Linda Castillo is originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer, and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. In her spare time, Linda enjoys trail riding, and dabbles in barrel racing. She resides in Texas with her husband, two rescued Blue Heelers, and two Appaloosa horses.
While enjoying a sleigh ride with his children, Amish widower Adam Lengacher discovers a car stuck in a snowdrift and an unconscious woman inside. He calls upon Chief of Police Kate Burkholder for help, and she is surprised to recognize the driver: fellow cop and her former friend, Gina Colorosa.
Years before, Kate and Gina were best friends at the police academy and patrol officers in Columbus, but time and distance have taken them down two very different paths. Now, Gina reveals a shocking story of betrayal and revenge that has forced her to run for her life. She’s desperate for protection, and the only person she can trust is Kate—but can Kate trust her? Or will Gina’s dark past put them all in danger?
As a blizzard bears down on Painters Mill, Kate helps Gina go into hiding on Adam’s farm. While the tough-skinned Gina struggles to adjust to the Amish lifestyle, Kate and state agent John Tomasetti delve into the incident that caused Gina to flee. But as Kate gets closer to the truth, a killer lies in wait. When violence strikes, she must confront a devastating truth that changes everything she thought she knew not only about friendship, but the institution to which she’s devoted her life.
The peaceful town of Painters Mill is shattered when an Amish grandmother is brutally murdered on an abandoned farm. When Chief of Police Kate Burkholder arrives on the scene, she learns that the woman’s seven-year-old granddaughter is gone, abducted in plain sight. Kate knows time is against her—the longer the girl is missing, the less likely her safe return becomes. The girl’s family is a pillar of the Amish community, well-respected by all. But Kate soon realizes they’re keeping secrets—and the sins of their past may be coming back to haunt them. What are they hiding and why?
Kate’s investigation brings her to an isolated Old Order Amish settlement along the river, a community where family is everything and tradition is upheld with an iron fist. But the killer is close behind, drawing more victims into a twisted game of revenge. Left behind at each new crime scene are cryptic notes that lead Kate to a haunting and tragic secret. What she uncovers threatens to change everything she thought she knew about the family she’s fighting for, the Amish community as a whole—and her own beliefs.
As time to find the missing girl runs out, Kate faces a harrowing choice that will test her convictions and leave one family forever changed.
A GATHERING OF SECRETS (2018)
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.
DOWN A DARK ROAD (2017)
Two years ago, Joseph King was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison. He was a “fallen” Amish man with a violent temper. Now, King has escaped, and he’s headed for Painters Mill.
News of a killer on the loose travels like wildfire, putting Chief of Police Kate Burkholder and her officers on edge. But this is personal for Kate; she grew up with Joseph King. As a thirteen year old Amish girl, she’d worshipped the ground he walked on. She never could have imagined the nightmare scenario that unfolds when King shows up with a gun and takes his five children hostage.
Fearing for the safety of the kids, Kate makes contact with King. But all he asks of her is to help him prove his innocence—and he releases her unharmed. Kate is skeptical, but when the facts and the evidence don’t align, she begins to wonder who to trust. Spurned by some of her fellow cops, she embarks on her own investigation only to unearth an unspeakable secret—and someone who is willing to commit murder to keep it buried.
AMONG THE WICKED (2016)
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff’s department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and “English” communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.
Kate’s long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she’ll have limited communication, and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can’t turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she’s briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.
Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone…trapped in a fight for her life.