Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

 
First Lines: Two years earlier. He waited until the children slept.
 
Two years ago, Joseph King was sent to prison for the brutal murder of his wife. A known drug user, King's violent temper was no secret, and the entire Amish community around Painters Mill, Ohio, breathed a sigh of relief when this "fallen" Amish man was imprisoned.

But Joseph King escaped, got a gun, and kidnapped his five children. Painters Mill Chief of Police Kate Burkholder knew Joseph King when they were children, and when the alert goes out about the hostage situation, Kate springs to action. In that house with five small children, Joseph demands that Kate look into his case. He insists that he's innocent; that he did not kill his wife. All the evidence points to his guilt, but Kate leaves the house feeling that something is not right. 

Is she really looking for a killer, or merely feeling sorry for someone she had a school girl crush on so long ago?

~

This third audiobook that I've listened to was another good experience. I've long known that Linda Castillo knows how to write a compelling story, and now I know that series narrator Kathleen McInerney is a talented storyteller. Now if only Down a Dark Road hadn't been so predictable!

Castillo does an excellent job of showing readers how precarious the job of a female chief of police can be. One slip-up, one photograph taken out of context, and fellow law enforcement and the town council rush to judgment and start looking for her replacement. It doesn't matter how long she's been doing an excellent job. Yes indeed, reputations are so easily ruined-- and I'm not just talking about Kate's.

There's an ex-cop who shows up in the last quarter of Down a Dark Road that I'd really like to see again, and the relationship Kate had with Joseph King when they were children proves why she's so willing to swim against the current in an attempt to prove that he was innocent. But. I knew Joseph's fate. I knew where Kate should have started looking for the real murderer. And I had an eye-rolling episode when, at the end of the book, Kate gets one of those weird 3 AM calls and doesn't tell anyone where she's going. I am most definitely not a reader who approves of characters who are TSTL (Too Stupid To Live), and Kate stomped right into that mud hole at book's end.

Even though I felt Down a Dark Road was predictable, it was fast-paced, exciting, and still a good listen. If I'd been reading a physical copy of this book, I might not have finished it, but Kathleen McInerney's voice persuaded me to stay with her to the end.

Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
Narrated by Kathleen McInerney
ASIN: B071L72QKF
Macmillan Audio © 2017
Audiobook. 9 hours, 58 minutes.
 
Police Procedural, #9 Kate Burkholder mystery
Rating: B
Source: Purchased through Chirp Books. 

14 comments:

  1. I liked this writer at the Poisoned Pen interview. But I have such a long list and can't read that fast anymore.
    And I'm recovering from reading "Eternal," by Lisa Scottoline about the Italian holocaust. I learned a lot, but cried a lot, too, in parts.
    I see that 3 a.m. call, and Kate goes alone and doesn't tell anyone where she's going. (eye roll here) Why do writers keep putting women cops in this situation? They of all people should know better. I guess writers think it's a good plot device. But arrrgh!

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    1. Writers put men cops in the same position, and it's because humans do this in real life. Fortunately, I'm not seeing TSTL moments as often as I did in the past.

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    2. I've only read about women in that situation, cops,private detectives and others. V.I. Warshawski has been beaten, thrown into a canal and almost drowned after going somewhere alone in the middle of the night. I read more books with women protagonists wo I see that phenomenon with women. And then sometimes they are wearing heels!

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  2. I do like the Kate Burkholder character as a rule, Cathy. And I've always thought this series was interesting for its take on the Amish community. I'm not Amish myself, but I grew up not far from a large Amish community. I think Castillo can tell a solid story, too. But I'm with you on the *eye roll* at the 3AM call. Sigh...

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    1. Most Americans seem to be fascinated with the Amish, don't they? But then, most haven't lived as near to Amish communities as you and I have.

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  3. I'm a fan of Castillo's Kate Burkholder series. I've read them all except the most recent one which just came out this month. :)

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    1. I really like Castillo. She knows how to tell a good tale, and she's an excellent lunch companion. :-)

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  4. I am a fan of the series, and I enjoyed this one. Eye-rolling aside. :)

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    1. At least mine didn't get stuck back there. ;-)

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  5. I've not read this author but am putting her on my TBR. There are quite a few books by her.

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  6. My family went to Lancaster County in Pa. years ago, because it wass Amish country. What do I remember? Huge family-style dinners in restaurants.

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    1. It's not much, but a least you remember something!

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