Thirty-three year old Painter’s Mill Chief of Police Kate Burkholder has seen plenty of bad things over the years. Going to dinner at her brother’s house might be worse. She has a considerable amount of dread as she and John Tomasetti drive to dinner and it does not take long for that dread to be justified.
Family tensions and issues are forgotten as a deadly tornado roars towards Painter’s Mill. In the aftermath, a skull is found by members of the local Boy Scout troop while they were clearing debris. That skull is just one small part of a complex case going by thirty years in “After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel.
“”You know it is going to be an interesting call when you have to ask if the skull is attached to the body,’ Glock says.’” (Page 53)
It was and the case is complex and provides the main storyline of the novel. Competing for Kate Burkholder’s attention are two secondary storylines that also provide around half of the plot in this compelling read. Kate’s personal life, which now includes her complicated romance with John Tomasetti has always provided considerable depth to the series. That certainly is present here in this very complicated tale.
Tornadoes as well as hurricanes have become clichéd storytelling devices in recent years as every author seemed to use one or the other in their books. Author Linda Castillo uses the tornado here for some of the most intense and suspenseful moments this reviewer has read in quite some time. Those depictions of the tornado and its aftermath are only rivaled by the intense and fitting conclusion at the end of the novel. After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel is one of the best books this reviewer has read all year and should be on your reading list. In all likelihood the read will be on the shortlist for numerous awards next year.
This is a series that should be read in order. It began with Sworn To Silence reviewed here.
After The Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel
Minotaur Books (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)
Hardback (also available in audio and e-book formats)
Material obtained from the good folks of the Plano Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2015