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Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Heidi Reviews Linda Castillo's Sworn To Silence & Pray For Silence

Heidi Cheramie
Review: Sworn To Silence
Review: Pray For Silence
Author: Linda Castillo

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder)Pray for Silence: A Thriller (Kate Burkholder)


Linda Castillo, a successful romance writer has entered the mystery thriller genre with an interesting protagonist. Kate Burkholder, the police chief of Painters Mills, Ohio. Kate was raised Amish but left the Amish community after a horrible incident that occurred to her and her family when she was a teenager. This tragedy was kept secret by her Amish family and Kate has been living with this secret her whole adult life.

Kate is now thirty years old and has returned to Painters Mills to take the job as police chief. The setting of this northern Ohio Amish town is another character in the book. The story takes place in the dead of winter and you shiver feeling the cold in the icy Ohio snow. The author handles the Amish community with respect and sensitivity and this made the book very interesting. I enjoyed learning more about Amish customs and beliefs.

The book begins with a grisly homicide. A brutalized body of a young girl is found lying in the snow. Striking similarities to a serial killer that had killed sixteen years before is haunting. Is he back? And what is his connection to Kate’s past?

This book is a page turner, well written with many twists and turns, a well crafted plot, and maintains a high level of suspense throughout. The secondary characters are captivating and fun. They complement the main characters.

There is another main character in this book. It is John Tomasetti. He is a rogue state criminal investigator from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.(BCI). John is sent to assist Kate with this murder. She doesn’t know he is sent to Painters Mill as a punishment and with the intent of driving him out of the agency. John has experienced a tremendous tragedy and is addicted to pain killers and alcohol. He is a flawed and very interesting character. John and Kate have a complex relationship in this book. I really enjoyed their relationship and it adds a bit of romance to a grim plot.

I enjoyed Sworn To Silence very much and recommend it as a quick, suspenseful read. A good book for a long airplane trip. This is also a good mystery to pass on to friends and actually it has been read by four of my co-workers. The book just keeps getting passed on and everyone has enjoyed it.

I was excited to pick up Linda Castillo’s second Kate Burkholder book, Pray for Silence. This thriller begins with the horrific murders of an Amish family of seven. They are found bound and slaughtered in their home and barn. I enjoyed this mystery but not as much as the first book. This time I felt Kate did several things that made her appear a little foolish. She beats up a suspect who insults her, drinks in a bar in uniform, investigates a crime scene alone in the middle of the night.??? Also John Tomasetti is on a psychiatric leave and currently can’t work but shows up to assist Kate with this murder. I felt that was unprofessional and put the investigation in jeopardy.

Having said that I am still a fan of these novels and will read the next book in this series. People are flawed and certainly not perfect so I will forgive John and Kate since it makes them real, imperfect people. Pray For Silence was compelling and the mystery was well written and kept me on the edge of my seat. However I felt the murderer needed to be better developed.

Looking forward to the next Silence book and will keep cheering for Kate and John, the flawed emotionally damaged main characters. I give both books FOUR STARS! Happy Reading!

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (May 25, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0312374062

ISBN-13: 978-0312374068

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0312374984

ISBN-13: 978-0312374983

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