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A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder…

A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel (edition 2018)

by Linda Castillo (Author)

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12319140,904 (4.14)5
Title:A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel
Authors:Linda Castillo (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2018), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo



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This was a bit of a shocking book, by an author I hadn't encountered before. It delves into a piece of Amish life that people never really think about much. That is, the reclusiveness, secrecy, and sense of decorum that makes any talk related to sexual activity taboo, as well as the role of women enforced in many Amish communities, that in effect makes the community a perfect target for a sexual predator. After a young Amish man is killed in a gruesome way, the local police chief finds disturbing truths about his behavior with young local women - women who never spoke out for fear of being ostracized and blamed for what happened to them. As the pieces continue to come together, and the suspect list only grows longer, things all come together in a surprising conclusion. I really enjoyed the book and felt that the characters and plot were developed well. The idea of making the police chief ex-Amish herself was also a nice touch, since it offered the excuse for her to explain important cultural things to the reader. I came away with both an appreciation for the book as a thriller and a new understanding and appreciation for Amish culture and how it works - it's maybe not all positive, but it is extremely encompassing and extends far beyond the basic things I knew about. It's not a new favorite or anything, but I'd definitely recommend it for those interested in the genre. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Sep 16, 2018 |
A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo is the tenth A Kate Burkholder Novel. Kate Burkholder, the police chief for Painters Mill, gets a late night call about a barn on fire at the Gingerich’s. Kate arrives and is told that Daniel Gingerich is missing. It looks like an accidental barn fire until Daniel’s body is found inside the locked and barricaded tack room. Someone wanted to make sure that Daniel did not survive the fire. Kate begins her investigation, but the Amish in Painters Mill are less than forthcoming. Despite being raised Amish and having family in the community, Kate’s uniform and position holds her apart. She is determined, though, to find out who murdered Daniel and set fire to the Gingerich’s barn. The more Kate learns about Daniel, the more unsettled she feels. Can Kate break through the wall of silence to get the answers she needs?

I do not recommend reading A Gathering of Secrets on its own. While it can be read alone, you will miss out on Kate’s backstory. Why she is no longer Amish, how she become the police chief, her relationship with John Tomasetti, and how she gets along with her family. In A Gathering of Secrets, we follow Kate as she delves into Daniel’s life. She gathers evidence, interviews family and friends, follows up on anonymous tips, etc. Kate finds herself once again in a situation that endangers her life. I am amazed that she allowed herself to fall for the one incident. Kate has enough experience to know better (I would say more but it would be a spoiler). A Gathering of Secrets contains good writing and I like Kate’s character. She is a strong, smart woman who does a difficult job. It cannot be easy being English in a community where you grew up Amish. I would like to see Kate grow more as a person. It is time for her to move beyond what happened to her as a teenager (she will never forget it, but she needs to find a way to deal with what happened to her so she can have a future). I was disappointed that A Gathering of Secrets is exactly like the nine books before it. The author seems to follow a formula for her books and she is sticking with it. The descriptions are the fire, the body and other crimes are vivid and explicit. There is an uncalled for amount of foul language as well. I liked that the author included different Amish sects (Beachy Amish and Swartzentruber) and explained the differences. The mystery had depth, but the solution was obvious. I kept hoping there would be a surprise/twist that would shock me. I was amazed at the amount of violence from non-violent people. My rating for A Gathering of Secrets is 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay). While I was not enamored with A Gathering of Secrets, I will read the next A Kate Burkholder Novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Aug 29, 2018 |
When a body found in a burned-down barn turns out to that of an 18-year-old Amish boy, Kate Burkholder knows her investigation will be an uphill battle. This Amish community is particularly closed mouthed and Kate is forced to pry and prod bits of information out of those who knew Daniel, the boy who perished in the fire. But as she digs into his past, a murky and disturbing picture of Daniel emerges, one that causes Kate to remember the grief in her own life. Peopled with the characters readers have come to love as well as fresh, new characters, this riveting tale illustrates what happens when evil is allowed to flourish because good people choose to ignore it. Author Linda Castillo has penned a masterful work of suspense that will keep readers turning pages until the very end. ( )
  Maydacat | Aug 22, 2018 |
“’Sooner or later all of these weird little secrets everyone is keeping are going to come to light.” I put the vehicle in gear and pull onto the road. “When they do, we’ll have our answer.’” (Page 130, A Gathering Of Secrets: A Novel, Linda Castillo

Hideous secrets regarding horrible themes have always been a major part of the books by Linda Castillo. That tone was set from the very first book in this series, Sworn To Silence. That fact is certainly true in her latest, A Gathering Of Secrets.

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder got the call around 4 am that the Gingerich barn, located at their farm a couple miles outside of Painters Mill, Ohio, is on fire. A barn fire is a disaster, but with the help of the neighbors they can rebuild. A far bigger concern is the fact that Miriam and Gideon Gingrich can account for their other children, but not eighteen year old, Danny. He is missing and nobody has any idea where he might be.

By the time Chief Burkholder got to the farm, the scene was controlled chaos as volunteer firefighters and others worked to put out the massive blaze at the Amish family farm. She organized the first stages of the police search for the missing teenager, but it is only after the horrendous fire is out that a body is discovered. Whether that badly burned body was the remains of Danny as Chief Burkholder and others suspect will take time to determine. Who that person was and what happened is the launching pad for A Gathering Of Secrets.

A powerful and intense novel from start to finish that again refers to earlier events in this very good series while also exploring the frequent themes of justice and vengeance. Along with making sure to keep readers entertained with the evolving stories of numerous secondary characters, author Linda Castillo weaves another interesting tale of mystery and intrigue through the main storyline. A storyline that will strike a painful chord for a significant portion of her readership.

This series has always contemplated dark truths while encouraging the reader to think about justice, punishment, and more. Such is the case in the latest in the series, A Gathering Of Secrets. Highly recommended as is the concept of reading these books in order starting with Sworn To Silence.

A Gathering Of Secrets: A Novel
Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)
July 2018
ISBN# 978-1-250-12131-8
Hardback (also available in eBook and audio formats)
320 Pages

Book provided by the good folks of the Dallas Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2018 ( )
  kevinrtipple | Aug 11, 2018 |
This book was written really well which is why I rounded my rating up and not down. The only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars is because I was able to read between the lines and figure out "who done it" by a certain point.

This book is not easy to read. It's starts with a suicide, someone is burned alive, there's rape and murder; it's tough and Kate Burkholder has her work cut out for her. The Amish like to keep their secrets and coupled with her own past, it's not an easy case by any means for her. As she very slowly puts 2 & 2 together, her own life is put in jeopardy.

If you haven't already started this series, I highly recommend it. It's one I look forward to every year and I'm never disappointed. ( )
  Sharn | Aug 10, 2018 |
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There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
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"A deadly fire exposes the dark side of Amish life ... When a historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first, it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside-- burned alive --Kate suspects murder. Who would want a well-liked, hardworking young Amish man dead? Kate delves into the investigation only to find herself stonewalled by the community to which she once belonged. Is their silence a result of the Amish tenet of separation? Or is this peaceful and deeply religious community conspiring to hide a truth no one wants to talk about? Kate doubles down only to discover a plethora of secrets and a chilling series of crimes that shatters everything she thought she knew about her Amish roots, and herself. As Kate wades through a sea of suspects, she's confronted by her own violent past and an unthinkable possibility"--… (more)

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