Kate Flora’s new novel is fantastic

I love Kate Flora’s novels, especially those featuring Portland policeman Joe Burgess. This year Kate’s sixth Joe Burgess novel was published, titled A Child Shall Lead Them.

And as is typical for Kate’s novels, I was hooked on the first page where Joe gets a phone call “that almost stopped his heart.” Well, my heart rate rose as I turned to page 2.

That phone call told Joe that they had found in the woods the mutilated body of a young girl whose hands and head were missing. And as Joe and his fellow police officers dive into the case they find even more abused young girls.

It turns out that several men and women are responsible. I don’t want to give the entire plot away but I can tell you this is a very complicated crime which almost drives Joe into retirement as he works night and day to find these bad people and put them in jail.

Kate Flora has won many awards for her crime fiction and if you’ve never read one of her novels you are in for a real treat. My sister Edie, who enjoys crime novels, has never read any of Kate’s novels, so I passed on A Child Shall Lead Them to her. That should keep her busy reading all of Kate’s novels!

One thing I like about Kate’s novels is at the end of them she includes the opening chapter of her next novel. And her next novel is also a Joe Burgess mystery titled A World of Deceit. And yes, she grabbed me with that chapter so I will eagerly await the publication of her next novel.

Kate Flora grew up on a chicken farm in Maine and spent lots of time in her local library. While from a young age she wanted to be a writer, she was directed to law school, after which she worked for Maine’s attorney general, where some of her work focused on protecting battered children. She certainly was exposed to enough crime and criminals to help her write lots of crime novels.

Eventually she opted for private law practice, but quit that to try writing and care for her two boys. And success didn’t come quickly, but we can all be thankful she didn’t give up.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.