Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review - Gone Missing

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo
St. Martin's Press, 2012

Format? Hardcover - auto shipped from Amazon
Why?  Gone Missing is the 4th book in the Kate Burkholder mystery/detective series.   I'm already a die-hard fan and couldn't wait for this installment.
Below you'll find my reviews of the other 3 Kate Burkholder books:

What Now?  onto the keeper shelves this one goes.  Because I read the other 3 in this series on my Nook, I'll be looking around to find hardback copies of them as well to add to my collection :) Such is the life of a bookaholic :)

Golden Lines

For an instant, I find myself hoping she'll take her best shot, so I can wipe all that bad attitude off her face.  Then I remind myself that teenagers are the only segment of the population entitled to temporary bouts of stupidity.

The Amish couple exchange a look I recognize.  A look I've seen before.  One I understand all too well.  One I saw in the eyes of my own parents.  Shame. The need to secrete away the sins of their child.  I know this because I was once that sinful child.

Next to me, Tomasetti makes a sound of reprehension, and I know he's on the verge of saying something he shouldn't. His face is devoid of emotion, but I know him well enough to recognize the anger burgeoning beneath the surface of all that calm, and I'm reminded that his own daughters were about the same age as these two girls when they were murdered.

In the Amish culture, grief is a private thing.  Levi King doesn't have that option.  The sound that erupts from him is so unsettling, the hairs at the nape of my neck stand up.  His cry of grief cuts through me like a blade.  In the periphery of my vision, I see Tomasetti turn away.  The bishop wraps his arms around the other man's shoulders.  "She is with God," the bishop says. But the words aren't convincing.

For a full minute, I stand there and listen for any sign of movement.  But the only sounds are the moan of the wind, the dry scuttle of leaves across gravel, and the low rumble of thunder.

Another scream stops me.  This one is primal and raw and seems to go on forever.  I discern terror in the voice, and pain, hopelessness.  It is the sound of a human being who's been reduced to an animal.  For the span of several heartbeats, I stand there unmoving, my every sense attunded to the darkness ahead.  I listen for footsteps or voices, anything to indicate what I'm dealing with.  All I hear is my own elevated breathing and the hum of blood through my veins.


Three Amish girls are missing in Ohio - all within a 50 mile radius.  Chief Kate Burkholder gets called in as a consult with Agent John Tomasetti to try and find the killer.    Through a maze of twists and turns, Kate and Tomasetti work together to try and stop this violent, dark killer from taking advantage of young Amish women.  Their relationship grows as they begin to think of a future together including the parts of themselves that drive each other crazy.  Can they keep the lines drawn between personal and professional and/or do those lines even really exist for this pair.  They are who they are and what they do.  Together. 

What I Liked

One of the scariest non-horror movies I've ever seen was Kiss the Girls based on the book by James Patterson with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd in the lead roles.  The final chase scene in Gone Missing reminded me of a particular part of this movie...I can't tell you which part though bc it is definitely a spoiler.  Suffice it to say my heart was pounding wildly, I couldn't stand it...had to read, read, read as fast as I could...felt like I was in Kate's shoes, etc.   If you're a fan of this genre, that's something that doesn't happen very often...I could actually see what Kate was seeing, hear her breathing and the breathing of the person who is after her.  And, all this from a BOOK!  

Sadie - she reminds Kate of herself when she was younger for so many reasons and then for so many more reasons once the novel comes to a close...**I hate not being able to say more, but I won't spoil it for you**

The Setting - thank-you so much Linda Castillo for not making this book set in Painter's Mill.  If the folks of Painter's Mill had to deal with one more serial killer, I think they'd all evacuate! I like that Tommasetti's job as a state agent is turning out to be a natural segue through which Kate will be called upon as a consultant to help with Amish issues.

John Tomasetti - I sooooo still like this man.  And, I do not usually go all goo goo over characters.  But, this one is something else...a man who loved his family, is angry at the world over losing them, loves Kate, accepts her for who she is, tries to protect her but accepts the fact that in their line of work, he won't always be able to, loves his job, is good at his job, falls down sometimes and has a hard time getting up...but still gets up...wants to move forward with the relationship but is scared to death at the same time, and honest.

John Tomasetti stands on the porch with his hands in his pockets, looking out over the backyard as if his being here in the middle of the night is the most natural thing in the world.
I turn the bolt lock and swing open the door.  "Don't tell me," I begin.  "You were in the neighborhood."
He turns to me, hands still in pockets, his face deadpan, and for a split second I'm terrified he's come here with some dire news about the case.  "Actually, I drove a hundred miles, against my better judgement and without telling my superiors, to sleep with you."

What else do you need to know??
Why are you not reading these books right now???

What I Didn't Like

The only really bothersome thing about this series for me is the level of violence in or involving the Amish communities.  We just don't hear about it as much as other hate crimes, domestic issues, etc.  What Castillo does very well is illustrate that crimes involving the Amish may very well go unreported due to their belief that God will take care of everything and that they shouldn't involve outsiders into Amish affairs.  I couldn't help but wonder if there is any existing data on crimes involving the Amish.  I would definitely think young Amish people during their years of Rumspriga would be easy targets for criminals and pedophiles...again, I'd like to see the statistics, if any exist.

Overall Recommendation

If you've read the other 3 books in this series, you must continue.  If you haven't, then what are you waiting on?  If you like fast paced mystery thrillers with a tough female protagonist, what are you waiting on??


  1. I've really enjoyed the other three books but would agree that Kate really needed to get out of her hometown. Will she become an "investigator of Amish crimes for hire"? Seems like a stretch to me. The audios do not have the greatest narrator but is probably the best chance I have to get it read, so I'm going to head out to the library website to order this one!

  2. I have the first in this series, and haven't given it a go yet. I agree with Sandy, that this series might become predictable fast, but the first few might be really good reads! I need to check the first one out and move on to the second and third. A very nice review today!

  3. I have yet to read any Amish fiction. This series may be a good way to begin.

  4. Your comments about crimes and the Amish are thought-provoking, and not something I had considered before. It would be interesting to know more about what the stats are.