An Amish grandmother, Mary Yoder, is brutally killed and one of her granddaughters is kidnapped in Shamed, an Amish police procedural.

Kate Burkholder is the former Amish and current police chief in small town, Painters Mill Ohio. Her first concern is locating special needs Elsie, age seven. The viciousness of her grandmother’s murder doesn’t bode well for her safety. The only witness is her traumatized 5-year-old sister. Surprisingly, she identifies the killer as Amish.

It is innovative to set a police procedural in a small Amish town. However, the differences in culture are not emphasized. In fact, the opposite is true. The author frequently states how similar the Amish are to the English. There are liars and murderers among them too.

The rest of the book is a formulaic small town police procedural. Kate needs help from other jurisdictions, including her boyfriend, John Tomasetti of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations. She also has to resist the mayor’s politically motivated suggestions to solve the crimes quickly before the tourists start cancelling their visits to Painters Mill.

My biggest problem with Shamed is that there isn’t any real interaction between the characters. Kate and John barely speak to each other through most of the book. Also, Kate’s backstory of why she left the Amish isn’t fleshed out. None of the characters seem genuine. The mystery was also easy to figure out. So for those reasons, this book receives only 3 stars from me.

Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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