A series of hate crimes against an Ohio Amish community turns deadly.
Painters Mill Police Chief Kate Burkholder was raised Amish. So she’s not surprised that many of the crimes committed against the community are going unreported by the clannish sect that wants to keep its distance from the “English.” When she’s called to the Slabaugh farm and finds the bodies of Solly, his wife Rachael and Solly’s visiting brother Abel in the manure pit, Kate is devastated. The fact that their deaths look like just another accident is no solace to the four children left behind: Mose, 17; Salome, 15; Samuel, 12; and Ike, 10. Their only relative is an uncle who’s not the community’s choice to raise the children because he’s no longer Amish. When the autopsy shows that Solly was hit on the head and pushed into the pit, the investigation ramps up. Did the people who’ve been killing animals, burning buggies and beating Amish people escalate to murder, or is there some other reason for the murders? Kate’s investigations turn up some scandalous discoveries. Salome, for instance, is pregnant by Mose. True, he’s adopted, but he’s still her cousin. State agent John Tomasetti, Kate’s friend and lover, is sent to help on the case. His presence is more than welcome, since the pressure has Kate drinking more than she should. She’ll have to revisit some dark places in her past before she can solve the crimes.
Kate’s third (Pray for Silence, 2010, etc.) offers plenty of violence, a surprise ending and some insight into the Amish way of life.