” lifestyle, their poor decisions are mostly overlooked, and they can experience things they would never experience as an Amish person. Typically they choose to come home, be baptized, and continue on with the plain life after experiencing this rite of passage. There are a few that decide not to stay Amish, choose to live an “English” lifestyle, and do not come home. Some of them do not come home because they are taken. And it’s Kate’s job to find out who took them and why.
The case rapidly becomes personal when one of the girls who goes missing is from Kate’s Amish family back home. When a dead Amish girl is found, Kate becomes nearly frantic with worry and begins to dig deeper into the secrets of the Amish community. Who were these missing girls seeing, and what were they doing before they were taken? One was dating an abusive English boy, one was pregnant and contemplating abortion, and another was hooked on drugs. Kate knows that no one can keep secrets like an Amish family, but she is desperate for answers, and some of the answers she gets just might put her own life in jeopardy.
I enjoyed this book enough that I will read the next book in the series because the epilogue left me hanging. It picked up two months after the book ends, and now I must know how it continues – which of course, is the mark of a good author/plot line.
Ok, y’all, this series….this, is awesome. I have loved Dean Koontz’ work for a long time. I believe the first book of his I ever read was “Watchers” – a great blend of a tantalizing plot and just enough scary, then on to “Lightening”, which not only grabbed my by the heartstrings, but made me use the phrase “Mulepuke” for a good 3 months, and quandry paradoxes for quite some time. “Sole Survivor” and “Life Expectancy” are more of my favorites….then I met Jane Hawk. I can’t say Jane knocked out my top 3, but they have definitely expanded my number of top favorites. My family gave me “The Silent Corner” for Christmas, the first in this series, and I devoured it. Sometimes when a book is written about a strong female lead, they must make her almost unhuman to be strong, but in this case, Jane is just a person – a strong person, but a person with weaknesses, a person with a background that gives her an edge over us “normal” everyday people, but she’s so much less powerful than those she fights against. Its a David & Goliath story from the very beginning. In the true Dean Koontz fashion, through “The Silent Corner” and the second book, “The Whispering Room”, people from different places come together in coincidental ways, and lend each other support during Jane’s journey. She must keep herself safe, alive and hidden, protect her son’s location and identity, and those who hide him, protect any who support or assist her, while seeking out the head of the snake while they use seemingly endless resources to track her down. You don’t think of all the ways you can be seen in such a digital age, but Jane has too – and if she doesn’t, or she forgets, for even one split second – someone usually dies. She’s on a mission to prove that her husband’s suicide wasn’t of his own volition, and that many other people in particularly strategic or influential positions haven’t died of natural causes. But will anyone believe her? Does anyone want to believe her? To believe that they can be controlled by such a large high ranking deception by a large group who could potentially control the course of the world? Well, I don’t know yet, because this is an ARC, and it doesn’t finish Jane’s journey – I’ll be waiting with baited breath for the fourth installment, “The Forbidden Door”, and praying that Mr. Koontz will randomly ask me to be a preview reader of this latest gem.
(I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Release date May 8, 2018)