Book Review

by Linda Castillo

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Thriller

2009 Contemporary Mystery Nominee

Message from the Author

RT Rating

Castillo's hardcover debut should come with a warning: Pick up when you have time to finish. Excitement, danger, mystery, a fascinating setting and a conflicted heroine make this a book you won't put down. The setting, Ohio's Amish community, is well drawn, and the bind the mystery places the heroine in has no simple resolution. The conflict couldn't be greater. Add a romantic hero with his own sharply drawn issues and the tension never lessens.

When the tortured and murdered body of a young woman is found in the tight-knit Amish town of Painters Mill, Ohio, no one is more stunned and frightened than Police Chief Kate Burkholder. Sixteen years before, there was a similar series of murders and Kate was 14 and living with her Amish family. But she left the church when she turned 18, and now feels like an outsider. Kate has to find the murderer while also keeping a secret that could ruin her life and career. State agent John Tomasetti is assigned to help her, but he has his own demons, and Kate isn't sure the case can be solved without destroying everything she loves. (MINOTAUR, Jul., 352 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed By: Page Traynor

Publisher: MINOTAUR

Published: July 2009

Reader Rating

4.5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
(2 ratings)

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Sworn to Silence

Submitted by Robin in PA on March 25, 2014 - 8:47pm.

Katie Burkholder grew up Amish, but left the community when she was eighteen. Now she has returned to her hometown to take the job as Chief of Police. Chief Burkholder is tough and competent, respected by her officers and staff. When the brutal murder of a young woman sends shock waves through the community, Kate's past comes back to haunt her. Sixteen years ago, a series of unsolved murders in the small town ended when Kate killed the man who raped her. Her family covered up the death by disposing of the body and refusing to report it. Now a new murder has occurred and the clues make it look like the same serial killer is back. Is this a copycat? Did the man that Kate show not actually die?

As Kate begins her investigation, the town council question her experience in such matters. They call for the assistance of the County Sheriff's department and and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. Trying to solve the murder while staying in charge of the investigation and keeping her own secrets buried gets harder when another dead body is discovered.

This story had me hooked from the first chapter. It is a good mystery/suspense book with well developed characters. Kate Burkholder and BCI Agent John Tomasetti are deeply flawed but realistic characters. The Amish community seems to be portrayed accurately. The mixed community of "English" and Amish very much reminds me of the small town I live in (without the murders). I will definitely be searching for the next book in the series and hope to read it soon. My rating: 5 Stars.

Reader Review for Sworn to Silence

Submitted by kdrake on June 25, 2010 - 4:39pm.

Up until one of her deputies stumbled upon a murder at an Amish farm, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder thought she had seen the worst of mankind. She was wrong. The entire Plank family had been murdered and their two teenage girls tortured and raped. As she delves deeper into their deaths, Kate discovers unsettling similarities between the life of 15-year-old Mary Plank and her own teenage years. Kate asks for help from her off-and-on lover BCI State Agent John Tomasetti not knowing that Tomasetti has been placed on administrative leave pending a psychiatric evaluation. Everyone involved in this case knows the clock is ticking, and they are going to need every bit of luck to find this evil killer. Pray for Silence is Linda Castillo’s outstanding follow-up book to the best-selling Sworn to Silence. Not only does it continue exploring Kate's battle with the demons from a traumatic teenage event, readers get to know more about Tomasetti's past also. I highly recommend both of Castillo's books featuring Kate Burkholder.