Monday, August 27, 2018

A Gathering of Secrets: A Kate Burkholder Novel

Welcome!  In His Father's Footsteps by Danielle Steel will be available on September 4.  I started reading her books when I was twelve (I liberated them from my mother's bookshelves) and have read them ever since.  Hitting the books by Jenn McKinlay will published on September 11 along with Ours for a Season by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

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.

I appreciate you visiting today and reading my review.  If you find my reviews helpful, please consider following my blog or adding me to your Google circle (upper right). On Tuesday, I will be sharing my thoughts on Dim Sum of all Fears by Vivien Chien.  I will also tell you about the new books that have been published.  May you have a whimsical day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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