The Burning

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Kate Burkholder, Bk. 16). Jul. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250781116. $28. M
When two members of the Painters Mill, OH, police force hear screams in the woods, they find a body still on fire. Police Chief Kate Burkholder investigates the victim’s past, learning that Milan Swanz was Amish but had been excommunicated after he was given numerous chances to change his ways. Rumors of fallen men called schwertlers go back over 70 years, but the stories of the past remind Kate of the victim, who was burned at the stake. Kate is caught between unfounded legends, the area’s Amish community, which is reluctant to report crimes or speak ill of the dead, and her law enforcement colleagues who feel she is protecting the perpetrator of the murder. When her brother becomes a suspect, Kate is sidelined but continues to investigate. While she’s threatened and viciously attacked, her husband, Tomasetti, and her small team continue to support her.
VERDICT The 16th Kate Burkholder mystery (following An Evil Heart) is another riveting police procedural. Despite the violence and some graphic, gruesome details, fans will be eager for the latest well-developed mystery set in Ohio’s Amish country.
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