Readers can always count on one of Linda Castillo’s Amish-based mystery novels to transport them. Among the Wicked is the eighth full-length novel featuring Kate Burkholder and once again Castillo entertains and educates.
Among the Wicked finds Kate having to make a choice that neither she nor her boyfriend, Agent John Tomasetti are completely comfortable with. When the body of an Amish girl is discovered near an Amish settlement in upstate New York, questions arise as to why she was out in the frigid winter evening and whether or not she was alone at the time.
Since the community in question is of strict Swartzentruber belief – making them very reluctant to interact with outside populations – the police are unable to get answers to any of their questions. Local officials reach out to Kate Burkholder, asking her to go undercover within this Amish community to attempt to get answers from the inside.
Faithful readers of the series know that Kate has long distanced herself from her Amish roots. That said, she has always kept abreast of what is happening in-and-around Painters Mill’s Amish population, but this assignment will require going into a new community with little advance knowledge and virtually no backup – a situation Tomasetti is very uncomfortable with.
Quickly, all evidence points to something not-quite-right happening within this community. At the center of it all is the charismatic Pastor Eli Schrock and the unusual control he seems to hold over his flock. Kate can not ignore this, and what she uncovers puts her at personal risk.
Since Kate and Tomasetti spend the majority of Among the Wicked separated, this may disappoint fans of their collaborations. However, having them interact via phone conversations allows Linda Castillo to explore another side of their relationship, which ultimately allows readers to understand their bond better.
The case at the center of the novel unspools in a straightforward manner and the revelations discovered are indeed timely. Among the Wicked is a quick read and Kate’s undercover identity exposes new facets of her personality, so while there is not much development of the overall story arc of the series, Linda Castillo fans will not be disappointed. This also makes it very easy for new readers to jump into the series with Among the Wicked.
Disclaimer: A e-galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.