After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo

This was quite the page turner, with several plotlines going on and none of them have anything to do with each other. So it is more like two separate mysteries and then a secret pregnancy/accidental pregnancy romance plotline.


Kate Burkholder is the chief of police for Painter Mills, OH, which is smack dab in the middle of Amish/Mennonite country. Kate is former Amish, so she knows language, the customs and culture, and most of the people in the local community. At this stage in the series, she is living with her lover, John Tomasetti (an agent with the Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation) and is worried (for a good quarter of the book) that she may be pregnant because taking birth control/emergency contraception or using condoms is hard to remember when you are knee-deep into murder investigations and you want sexy times. Kate doesn't bother to take a home pregnancy test until the end of the first half of the book, then hems and haws about telling John; when she finally acts like a damn grown up and tells him, his reaction is less than awesome...or less than okay. He has serious baggage when it comes to kids, as his died a violent death at the hands of a criminal who was targeting him. It's okay, cause Kate can't seem to worry about the pregnancy when there are dangerous situations she is involved in by herself, because in addition to finding birth control hard, she also can't seem to remember to call for/take with her back-up until the bullets are heading her way. John eventually comes around to wanting the bun in the oven, but then shit happens because of the lack of back-up in dangerous situations. So the romance/private life of Kate Burkholder is a mess and is why I took a star off the rating.


Bottom line: Kate Burkholder is a toned down present day version of Eve Dallas. No so much a copy cat, but there are similarities if you read the In Death series and this one.


The main mystery itself was interesting; the prologue pretty much tells the story of the why and how, but it the unfolding of the story through Kate and her team's investigation that is page turning. The cause and method of death was HIGHLY unusual, which added to the tension. There was a related death, and again it was most unusual way of going about it, which made it fun to read. Also the body was not even a body, just bones that were discovered in the recovery phase after a F-3 tornado hit the area. The tornado chapters were so well written! The side mystery involves a four month old girl who dies after the tornado and the parents sue Kate (who rescued baby from a trailer that was leaking gas) and the town. Turns out the baby died from causes prior to the tornado and now parents are coming after Kate with bullets. The author really likes to kill kid characters, so big FYI if you plan to read any book in the series.


If the stupid pregnancy sub-plot was taken out, this would have been a stronger book and better rating. As it stands, 3.5 stars.


Read for BL-opoly

320 pages $4.00