It is springtime in Ohio and a tornado has just ripped through the small community of Painters Mill. Chief of Police, Kate Burkholder works through the night to help her community and her boyfriend, Tomasetti, is by her side through it all. A group of Boy Scouts are doing volunteer cleanup work on an Amish farm when they stumble across a grisly discovery. They found remains that have obviously been buried for decades and now it is up to Kate and her team to find out who was buried under that barn and why they were there. But things get tricky, though when someone repeatedly shoots at Kate. Is someone trying to keep her from finding out the truth about what happened in 1985 or is the shootings connected to her own rescue efforts After the Storm?
Linda Castillo has done it again! From page one I was immersed in the world of Painters Mill, Ohio. I felt that After the Storm starts out with a very fast pace and then settles down into that slow, simmering "whodunit" that we are accustomed to. I know the fast-paced feeling comes from the tornado that sets the scene for After the Storm and that is okay, even to be expected. All of the familiar characters are here and they are exactly as you remember them. The relationship between Burkholder and Tomasetti is progressing nicely, but they are thrown a curve-ball (I am watching baseball as I type this out, can you tell?) with a shocking revelation. Fans of Linda Castillo know that the two characters have a rocky past and the new "curve-ball" had me worried that it would have a dangerous impact on their seemingly settled relationship. To prevent giving spoilers I will just leave it at that. As always Kate's own past is useful when dealing with the Amish families during her investigation. In the end, Burkholder works hard to solve the mystery of the remains, but not before putting her life in grave danger.
Bottom line - Linda Castillo has written another great Kate Burkholder mystery. I look forward to them every year, but I will say that if you aren't familiar with Kate Burkholder you might be a little lost with the backstory, but I think you will still find it enjoyable.