This was my first read of this author and I thought it may be something like a Chevy Stevens book. Set in Amish countryside, a very peaceful and serene setting we have a murder and our Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is set to solve a puzzling case.
A missing teenager is a nightmare for all parents and the police now uncover what seems to be a long list of missing Amish teenagers going back over nine years. How the cases went cold and why none of them were solved add up to the mystery. The Amish will call in the English only when pushed to the wall. Distrust and suspicion is rife - no outsider is acceptable and the only common feature amongst all the missing teens is that they were all rebellious in some way and did not want to accept the conservative, disciplined way of Amish life.
Kate herself is Amish and speaking Pennsylvanian Dutch seems to bring her a tad closer to the missing teens mothers at least who are able to open up to her in a way they would never have done to a male Detective.
The story is also a description of the not just the serene side of Amish life but also portrays that like any community, there is always a dark side. There are characters that are really vile but I also got the impression that the Amish will like to protect their own, and also mete out their own forms of discipline or punishment and not seek justice in a broader spectrum of set norms.
That such a community can still exist in mainstream America is amazing (for me!). Obviously ties of family and community bind everyone together but that youngsters still abide by these rules, stringent as they are was an eye opener for me.
A very good book and if you do like thrillers this is one for you.