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The Burning

By Linda Castillo

Kate Burkholder Series #16

Kate Burkholder is One Of the Best Female Characters In a Series



In the middle of the night, two Painters Mill police officers parked on a rural road hear a scream and see a fire in the woods. They rush toward the fire and are shocked to see a man fully engulfed and tied to a pole. When police chief Kate Burkholder arrives at the scene, she identifies the dead man as Milan Swanz, an Amish husband and father.

As Burkholder and her team begin investigating, they learn that there has been no love lost between Swanz and the Amish community.  He had recently been excommunicated from the church and his list of offenses was numerous. Burkholder knows that the Amish prefer to handle their problems without outside help. Swanz’s ex-wife, employer, friends, and the Amish bishop are of little help in the investigation. To solve this crime, Burkholder puts her and her new husband’s life on the line as she delves into the dark corners of the history of the Anabaptist culture.


THE BURNING is an engaging but ghastly murder mystery that you cannot put down. Bestselling author Linda Castillo’s writing about murder in the Ohio Amish country is always intense and impeccably well-researched.

Kate Burkholder is an emotionally strong, intelligent, and courageous woman. If you want a unique crime series with a strong female character, this is it. My favorite scene is when Kate goes toe-to-toe in a meeting with the mayor, the county sheriff, and the FBI about her handling of the Swanz case. She leans in and handles herself and the confrontation beautifully. Kate is fearless but is not afraid to ask for help. Her vulnerabilities help make the story and her character seem real. She is undoubtedly one of the best female characters in a series.

I listened to the audiobook of THE BURNING.  Katherine McInerney has been narrating Linda Castillo's books for many years. She knows the characters well and voices them expertly with just the right pacing, tone, and accent. I highly recommend the Kate Burkholder series and this skillfully written and intense audiobook.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this audiobook.  All opinions in this review are my own.

Publisher     Macmillian Audio and Minotaur Books

Published   July 9, 2024

Narrator.     Kathleen McInerney

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