Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
Minotaur Books: July 12th, 2016
Source: Free From Publisher
I’d go there again!
Among the Wicked is the eighth book in Castillo’s suspenseful and dark Kate Burkholder mystery series. I first discovered the series on audiobook and binged through the entire series. After the events of book seven, I was anxious to get my hands on book eight. And while I continue to enjoy the series, I was somewhat disappointed with the book with regards to Kate’s character development. It was a great book, but not my favourite in the series.
In Among the Wicked Kate is asked to go undercover in an Amish community where a suspicious death is discovered. A young woman froze to death and no one in the community is talking about what led to the death, and then there’s the reports of child abuse that are making their way to the police’s ears. So, Kate, a former member of the Amish community, is recruited to assit. Kate’s background makes her a perfect candidate for the undercover roll; she understands the Amish community and she has a commitment to discovering the truth behind the young woman’s death. Despite the misgivings of her partner, Tomasetti, Kate decides the going undercover is something that she has to go. Kate is nothing if she’s not dedicated to protecting the vulnerable. Soon Kate is immersed in her role as a widow in the reclusive community; however, her questions soon stir up more trouble than Kate anticipated.
Among the Wicked is another great addition to the Kate Burkholder series. I continue to be riveted to the mysteries that the author creates. The suspense and the nuanced examination of the Amish community is a huge draw. Readers are thrown a number of twists (one that I certainly didn’t see coming!) and kept on the edge of the seat as Kate’s job becomes more and more dangerous. Kate is her usual tenacious self, crusading for those that she sees as vulnerable just as she was as a young girl. All of these things that I have come to love about the series are present in spades in Among the Wicked; however, my one little niggle about the book is related to events that happened in the previous book. Be warned: spoilers ahead if you haven’t read After the Storm.
In After the Storm Kate and her lover John Tomasetti go through a difficult point in their relationship when Kate discovers that she’s pregnant. Those that have read the book know that she miscarries. I don’t know about other people, but I kind of thought this was a big deal. It’s not even mentioned in Among the Wicked. Instead Kate’s back to reconciling her issues with her roots in the Amish community when she’s undercover as an Amish widow. I like how Kate does feel a connection with her past, but I found it strange how something that was such a big deal for Kate and Tomasetti wasn’t even mentioned in this book and it kind of felt like book seven never happened. I’m hoping that the author will pick up this thread in the next book in the series since I’m not convinced that it’s something that can be put out of mind so easily. For me, it made Among the Wicked seem a tad uneven when considering the book as part of a larger series.
While I was disappointed with where the focus of Kate’s inner turmoil was coming from Among the Wicked is a strong addition to the series. Kate continues to be the character that readers enjoy rooting for and the mystery keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
If you’re like me and invested in Kate’s romantic relationship with state agent Tomasetti, Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is sure to appeal. Romance is definitely the focus of these series, but each has a satisfying mystery. And the best part? Each book features a romance that is wrapped up on the end, no waiting for something to progress through each book. The newest book, Deep Dark, is a fantastic addition to the series.
For those looking for an emphasis on the mystery elements, I highly recommend checking out J.S. Law’s Tenacity. This first book in a new series gives readers a troubled heroine who is working in a male dominated field. It was so good. So good. Read my full review to find out more.
My last recommendation has a lot in common with the Kate Burkholder series. Quicksand features a Muslim police officer trying to merge her roots with her desires for the future and delving into a complex and violent world. Loved the characters and diversity of this one.