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Review ❤️ Outsider by Linda Castillo

July 10, 2020


While enjoying a sleigh ride with his children, Amish widower Adam Lengacher discovers a car stuck in a snowdrift and an unconscious woman inside. He calls upon Chief of Police Kate Burkholder for help, and she is surprised to recognize the driver: fellow cop and her former friend, Gina Colorosa.

Years before, Kate and Gina were best friends at the police academy and patrol officers in Columbus, but time and distance have taken them down two very different paths. Now, Gina reveals a shocking story of betrayal and revenge that has forced her to run for her life. She’s desperate for protection, and the only person she can trust is Kate—but can Kate trust her? Or will Gina’s dark past put them all in danger?

As a blizzard bears down on Painters Mill, Kate helps Gina go into hiding on Adam’s farm. While the tough-skinned Gina struggles to adjust to the Amish lifestyle, Kate and state agent John Tomasetti delve into the incident that caused Gina to flee. But as Kate gets closer to the truth, a killer lies in wait. When violence strikes, she must confront a devastating truth that changes everything she thought she knew not only about friendship, but the institution to which she’s devoted her life.

Release Date: Jul 7, 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Imprint: Minotaur Books
Price: $14.99


Kate Burkholder left the Amish way of life many years ago and is now the Chief of Police in her hometown of Painter’s Mill, Ohio. Katie’s childhood friend, Adam Lengacher, is a widower with three young children. Adam discovers a woman half frozen and wounded on the side of the road during a snowstorm who asks him to contact Kate. When Kate arrives at Adam’s farm, she is shocked to see the woman he has rescued is her old friend from their police academy days, Gina Colorosa. Gina is being accused of committing serious crimes but she claims her old unit in Columbus is crooked. Kate wants to help her old friend, but can tell she’s holding something back. Will she be able to figure out what’s really going on before innocent lives are placed in danger.

This book is part of an ongoing series. I’ve only read a couple of the prior books and short stories and I had no problems enjoying the book. Readers who are new to the author should be aware that this series is full of gritty mysteries and is not the sweet, gentle stories common in a lot of Amish fiction. “Outsider” lets you know up front who most of the villains are and is more of a thriller as Kate, Gina, and others are in danger. The atmosphere becomes tense as Kate learns more and more about what her former friend has been involved in during the last few years. I like Kate and enjoyed learning more about her background through the flashbacks included throughout the book. She doesn’t have a lot of scenes with state agent John Tomasetti, but from what we see of the two, they make a great couple. The information about Amish customs is interesting and from what I know about that culture, the look at Amish life seems to be realistic and not overly romanticized.

Even though Gina is in danger throughout the book, I just couldn’t warm to her character. She constantly lies putting everyone around her, including young children, in danger. I understand she was in hiding, but I couldn’t get behind that part of the plot that had her hiding in Adam’s home when it put his children at risk. The book starts somewhat slow, but things quickly pick up and the final confrontation is very dramatic and full of twists and turns. The plot wasn’t my favorite, but Castillo is a skilled author and great at creating interesting characters. I will definitely seek out other books in this series.

~ Christine


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