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  • Mandy McHugh

Fallen, Linda Castillo: A Review

Minotaur is one of my favorite publishers, and I enjoy the Kate Burkholder series. I was happy to be approved for this title, number thirteen in the Amish suspense series, and I quickly dove in.

When a "fallen" Amish woman is found brutally murdered in a Painters Mill motel, Kate Burkholder is called to the scene and quickly realizes she knows the victim. As she wades through Rachael Schwartz's life and connections, the mystery surrounding her final days thickens. Why did she return home? Who was she meeting? I liked this book. Kate Burkholder is a delightful character. She's smart and even-tempered. I appreciate her insight into police procedure juxtaposed with her former life as a member of the Amish community. Speckled throughout is Amish diction and unique knowledge of the daily life of the community, and I find these sections both entertaining and enlightening. I struggled a bit with this book for a few reasons. First, I found the constant translation from Amish to English distracting and repetitive. While I love the inclusion of the language, I was able to use the context within the dialogue to piece together what was being said without having to always being explicitly told. I also found the procedural element was oversimplified, with longwinded explanations of different aspects of the investigation I assumed were common knowledge. The plot itself was interesting but fairly predictable, and while this isn't my cup of tea, I think this would be an excellent starting point for a reader outside the genre looking for an accessible transition into suspense. Kate is a stellar protag, her meticulous dissection of facts and pursuit of justice are admirable, and there's enough mystery to keep you guessing. I can definitely see this being a hit with other readers, though, as Castillo's writing is readable and engrossing. Overall, Fallen is a light suspense with an interesting focus and strong female protagonist that many readers will love. Big thanks to Minotaur and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

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